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WHAT IS PATINA?

A vision by Juan Diego
A vision by Juan Diego

Patination is the process by which bronze sculpture or metalwork can change colors. This is the chemical process of adding a thin layer of chemicals, which oxidizes the surface of the bronze work. This process then causes a color change.

One of the most influential processes on a sculpture, and creativity, might be the patina. Most people don’t know how I add color to a statue, or that it’s even possible! Thanks to the bronze patina, I can add an added dimension to my sculptures through color.

Chemicals determine the color of the bronze patina

The type of chemical used determines the color that the bronze sculpture becomes! Cuprite is a chemical that can penetrate the pores of the sculpture. It creates a beautifully rich red on the sculpture. For black or brown coloring, Copper Sulfide is used.

Color can be naturally added to the bronze sculpture due to exposing the art to natural elements. Corrosion of the metal can cause a natural patina that can show up in colors ranging from brown to blue-green as oxidation occurs. Adding colors to bronze sculptures is so interesting!

When I patina my bronze sculptures, I work with a skilled artist who understands the chemicals to use as well as the level of heat that is needed to penetrate the bronze.  “Our Lady of Guadalupe” uses many different colors to recreate the historic painting accurately. This patina artist used a torch and added the oxidizers at a head of over 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bronze Patina adds interest, depth, and dimension to sculptures

I love adding patina to sculptures to create a more realistic and detailed artwork. The colors and hues on a bronze sculpture not only add depth and dimension, but a level of realism that ensures the highest quality of artwork for my clients.

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