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I have long wondered about Swellegant. I thought I would like it because I love old, dark, rusty, grungy metal. I have a lot of metal I look at and wish it were darker or had more patina. However, there are some other ways to get different patinas that are more expedient, so I generally went with those since I am impatient. However, I have been working to become more patient, and Christi Friesen did a demo of Swellegants at the most recent Great Bead Extravaganza. So I took the plunge and ordered a Swellegant kit.

My experiments so far are very basic, but the hardest part for me is always getting started. I had to clean off a section of my desk (i.e. shove a bunch of stuff in a box) to make even a small space to work. But now that I’ve done a few things, it will make doing more experiments so much easier.

Large brass cuff with floral motif painted with white, green, and orange.

This is a cuff I had been trying to paint with some other patinas and it was just not working out. I thought perhaps I could make it look old and crusty. I painted it with the Iron metal coating and then used Tiffany/Rust so that it would get a rusty look.

I also tried the Iron and Tiffany/Rust combo on a couple of other things.

Cuff now looking rusted or leathery. Round bead and brass heart also looking weathered and a bit gloppy brown.

The cuff already looks better than I thought it would because I forgot I was supposed to put on the Tiffany/Rust while the last coating of Iron was still semi-wet. I also could have used more coatings of Iron for a more uniform look. It looks good on; I would wear it like this. It almost looks like leather. But I think I will work on it some more. Christi talks about how sometimes you need to get all artsy and tweak it before it is exactly what you want. The heart and round bead need a lot of tweaking. I’m looking forward to seeing what more I can do with these.

Four beads of two types. One of each bead is in original condition (patina silver and ridged brass) and the other is aged. The silver is green and rust and the ridged is very dark, almost black.

These show the original bead (I have multiples) on the right and after using Swellegant on the left. When I sanded the bead on top, silver came off to reveal brass. I used Tiffany/Rust and the brass bits turned green and the silver parts rusted. I like this look. On the gold bead I used Darkening patina. It turns very dark. I’ll have to see if I remove it sooner and perhaps rinse it off to stop the bloom a bit if I can make it slightly less dark. I still like it better than the bright bead, but I’d like a middle ground. I did sand it a bit and add some Violet dye oxide (after I took this photo) but you can’t see it well.

Two large ridged brass beads. The left one is plain brass. The right one has a soft green patina.

This is my favorite result. Tiffany on brass. Just classic verdigris looking patina. It looks so lovely and organic.

I look forward to many more Swellegant experiments over time.