February 13, 2012

ARTCRAFT | Patinating

Hello and welcome to the second of our articles covering artistic craft.

Today's article is going to be about patina that artists are using to refine bronze sculptures. Marian Gołogórski will be giving some advices on how to apply a patina on sculptures.

You'll also see some masterfully crafted pieces from Marian Gołogórski's workshop along with the beautiful examples of his patinated sculptures.

Marian Gołogórski | Wandering friend of L. R. | bronze sculpture | 2010

What's a patina then?
Click to read after the fold!

From the chemical point of view, patinating is a natural process of oxidating the metal. The colour of the patina depends on the color of the metal oxide that creates on the surface of the sculpture.
Some fear the process of natural patination, thinking of it as of a corrosive process.

In fact, it's quite the contrary – patination creates a natural barrier protecting the sculpture from further corrosion. If you want to read more about how patina protects the sculptures and what are the colours of different patinas, you can do it here.

But what does it have to do with artistic craft?
Well, artists and metalworkers often add patinas as part of their original designs, creating additional depth and color in their works.

Marian Gołogórski | Wandering friend of L. R. | bronze sculpture | 2010

Marian Gołogórski patinates all of his bronze sculptures. To do it, he uses water-solved sulfides (potassium polysulfide, in particular) he applies onto surface of previously acid-etched and polished sculpture.

Bronze darkens after a couple of minutes.
Marian Gołogórski | Unleashed birds | bronze sculpture
When the surface gets the desired colour, the bronze has to be rinsed and dried. Marian Gołogórski then covers the bronze with heated bee wax. After the wax dries up, he polishes the surface to bring out the highlights on the metal and differ raw metal from patinated parts.

Marian Gołogórski | Unleashed birds | bronze sculpture
Marian Gołogórski patinates his scupltures using this technique. Although it's possible to purchase ready patinas that can be applied to metal sculptures, these aren't very durable and might flake off.

As for a word of advice from master sculptor, Marian Gołogórski suggests it's actually better to stick to classical methods of patinating. Or just let the natural patina form by itself (as you can see in the picture below).

That's all for this post!
Thank you for reading and see you in the next post from ArtCraft column!


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