An investigation into chemical processes for colouring pewter and their creative application.
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Abstract This research project offers new knowledge in the field of artificial patination and extends the application of colour to metals that have previously not been exploited for their colouring properties, specifically pewter and its main constituent, tin. The investigation defines, refines and applies new and evolved processes and techniques that provide novel opportunities for both craft and industry through the development of new products, particularly jewellery and tableware items. The thesis details the actions taken to substantiate the hypothesis that pewter and tin may be coloured by chemical means. This includes the interpretation, exploitation and creative application of developed processes to the design and production of new works. It also discusses the research method applied and the rationales that have informed decision making. The research project is reviewed in separate chapters discussing each phase of the investigation. These phases are: The selection, testing and analysis of chemical colouring processes within the workshop and laboratory. Investigation into working properties of the coloured material and surface pattern development. The creative application of outcomes from the above two phases to new works. Evaluation of the research outcomes in relation to creative practice and their potential for wider commercial application The chemical exploration and design development phases of the research have been conducted in association with the International Tin Research Institute (ITRI Ltd) and the manufacturing industry, which has confirmed the validity of results. The model of collaboration adopted and associated outcomes are also discussed. Finally, the thesis considers the impact of the research outcomes on the material, creative practice and implications for further investigation including the potential for wider commercial application of the patination procedures developed.