What is Flame Painting?

We talk about the flame painted coloring on our creations a lot. But what the heck is it?

Flame painting adds a patina to the metal (primarily steel for our creations) and changes the color of the metal through a natural chemical process.

Quick science lesson: Heating steel triggers a chemical reaction between iron and oxygen that creates a think oxide layer on the metal. The thickness of the oxide layer determines the colors produced. The coloring develops in the 400º to 700º range, with the lowest temperature creating a light straw color and hottest temperature creating a dark green. If the temperature gets too hot, the resulting color is gray.

To recap, flame painting is an intentional controlled heating of the metal with a torch to bring out a range of vibrant colors based on the temperatures reached.

The coloring will be different each time, depending on the temperatures reached, how the heat transfers through the metal as other areas are heated, and the composition of the metal itself.

That coloring also looks different depending on the lighting in which the creation is viewed.

We photograph our creations in either natural sunlight or in a professional photo light box, which highlights the coloring far more than in the regular incandescent lighting inside your home.

As you can see in the unedited picture of the exact same horseshoe heart, the coloring is drastically different depending on the lighting. (Kind of like how a diamond sparkles way more at the jewelry store than in everyday lighting.)


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