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  #1  
Old 08-09-2012, 06:05 AM
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ajoysisk ajoysisk is offline
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Graphite Powder Patina

Hello, All:

Years ago, one of my instructors used graphite powder on fired clay and plaster pieces to create a quick, dark, metallic finish to the work. I have tried without success to locate the recipe or procedure. Can one simply rub the powder into the surface of the sculpture? I seem to recall mixing it with something and brushing it on. I assume sealing it afterwards would be a good idea, too? If anyone has done this and wouldn't mind sharing the process, I would be much obliged.

Kind regards,

AJS
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2012, 07:17 AM
Mack Mack is offline
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Re: Graphite Powder Patina

I used to use different mettalic powders on finished plaster pieces way back when and I can't recall what the medium was either that I mixed them with and then brushed them on. I'm thinking that maybe it was a clear lacquer which would be absorbed into the plaster leaving the powder affixed to the surface. I remember using graphite though and it did make a good looking patina on the plaster.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:59 AM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Re: Graphite Powder Patina

A couple of things, about the graphite.

IT IS VERY MESSY, COVER YOUR WORK SURFACE WITH DISPOSABLE MATERIAL. and were gloves and a outer coverall.

You can mix it with what ever solvent vehicle you like, it should be compatible with the clear/sealer you are planing on using.

You can apply it dry,by rubbing it in/on. It will be very messy and a little bit will spread for what seems for ever.

And a sealer is a must, as it will transfer to most items that touch it.

Do a small test batch and try it with what ever solvent vehicle you use. I do know that with water and oil it will mix up to a smooth creamy paintable mixture. Just a side note, depending on the type of oil that is used. The drying time can change from soon to never really dry.

When buying graphite, make sure you are buying pure graphite, as some of the new and improved graphite lube products contain other synthetic enhancers, and fillers.

I worked in a school and we had a new young art teacher that remembered a mention on a cheap and easy patina, using graphite. She had found a box in a cabinet, and thought she could save some supplies. By having the kids (elementary) use it on their plaster castings. Well it was a disaster there was graphite on every thing, and everybody. It took days for the parents to get it of the kids hands and bodies.
It can and will stain some fabrics.
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glen
been there done that !
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and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2012, 04:17 PM
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ajoysisk ajoysisk is offline
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Re: Graphite Powder Patina

Thank you both! I don't recall a mess; perhaps there is a wise way to mix it with a fluid. I will experiment. Thanks again for the feedback. I appreciate it!
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  #5  
Old 08-11-2012, 05:50 PM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Re: Graphite Powder Patina

Well I think it is all in the way it is handled, and the age of the humans involved as the were the younger ages. We used it back in the day mixed with oil to coat the asbestos boiler manhole(the PC version is now Peoplehole, I kid you, not I wish I would have kept the directive form HR) and handhole gaskets. It was called sue-gee if enough was put onthe asbestos gaskets wouldn't stick to either rims.
It can get messy, and it seems to go down hill from there
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glen
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and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2013, 09:37 PM
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Chris_Johns Chris_Johns is offline
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Re: Graphite Powder Patina

A good way to do this is to mix the graphite with a wax polish suitable for the intended application. Something like renaissance Wax works well. Simply mix the graphite powder with the wax thoroughly, the easiest way to do this to on a flat surface with a pallet knife. The more graphite you add the more metallic the finish will be. The graphite tends to dry out the wax a bit so you might want to add either a bit of solvent or a drying oil (tung oil, linseed oil, penetrol etc) to loosen it up a bit.

This will give a wax paste which can be applied to almost any surface and buffed to a metallic shine without requiring any sealer or top coat. It's also very good for bringing out surface texture and sculpted detail.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:54 PM
rika rika is offline
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Re: Graphite Powder Patina

That sounds good, Chris. I'd love to see a piece finished this way. Any pics, links etc.?
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  #8  
Old 09-14-2013, 05:29 PM
raspero raspero is offline
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Re: Graphite Powder Patina

I can't wait to try it. I am making just the thing to put that on. The head of Anubis. He is in clay right now, in the final stages. I will be pouring him in bronze in maybe a month.



R
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2013, 01:25 PM
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Chris_Johns Chris_Johns is offline
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Re: Graphite Powder Patina

Quote:
Originally Posted by rika View Post
That sounds good, Chris. I'd love to see a piece finished this way. Any pics, links etc.?
This is quite a good example



In this case the graphite wax is applied over steel which has been rusted and sealed with tung oil. You can see how light buffing brings out the surface texture with bright highlights and black background.

Another example is a more traditional use on a cast iron relief sculpture



This illustrates the effect of applying it to different surfaces, in this case the texture of the as-cast background achieved quite a high build up of the wax, producing a darker colour and on the polished surfaces it generates a much lighter surface lustre.
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