The allure of patina

I'm a sucker for patina...especially metal patina...how it ages and tarnishes and oxidizes...

And then I love the patina of old paper...the yellowing, the mottling, the deterioration...

I thought I would combine these two obsessions into one collage...

The patterns on old pieces of silverware are so beautiful...intricate and detailed...
The recipes from old cookbooks are a glimpse into a simpler time...
I set out to tell a story...

A stray board from the basement was cut into sections and each section was covered with a collection of recipe pages from well-loved cookbooks...

To soften the type, I added a gray paint wash followed by a wash of cream paint...dabbed on with a rag to enhance the texture...

Next I added some interest with text...

At first I was disappointed when I removed the vinyl letters and discovered that parts of the underlying recipe were removed as well...but as the paint dried...and I added a final wash of coffee (yes, coffee...it gives an instant aged effect), I liked the layers that appeared...
After two coats of wax, I attached the silverware...and a few numbered tags that I had made...

Each of the three pieces are a little different...

All three of these collages...and much more...will be for sale at next weekend's artist studio sale...I'll be joining encaustic artist Leslie West and several other artists at Leslie's Mercer Island home. 
The sale starts Thursday evening, Nov.1 and continues until 12 noon on Saturday, Nov. 3.  Details, including location and directions, can be found here...

I'd love to see you...and its not too early to be thinking about holiday gift giving...this season, give something handmade...


  1. Nice work, very nice, perfect even

    Do you spray a fixative over the collages?

  2. Those are to die for...I just love the patina you created on everyone of them!!

  3. I do like these...and I think I have some old spoons around. Might just have to "borrow" this idea myself...with a couple of touches that are all mine!

  4. These are just fabulous, Amy...I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THEM! Makes me want to sit down and create!

  5. OOOOooo, I LOVE this!!!
    I love everything silver, and patina is king!
    Or, queen... or Fabulous!
    I must try something like this one day. xox

  6. Patina, patina, patina......three words I love! Your patina works are wonderful. All the best to you at your sale. xo

  7. Beautiful pieces. I love these silverware pieces. The patina is beautiful, and loved seeing how you created these creations.

  8. Amy,

    These are brilliant! Love the technique and the reuse of vintage materials.

  9. such a cool idea! they turned out beautifully!!!

  10. Barbara Miranda10/28/2012 6:47 AM

    Beautiful. Patina is everything!
    I like your new page heading, too.

  11. These are so wonderful. Good luck at the sale...I am sure you will do very well!!

  12. Thank you for sharing your process. These turned out so well. I may have to give this a whirl!

  13. They are all so beautiful!


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