Rokusho & Niage
As part of Unit X I wanted to explore different patination techniques and see what other colours could be created. Since I had already mastered the blue/green patinas of ammonia and vinegar, I wanted to explore the other end of the colour spectrum, Red.
This was when I came across an ancient Japanese Patina ingredient called Rokusho otherwise known as copper rust. Since the Japanese are so secretive about their craft techniques, it was really hard to source the ingredient online outside of Japan. I manged to find a chat group on Bladesmiths Forum where they discussed different techniques of how to make this ancient solution. This seemed like a viable option but I wanted to find a Rokusho recipe that was authentically Japanese and true to how the ancient Japanese made it. 
I then followed someone's advice on the chat page to buy the rokusho solution from Reactivemetals who sold authentic Japanese patina solutions, one of the few outside Japan. When browsing their website, I tried calling the contact number but unfortunately was a discontinued number and I imagine the website hadn't been running for at least a few years.
I then discovered this very useful book extract that went into depth about the ritualised process that is Rokusho and Niage making. Written by a Japanese man, Eitoku Sugimori, I knew I found the jackpot. However, I ran into another problem which was, the chemicals needed to make the solution where very difficult to acquire. So I emailed the chemistry department to see if they could help me out with this.

Getting Gallery Ready
There were several things I needed to prepare to get my pieces ready for display, which is what all of this is building up to. The first thing that was a major concern to me was the fact that I have some small vessels, that in a busy room, could easily get picked up by a copper thief. I considered having a clear epoxy box around the pieces but didn't like the idea of them being behind glass, where the lighting could mess up and ruin the display. So I started having a look at different museum gels and putties. 
From what I gathered, museum wax and gels are ideal for translucent or glass objects where you don't want it to show through the piece. Museum putty however, is better for opaque objects and might be a better hold for heavier objects. 
I found this quakehold on Amazon to test out on my pieces. I need to make sure that its hold is strong but also doesn't rip off patinas when removing. 

Exhibition & Display Basics
I read this help sheet for gallery display techniques and these are the main points I took away from it:
- Avoid presenting objects less that 90cm or more than 200cm from floor level.
- 3 things to avoid: string, sticky tape and pins. they are unreliable and unsightly
- No exhibit should be placed in direct sunlight, close to radiators or near electrical equipment.
- Simplify exhibition area: be selective with objects on display- no necessary to have every item in your collection on display. 
- Tell the story: does the display emphasise the most important aspects of the story or object? Does it grab you?
- Is the text easy to read? 
- Does the spatial relationship between the items help the display?
Practitioners similar to me
Rebecca, a metal smith based in Cornwall,  makes copper vessels and boxes with different patinas. Her ‘concept of containment, domestic, ornamental or ceremonial has endless fascination for me.’ In her work, she used a combination of pewter and copper with no soldering involved in her processes; she uses stables, rivets and clasps to hold the pieces together.
I really resonated with the patinas that she uses. I recognise the salt, vinegar and ammonia patina, that shade of blue and the texture the salt leaves behind. I also love how organic her forms are and I can see my pieces sitting beside hers in a gallery. 
Jack Doherty is a ceramicist who’s studio is also in Cornwall and has evolved (or devolved) his practice into to working ‘with one clay body, one mineral and one single firing technique.’ He sees his pieces are figurative objects and explains that ‘anonymous and uncomplicated pots from pre history used for storage, cooking and protection can also function in other ways’. ‘He’s uses one clay, one coloring mineral and a single firing with soda’ his technique has simplified over time but has become more refined. The colour of his pots is achieved using copper. 
I love the use of copper on these pots as it really resembles a patina the colours are striking and I really like the patchiness and the seaming lack of control. 
Adaesi’s work is a bit more sculptural than than the other two but expresses fluidity through copper and brass. She uses hammers and steaks to form her sculptures from flat sheet and uses copper for its malleability and strength. 
Although our work may be very different, we use very similar metal working techniques and have the same reason to use copper instead of other materials. It shows how diverse copper can be and depending on what perspective you look at it, can transform into very different objects. 
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