Beta Project Statement
I created these pieces for the Beta project because I wanted to explore surface texture on copper with Patinas as my foundation. For my CP, I have been researching the differences in attitudes towards design from European and Asian craftsmen and I wanted to show this through my work by using patinas, a traditionally western technique, and Lai Thai patterns which can be seen on crafts pieces across Thailand. I used copper as it is one of the easier metals to patina and reacts with different chemicals to make a range of different surface colours. I am still unsure if this is the direction I want to go down for the big year long project, but based on what I have learnt so far, there are many avenues I could explore with patinas especially after discovering I can use vinyl to mark of areas and patina specific parts. For this specific project, I have made a series of decorative artefacts that aim to represent the possibilities of combining European and Asian crafts with old and new techniques. In the future I plan on exploring a range of different crafts techniques used by our ancestors and try to adopt their mindsets and approaches to design. With my main focus (but not limited to) metal, I am curious about bronze sculptures and the lost wax casting process seen in Ancient Greek and Roman times as well as metal vessels produced by the Chinese and Japanese who can create such precise and detailed carvings.
Tests & Experimentation
My first Patina tests! I used a range of home recipes to see what sort of colours I could make. I didn’t do these very well the first time but once I figured out a proper methodology the patinas started creating beautiful colours and textures. 
I tried doing the ammonia and salt test again and this time the patina came out really well. Here is the transformation from shiny copper to blue patina. 
Hand etching
I tried etching by hand like I had seen the ancient Chinese and Japanese metal craft workers do and even after attempting simple lines and curves, my respect for their skill grew as I struggled to make rough lines. 
Textured Tests
Next I did experiments with patinas on different surface textures and more 3D shapes. These tests worked out well as it allowed me to understand the limitations of what patinas can do on angles. It also gave me the chance to see how patinas react on textured surfaces. 
I discovered I could vinyl parts of the copper to have areas that have a patina and other that don’t and I thought it would be interesting to see what the possibilities were and how I could design a modern take to patination. 
Taking it to the next level
I wanted to combine acid etching, a surface texture technique and vinyled patina, to the next stage and combine these two to create a piece that brings together Thai and European design styles. The drawings bellow are inspired by Lai Thai patterns. 
For this piece, I acid etched a pattern inspired by traditional Thai art styles and vinyled the shape. This allowed me to Patina the rest and leave me a stunning imprint of the pattern leaving a crisp edge. Since I used an A4 sized copper sheet, I couldn’t use my small Tupperware boxes to patina the piece. I had to get a bit creative and using an oven tray, a large pot lid and some cling film, I had a semi sealed environment to marinate my copper. 
With this piece I wanted to represent practices from Europe and Asia, blending the two, to show how they, despite being very different, go hand in hand.  
Bellow is the final result. I really liked the effect this gave and the contrast between the clean copper and patina was really beautiful. However, for a reason I am still trying to figure out. The acid etch print was a different size to the vinyl print even though they were both printed on A4. This meant that they were slightly out of alignment which was quite disappointing. Furthermore, the vinyl was difficult to remove so when I was scratching it off with a scribe I ended up scratching the surface of the copper leaving some marks. Overall it turned out alright for my first time doing such a complex design with vinyl and my first time using the acid bath. I learnt a lot and had a fun time making it. 
Fly Press Punching
For these pieces, I wanted to further explore relief and its effects on a patina. I started by drawing out the design on illustrator and with the laser cutter, cut out my shape that  was also inspired by Lai Thai designs. Once this was done, I put it under the Fly Press and punches the shapes into 0.5mm copper sheet, creating an imprint. From there I used all the patina mixtures from my initial tests above to create a series of different patinaed squares. 
Overall, I am happy with how these pieces came out. I think they are a great expression of what patinas can do and I love the diversity of the colours and textures. 
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