Tramp Art church cupboard finished at last.

Tramp art church cupboardIn my previous post I talked about how I used tin and wood to make this church influenced tramp art cupboard.  At that time I was satisfied with the way the tin accents worked with the tramp art carved cupboard, but did not like how shiny the whole piece looked. I wanted to feel the influence of the weathered roofs and walls of the churches and cathedrals of England and France, that feeling of both resistance and decay battling for command. What I had was what looked to me like an Erector Set project gone wierd. It took several attempts to finish this cupboard. I couldn't seem to come up with a combination of finishes or treatments to get the patina I wanted on the metal. I started out trying to get a nice rusty look using salt water and time. But that was taking way to long and not getting the level of rust that I wanted.  So I switched to diluted ferric chloride and man did that take care of the problem. It ate the tin off of the base metal in swathes. It actually did more damage than I wanted and I ended up with a very dull brown box with tarnished tin.  tramp art church top closeup

I have had several colors of bronzing powders in the paint cupboard since some time in the late 80's. They give a really nice metallic finish and are easy to work with once you figure out how much binder you want to mix in to the powders. 

Gold was the first color I used and I thought I had completely ruined the thing. I hated it. So I started throwing green and blue (yep, the old load the brush and fling it technique) at it and things started happening.

You can see here how the colors and layers worked over the punched designs in the tin and wood. The brown is actually a little darker that what you see. The green, blue and gold metals, along with the corroded tin and wood work well together.

Overall I am happy with the results. Somehow my wife's first comment on seeing the end result was that it looked like a forest from a distance. ???  Oh, and it was her idea to put the ball feet on the box. That detail really lightened up the feel of the whole cupboard. Before that it seemed kind of flabby and bottom heavy.

This project helped me start learning some metal working techniques that are new for me, along with using the punchs to incise the wood.  I can definitely see using these ideas in future projects.  If you are interested in this piece it will be listed on my Etsy site.