What is a patina? This term is typically used to describe the greenish or brown film on the surface of various metals such as copper, brass, and bronze. The colour and texture is produced by exposure and oxidation over a long period of time. Common examples are the beautiful copper roofs of churches and government buildings which have slowly transformed from their shiny new copper finish to the aged, iconic green or “verdigris” colour.
A large part of my artistic process relies on the oxidative properties of copper to create colour and texture. However, instead of waiting years and years to observe these chemical changes, I use stronger patinas to expedite the process. Some of these chemical concoctions remain a trade secret, while others are as common as household vinegar, and other mild acids.
The copper in the image above has been left to oxidize in a well ventilated room for about a week using various chemical formulas. When I’m happy with the results, I seal the copper with a few coats of clear lacquer in order to preserve the colour and texture.
The result is a very unique patina. Rich in various blue tones, with a bit of turqoiuse scattered throughout. Almost glacial-like.