Any 'formulas' for what to add to l.sulfur for darkening it up? Have heard vague references to paints, ink & wood-ash..

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#1
I've got sooo much exposed deadwood on broadleafed trees, I know LS isn't the best approach but it works (most of my carvings are going to be re-carved later anyways as most were just rough-work to get stumpy areas out of the way, little of it is actually 'finishing carving'), anyways I've seen Harrington using wood-ash in a video and am wondering just how far you can take this technique, can't help but think that I could just work with tints and 'mottle' the wood with varying hues of grays to achieve an acceptable aesthetic finish, am interested in trying it for the time-being at least (still haven't found out which method, LS or burnishing with a torch, actually protects the wood better long-term...being that most of my garden is composed of bougainvilleas I'd be best off using whichever creates longer-lasting wood! Though with burnishing I'm still having trouble even understanding how one can actually treat the entire area of deadwood, right up to the living-tissue at is borders, and actually fully-burnish the deadwood without also burnishing the cambium at the edge of the deadwood..)

Thanks for any guidance here!! Have gotten new carving-accessories for my grinders and doing a lot of work here lately, need to get on-top of treating everything I carve though!!

[PS- Are there any basic carving endeavors that would be good to practice 3-dimensional carving? I've gotten enough time on my grinders that I don't think I can develop precision much more, however my ability to look at a large section of deadwood, one where it'd look awesome to remove 95% of it and leave-behind an awesome deadwood-feature, is lacking....actually it's worse than that, anything I try is just so bad it's funny, no I won't post as I don't even take pictures of the abominations I end up with when trying, on driftwood, to carve *anything* 3-dimensional! If anyone's got side-projects - like making a bowl, or a bat - that they think would be good for learning I'd love to hear! Have all the basic carving gear (big&small grinders, wire-wheels for the drill, etc) but can only do a good job on simple "1 dimensional' carving, cannot envision "left behind" features well enough to get even close to what I sketch-out before attempting them :/ ]


[edited-in: LS isn't considered a 'hardener' at all right? In re-reading Harrington's article on ash & LS, he ends it by mentioning how "the wood hardeners that were applied ensure that there is no rot and decay", despite there having been zero mention of hardeners in the 2 page article up til that mention (which was the last sentence), cannot help but think he's referring to either/both the LS and/or the wood-ash being a hardener.. article here: http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/AT Lime sulphur and Ash for Bonsai.html ]
 
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#2
FWIW I've begun messing-around and already found a few obvious things:

1. paint, alone, is insufficient, due to having incredibly uniform absorption into the wood (pre-wetted wood in all cases here, of course!) Would be useful as a solid/uniform 'background color' before applying a more 'mottled'/varied color

2. liquid ash is great for a varied-finish, on a freshly wire-brushed piece of deadwood it absorbed pitch-black in some crevices, and barely absorbed at all in other areas, and absorbed everywhere in-between everywhere else! Great for varied colors, but left enough brighter wood on its own, probably could use a background (watered-down paint could be it!)

3. LS, alone, seems to just cover-up these finishes. I've been experimenting in a way where I finish carving/wire-brushing, let it dry-out then wet it and start with the watered-ink or paint first, then apply a mixture of the paint or ink fluid & LS as the 2nd-coat, this seems to get rid of the blistering white that pure LS will have here otherwise..

Will be experimenting a few more times I expect but should have some pics of what worked/didn't work soon :) Any tips/tricks still greatly welcomed, just got my LS a month ago and this is my first time trying tints so am quite blind here!!
 
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#3
In one of the local thread it was suggested that you can crush the carbon part of the pencil into lime sulfur to make it more or less grey instead of bleached white.
 
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#4
Nothing beats the effect you get with weather and time😊

personally i find the stains and inks can look a little contrived.
 
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#5
Yeah I'm finding them to look contrived myself @BobbyLane, have been doing bright-white on a lot of tropical deciduous lol, looks silly but don't like leaving bougie deadwood untreated!

I need to get a new torch and try to get back into burnishing, can't help but wonder if there's a sulfur-with-dye + burnishing tech that'll get me right where I wanna be!
 

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