This is what I have my students do when we want a bronze/patina look. We mix a squirt of acrylic burnt umber, a squirt of acrylic gold metallic paint (cheap craft paints). Thin the paint down to the consistency of skim milk. Before we apply it to the bisque ware I have the students soak their piece in water so the bisque ware doesn't absorb too much of the paint too fast and then wipe it off with a sponge or paper towel. Next we mix up a mixture of light blue green with whatever we have around and about the same consistency as the brown paint (skim milk). And apply that over the brown to give it that weathered patina look. I tell the students not to take too much of the green paint off and let it puddle in low areas of the sculpture. After it dries we go over the whole thing with shoe polish and buff it out to get a soft sheen. If the students wants a really high gloss I have acrylic floor stuff like Future (the kind you get at the grocery store) and the students can paint that on. Hope this is clear and helpful.
----- Original Message -----
From: Betsy Heeney
Sent: Sunday, November 02, 2003 7:01 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: shoepolish on bisqueware
I have high school students creating a self portrait frieze in clay. They created plaster mask molds (now that was an intriguing thread for me) and pressed clay into the inside of the mask and then attached their clay faces to a clay slab. We took a walking tour to a garden statuary business where they did sketches and took pictures to base their final designs. They want to make their friezes look like old stone. I know shoe polish on top of the bisque is one way to go, but when I tested the shoe polish it turns blue. (I've never done this before!). I also have a Amaco Buf and Rub sample kit but the colors are too colorful. I'd like to give them choices to create an "old" ancient look perhaps with patina effects that I don't think the over or under glazes will create. Has anybody gone for this effect before, and do you have any suggestions?