Simple and chic, this bracelet gets the bright blue color from a natural patina on naked brass.
Using your hands, gently bend the scarab to shape, fitting it against your wrist or a bracelet mandrel to check the curve.
To create the patina, carefully wash the scarab with dish soap to clean the surface. Any oils, even from hand lotion, will affect the patina. We created this turquoise-blue patina on naked brass by exposing the metal to ammonia. There are two ways to do this, but be warned, they are each smelly in their own way!
A readily available source of ammonia in your home is your cat’s litter box. Bury your scarab in the litter box and allow it to sit for at least 48 hours. When you change the litter you can retrieve and wash the scarab. This will produce a variable and layered blue patina on naked brass.
A second way to expose the metal to ammonia fumes is by soaking a paper towel in ammonia and then placing it in an air-tight container with the metal. Do not allow the metal and the paper towel to touch. Keep the container closed. The fumes from the ammonia will darken the brass and after several days you will see a bit of blue emerge. You can speed this process up by heating the metal in a torch flame or the flame of a gas stove before putting it in the container with the ammonia fumes.
After you have created your desired patina you will need to seal it with a nice thin coating of Renaissance Wax. This will stop the color from changing and will sharpen the details on the scarab. Apply the wax with a clean bit of cloth in very thin layers. Allow the wax to dry for one hour before proceeding with your project.