So, back when I made these, I was really looking for a different bag of components that I had set aside as being the best of my experiments (thus far) with the Vintaj Big Kick machine and patinas. Since then, I found the right bag and although I haven't made the pieces into designs yet, I thought I'd at least share the results of the embossing and patina experimentation.
The Big Kick machine is super easy to use and (now that we have a) Hobby Lobby...I can readily get my hands on blanks, patinas, etc. to use with it instead of having to always wait for mail order. It's a MUCH nicer, cleaner, more organized and helpful place to shop than Michael's, too. My only gripe is the "closed on Sundays" thing since that is often the day that I have time to play and thus usually the day that I need replacement supplies.
My only gripe about the Big Kick system is that I wish there were more of the Deco Etch and Deco Emboss plates - maybe a 2-3 new designs per year or something. I'd especially like to see an ocean-themed version with maybe some shells and a cute seahorse or wave design.
I found the patinas really easy to work with and I like that they give more opaque coverage than alcohol inks. The intensity of the colors is great and the way you can mix them with the glaze to create a "wash" effect without diluting the actual color is terriffic - especially with the metallics. Super-easy-to-follow how-to videos on YouTube really taught me a lot. Back when I did all this during Christmas Break of 2012, I just took my iPad on vacation with me and was able to watch the videos at the table while I had all the supplies out so it was almost like having a private, follow-along lesson.
This is the first technique video I followed. I want to say is was called "faux lalique" but since the colors used don't seem to having anything to do with what I think of as Lalique, I'm probably not remembering correctly. Anyway, these are blanks that I ran through the Big Kick to emboss the flower and leaf designs. Then the patinas are a base of green, turquoise and maybe rust. Once that dries (which you can speed up by using a heat tool - same is is used in rubber stamping to heat embossing powders), you sand it a little bit with the Vintaj reliefing block to brink up the highlights and then you mix a couple of the metallic shades with the glaze and do a wash over the top. The glaze mixture retreats from the high areas and pools in the lower areas. A little more sanding and you're done. If you use the patinas alone, you will need to seal the final results with the glaze or a spray sealer to keep the results. However, if you've mixed the glaze in with your final coat (as in this example), you've already sealed your piece.
I think this is my favorite of all the techniques I learned from the YouTube videos - faux pewter. The birds, rings and bead caps are all purchases shapes from the Vintaj line. The rectangular blanks have been run through the Big Kick to emboss that design.
Here's a closeup of the birds.
The dimpled texture on these rings really holds the glaze well - these are going to look great in a pair of earrings!
This is a color-way that I made up myself...using my favorite shades of turquoise, green and blue with a few touches of gold.
The dragonflies are purchased components from the Vintaj line. I love the way the gold highlights of the metal come back once you sand and polish the finish with the reliefing block.
These leaves were also purchased from the Vintaj line.
If you already have alcohol inks, you may not want to go out and buy an entirely new line of patinas, but if you've never delved into the world of patinas at all, this is a great place to start.
On the other hand, if you're someone who likes to collect and try "one of everything" (as one of my dear friends used to say), then in addition to alcohol inks and Vintaj patinas, you should also check out the "Color Me This" patinas from Metal Me This on Etsy and Christi Friesen has a line of patinas called "Swellegant" that produces some beautiful effects as well.
I did a lot more experimentation with various metal coloring techniques over this past weekend so watch for upcoming posts on those results!