A patina is a layer of colour, usually green, that has developed naturally on bronze metals depending on the amount of copper in the alloy. This happens particularly when the metal has been exposed to the air for a significant amount of time so it is often associated with historical landmarks of bronze, ancient sculptures or reliefs, and other pieces of legacy. As a result, patinas have come to be emblems of legitimacy, nostalgia and even power.
The original Latin term patina meant “shallow dish or plate” and signifies this uppermost later on a metal piece. Technically speaking, it doesn’t need only to refer the typical green layers that can develop over time but can just be a darkening.
Due to the fact that bronze is still widely used today and its popularity with clients has never slowed down, the question of patinas is ever-present. Bronze offers variety in terms of design capabilities and typefaces, and ultimately, establishes a prominence in the finished product. With patinas being (or not being) part of this final process, it is yet another custom option that you have to set your projects apart.
There are chemical processes which exist that can mimic the creation of patinas (also known as “distressing”) and which have been perfected by Behrends Foundry. These processes can be requested to give even a brand new sign the look of a weathered, but regal or timeless piece.
At the same time, sometimes the natural processes of patinas are not desired and people do not want the look of their signage plaques or statues to change over time. It is a thing of the past that the process of layering that comes from exposure to the air is guaranteed to happen. Just as there are processes to mimic the creation of patinas, so too are there processes to prevent it from happening all together. This technique ensures that your plaque will always retain its look from its first installation.
Bronze is believed to be one of the few things that will outlive our human civilizations of the future and with the technology we have today, it could mean that your bronze items stay roughly the same in appearance from now until thousands of years from now.