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Metal Patinas

Historical introduction

The patina or coloring of sculptures, artistic or decoration objects is a process used since the beginning of the production of art or utilitarian objects, although it is difficult, in the case of older objects, to determine whether the coloring was applied manually or the coloring was owed over time.

Especially in non-ferrous alloys, where it is difficult for artisans to maintain the original colors of the metal, which, as in the case of bronze, darkens in a matter of days when placed outdoors, or simply by the touch of the hands and the deposit of dust.

Antique Chinese Bronze patina green
Antique Chinese Bronze

Application Processes and Metals

It would be extensive to put here all the patina application processes, all ferrous and non-ferrous materials as well as the huge range of colors that can be obtained.

Especially because the type of patina application always depends on the size of the object, the type of material and the way of application.

For example, applying a “Red” patina to a piece of jewelry is completely different from applying the same color to an outdoor sculpture 3 meters high.

The same chemical formula of a “Green” patina can have different shades in a piece with a smooth surface and in a textured sculpture.

In summary, patinas can be applied to ferrous metals such as steel, stainless steel or non-ferrous metals such as copper, aluminum, brass, silver and of course bronze!

There are different application techniques, such as patinas by hot or cold immersion, application by brush, by aerosol, by burial, among several other processes.

Roofs building Patina green
Roofs building Patinated.

Roofs building Patinated.

Patina Conservation

Once the Patine are completed, they must be preserved over time.

All sculptures, after patinated, take a layer of protection, which can range from Vaseline, beeswax, or various types of synthetic varnish.

Sculptures that indoors tend to retain their original color for longer than a sculpture that is outdoors exposed to atmospheric elements.

From time to time, the sculptures should be cleaned to make them shine and small impurities that can react with the metal to form unsightly stains on the surface.

Roofs building Patina green
Roofs building Patinated.

Roofs building Patinated.

Patinas: Where to apply

When talking about Patinas, we are not always talking about bronze sculptures.

As we have seen above there are different types of metals where they can be applied.

Therefore, in addition to sculptures, patinas can be applied to pieces of jewelry, furniture elements such as tables, chairs, furniture, or architectural elements, starting for example with gargoyles and more contemporary elements such as coverings on building facades.

Patina decorative  functional objects bronze
Patine applied to decorative or functional objects.

Our Patinas

In our foundry workshop we can apply various types of patinas with different colors and different working methods.

The methods most used by us are the direct application of hot or cold chemical solutions through brushing or aerosol.

Each foundry has its own patinas and application methods that it develops over time. So, it's almost impossible to replicate Patinas from other Art Foundries.

Especially because, in obtaining the color, the base material also counts a lot, since patina is usually a chemical reaction on Bronze (in our case) different alloys can result in different results.

In our atelier we have our own recipes for patinas, which result from a mixture of various chemical products, pigments and different application techniques, resulting in a wide range of different colors.

The patinas are applied in a specific space in the workshop, and the sculptor can watch the application of the patina on his sculpture.

For those who wish to learn, we also provide support so that the patina can be applied by the sculptor himself in our workshop.

Many sculptors choose to spend the day with us trying out various types of skates on their sculptures until they are satisfied.

Patine building facades green brown
Patine applied to building facades

Patine building facades green
Patine applied to building facades

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