Patina Options for Bronze Collectors

In this section of the gallery I want you to become aware of the possibilities laid before you when it comes to the patina used to enhance your bronze sculpture. Often times a bronze sculpture demands a certain kind of patina while at other times there might be multiple other choices of patina that might suit one bronze quite nicely. As the artist, Gibby applies one of what may be among many suitable possibilities. When ordering direct you may have the option to discuss with Gibby other patina options. With 20 years of experience, he can advise as what kinds of patinas are well suited for a given bronze. Some patinas might look great on one kind of sculpture while on another sculpture they might look dreadful.

Questions that should be asked are as follows:

  • What kind of look do I want for my home?
  • Will this patina compliment the look of this bronze?
  • Are there other patinas that will both compliment my home and the sculpture?
  • Which options do I like best?
  • Will this patina be durable in the setting that I have planned for it?

These are descriptions of the basic patina types with examples:

-Traditional Brown- A classic uniform brown patina that has slight variation of highlight to shadow. These are usually darker browns. In some cases they appear to be almost black. But up-close one can see deep rich color. These patinas are considered to be stable as long as regular maintenance is done. They are simple to apply and suitable for outdoors. These are transparent patinas, meaning that they allow the bronze metal to glimmer through the patina colors.

-French Brown- Similar to a traditional brown in that it they are uniform throughout the sculpture. However the chemical, ferric, is applied hotter and is built up to a greater concentration. Also the bronze is scrubbed back further prior to the ferric application to give more luminescence through the patina from the metal. The effect is a uniform, very warm looking brown patina and a lot of richness. These are transparent patinas. These are fairly stable patinas as long as the casting quality of the bronze doesn’t have porosity.

-Multi-brown- a patina that incorporates varying shades of brown in sections throughout the sculpture to emphasize the form of the sculpture. The variations in shade are achieved through the amount of scrubbing that occurs to the bronze prior to the ferric application. These patinas will have dark shades, light shades and any other shade in between. These are stable patinas and are suitable for outdoor applications. These are transparent patinas.

-Traditional Multicolor patinas- these patinas have a lot of variation from one bronze to the next and are limitless in options. They work on many bronze textures and styles. If you want a traditional patina but also want a unique look, you can explore the myriad of options within this genre. The characteristics of this patina are that they are uniform throughout surface of the sculpture. They are like tradition browns but also are enhanced with other chemicals and pigments to make the patina multicolor. Depending on the exact chemicals used, these patinas will vary in stability for outdoor applications. Some of the patinas have the potential of being the most suitable for stable outdoor settings because carefully selected colors can mimic the natural aging process of a bronze patina. Transparency varies from one patina to the next.

-Multicolor- These patinas are similar to multi-brown in that the varying colors are meant to section off the sculpture and emphasize form. The major difference is that varying colors, in addition to varying shades, are used to accomplish this. These patinas are often not as suitable for outdoor settings and may require more regular wax maintenance. These are both opaque and transparent patinas.

-Exotics- These patinas are generally reserved for very smooth bronzes to mimic marble or other stone textures. They may also be very flashy or extremely bright color. These patinas are usually the least stable and require a very strong exterior seal coat, like a boat resin, to make them suitable for outdoor use.

A patina can either enhance a bronze or detract from it. Let Gibby help you in deciding what kind of patina will set you sculpture of and have a long lasting life.