Patina refers to a coating that develops on the surface of an object when exposed to external elements like air and water. Most commonly thought of as a change that only happens to the surface, patination can occur on any object that is exposed to the elements.

In the case of bronze it also refers adding color to embellish the piece. Generally speaking chemical compounds are applied to the surface of the bronze and combined with heat to create the desired effect. Understanding how to create this effect is an art in and of itself requiring the artist to have a creative sensibility and a technical understanding of the chemistry involved.

We normally think of bronze as golden in color, but as you can see from the images almost any effect is possible including gold tones, blues, greens and reds. Surface textures can also be created that emulate stone, marble and even wood. In the case of bronze, the piece is generally heated before applying the patinas, but some might be applied cold. Finally, a clear wax coating is applied to enhance and preserve the patina.

If you have a question about how to care for your bronze, see our blog article “Restoring and Caring for Your Bronze”.