Raw, Unplated Pewter
Unplated, high-quality lead-free pewter has a glow that begs you NOT to cover it up! It does not tend to discolor or 'turn'. Many metals do tend to gather patina. Why doesn't lead-free pewter?
Brass is an alloy all its own, another type of metal altogether, with different properties.
The reason why *some* pewter goods darken is that they contain lead or a bunch of zinc in the alloy. This cuts cost, but yields a product that is often not very safe to wear and does not stay pretty. If you find 'pewter' or 'silver' castings and charms that are imported and very low in cost, you can almost be sure they are not pewter at all, but almost completely zinc. Vintage castings that look like pewter are more than likely very soft pot metal, and pot metal almost always contains lead.
Know your source and remember that you get what you pay for. The cheap imports on auction sites are not good product and no amount of covering up the metal will make them any better. Also the detail in the castings will lack definition and have rough edges. Do *you* want to wear lead charms? Do you want to use findings that are poorly made and look like copies of something else? Then you certainly would not want to put them on jewelry you are going to sell or give as gifts.
Jewelry produces only quality lead-free pewter, so their castings in the natural state are a lovely, soft silver color that shimmers. No one makes pewter filigree of so fine a quality or hollow castings that are smoothly done, like they do. They are masters in the art of casting pewter.
Sometimes, though, even in high quality raw pewter there is a bit of streaking that naturally occurs. How do you deal with that at home?
Most artisan designers are going to want to add color to this product with a variety of mixed-media materials. Just like plating, this will cover any streaking while adding your own unique designer touch to the B'sue by castings.
My first choice would be to use Swellegant products in much the same manner as I have instructed you to use it on brass or anything else. FIRST: Lay down a metal coat and let it cure, if you just want the look of metal. OR: if you would like to raise patina, add some Swellegant patina to *wet* metal coat (don't let it dry if you want patina, just put it right on top, dripping it from a sponge).
You might also like to drip on some color with Swellegant dye oxides. As Christi Friesen, the developer of the Swellegant line says, just play with it!
We still carry some Swellegant basics here at B'sue Boutiques, but if you would like to see a more complete line or buy Swellegant in kits, visit Christi here: Swellegant at christifriesen.com
Other products you might like to try using would be the Ranger-Vintaj inks, the new Testor Acrylic paints, alcohol inks, or Gilder's Paste made into a thick paint by chopping it up and adding a few drops of mineral spirits.
Be sure to seal all of your cured, paint/ink/patina'd pewter pieces with matte sealant. I recommend Swellegant Clear Coat or matte spray lacquer. If you use resin, you will probably get the look of enamel, so keep that in mind. Use a good two-part resin product and avoid Diamond Glaze, in this case. Diamond Glaze sometimes reacts to plated finishes, creating unsightly bluing. At this time I have not tried the UV light resins on this product, but I'll report my findings when I do. Til then, if you try them, you're on your own!
The pieces least likely to show any streaking at all would be the ones with a great deal of texture, such as filigree.
NOTE: Pewter is a sturdy metal that has been used in costume jewelry findings for decades. However, it responds quickly to heat.
DO NOT EVER use a torch on it, it will melt into a puddle! You will also want to avoid heat-setting any mixed media colorant on pewter as heat could soften it. A common household blow dryer on the LOW setting would be okay, but please! NO hot heat guns and NEVER any torches. Sunlight is not hot enough, so if it gets left in a hot car, you're fine.
We've added the line in raw unplated pewter for the same reason we carry raw, unplated brass. We love to experiment and we know that you do, too!
SO......experiment! Just stay away from direct, very high heat.
Expect some new videos soon on colorization of raw pewter findings at the B'sue Boutiques YouTube channel.
**Please note: all castings in the B'sue by 1928 line are
copyright-protected. Use them to make jewelry or anything else
in your art, any way you wish. It is not necessary for you to reveal
the resource for the components. Be as creative as you like with your
designs using this line, and it's fine sell your work!
BUT: None of these pieces may be reproduced
whether in polymer clay, precious metal clay, resin or any other media,
including pewter. Molds may never be made and offered for resale.
The pieces may never be reproduced and resold as components for
profit in other media or in pewter or other metals. Thank you so
much for understanding!**