For those who are new to this business it may be worth starting to answer a simple question: what do we mean by Patina?
#Patina is a thin layer that variously forms on the surface of copper, bronze and similar metals.
On metal, patina is a coating of various chemical compounds such as oxides, carbonates, sulfides, or sulfates formed on the surface during exposure to atmospheric elements.
This is the technical answer, while on the art’s point of view, the patina is what makes a sculpture a unique piece of art
Artists and metalworkers often deliberately add patinas as a part of the original design and decoration of art and furniture, or to simulate antiquity in newly made objects a process that is often called “distressing”.
A wide range of chemicals, both household and commercial, can give a variety of patinas.
They are often used by artists as surface embellishments either for color, texture, or both.
Patination composition varies with the reacted elements and these will determine the color of the patina: for copper alloys, such as bronze, exposure to chlorides leads to green, while sulfur compounds (such as “liver of sulfur”) tend to brown.
The basic palette for patinas on copper alloys includes chemicals like ammonium sulfide (blue-black), liver of sulfur (brown-black), cupric nitrate (blue-green) and ferric nitrate (yellow-brown).
For artworks, patination is often deliberately accelerated by applying chemicals with heat.
Colors range from matte sandstone yellow to deep blues, greens, whites, reds and various blacks.
Some patina colours are achieved by the mixing of colors from the reaction with the metal surface with pigments added to the chemicals.
Sometimes the surface is enhanced by waxing, oiling, or other types of lacquers or clear-coats.
More simply the French sculptor Auguste Rodin used to instruct assistants at his studio to urinate over bronzes stored in the outside yard to get the final effect he wanted, but there is no more real need to do that in modern times.
A patina can be produced on copper by the application of vinegar (acetic acid) and this patina will be water-soluble and will not last on the outside of a building like a “true” patina, that’s why It is usually used as pigment.
Patina is also found on slip rings and commutators.
This type of patina is formed by the corrosion caused by the elements the air might hold, residue from the wear of the carbon brush and moisture; thus, the patina needs special conditions to work as intended.
Patinas can also be found in woks or other metal baking dishes, which form when properly seasoned. The patina on a wok is a dark coating of oils that have been burned onto it to prevent food sticking and to enhance the flavor of the foods cooked in it. Steaming foods or using soap on a wok or other dishware could damage the patina and possibly allow rust.
Knife collectors that own carbon steel blades, sometimes force a patina onto the blade to help protect it and give it a more personalized look.
This can be done using various chemicals and substances such as muriatic acid, apple cider vinegar, or mustard and it can also be done by sticking the blade into any acidic vegetable or fruit such as an orange or an apple.
Prince Henrik is an artist, but not only an artist.
He is a poet, a sculptor and a diplomat.
He was born in France, where he studied and formed his knowledge and culture, at the renowned Sorbonne in Paris.
But Henrik left France and went to live in the beautiful country of Denmark, because of a special girl, a girl that stole his heart, a girl that was destined to a great future.
There, he married Margarete, the beloved Queen of this creative and lively country, in the Church of Holmen in June the 10 of some years… ago.
The royal couple has been living happily since then and has given birth to two sons, Crown Prince Frederik (born 1968) and Prince Joachim (born 1969), but this is another story…a story that everybody knows and loves.
The story we want to tell today is a different one, is the story of Prince Henrik the artist, who after retiring from his many diplomat chores, has chosen our foundry to cast this beautiful work evocative of an elegant mermaid overlooking the bay, reminding sailors of Ulysses’s long lasting travels and adventures
Henrik is also a poet and it is under this hat that he published various collected poems in French such as the Chemin faisant (1982), Cantabile (2000), Les escargots de Marie Lanceline (2003), Murmures de vent (2005), Frihjul (Roue-Libre, 2010), Fabula (2011), La part des anges (2013), and Dans mes nuits sereines (2014).
His works influenced other artists, musicians and poets and “The symphonic suite Cantabile” by Frederik Magle is based on Henrik’s poetry collection Cantabile and was premiered by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra at two concerts celebrating Henrik’s 70th and 75th birthdays in 2004 and 2009.
This is how Henrik described the art of poetry: “I see poetry as an opportunity for immersion in a superficial time dominated by news and entertainment that makes us rootless and restless.
Poetry takes us closer to the true nature of the world; in poetry we can approach the eternal questions such as love, loneliness and death.”
Henrì de Laborde de Monpezat
Fonderia Mariani has been a proud partner of the Brian Mercer Residencies Program that provides artists with a residency working program in the best art locations of the world to allow the artist to work and live in an artistic environment where his or her talent may express at its best, with the best materials and the most modern techniques.
The Royal British Society is “Committed to the pursuit of excellence in the art form” and its aim is to inspire, inform and engage people with sculpture/three dimensional art.
It supports sculptors by providing bursaries to newly emergent sculptors, professional development seminars, a mentoring scheme and a growing number of awards and residencies.
The RBS was Established in 1905, and this makes it the oldest organization devoted to sculpture in Uk, as a not-for-profit company (83239) and is a membership society of 600 + professional sculptors.
In 2017 the program was awarded to Stephen Duncan, an artist that works in portraiture, figures and images from architecture using cast stone, bronze, polymers, gilding and not only.
His biography boasts of awards from the University Of The Arts research awards, the Rome Award In Sculpture, the Critics Prize at the Milan MIART and he has been writing for journals on contemporary art.
Duncan’s work has been already exhibited widely in the UK and Italy in exhibition and performance collaborations and it’s characterized by the use of casts from acanthus leaves to form life size images of the figure, architecture, and domestic objects in sculpture, drawing, and printmaking.
Public commissions and installations of the Gods, Angels and Prophets sculpture series have included the British Museum, London Transport, the National Trust, universities, cathedrals, libraries, local authorities, and sculpture parks.
Duncan has been working with Fonderia Mariani for a while and various of his pieces were born here.
The works that Duncan created under the umbrella of the Brian Mercer Residencies program were both bronze casting pieces and glass casting pieces that were presented to the public on December the 6th in London in an exhibition that will last until February the 2nd.
“Goddess”, is the title of this beautiful glass casting piece that was created, some months ago at Fonderia Artistisca Mariani, thanks to a long lasting experimenting process that is bringing this technique closer to contemporary art.
THE ROYAL BRITISH SOCIETY AND THE BRIAN MERCER RESIDENCIES PROGRAM
After some silence, also because of the summer vacancy, I come back with a post to say many things.
first of all a big thank you to all our friends on Facebook, because in few weeks we reach 5000 friends, with a lot of requests still coming; I’m really happy of that, even if, not being a Facebook expert, I don’t know very well how to upgrade our profile to go over 5000 friends. But I will find a solution.
Anyway THANK YOU VERY MUCH to all our friends.
My family and friend in a typical danish restaurant in Fredriksberg, from left: Monica, Lars, Adolfo, little Anna and Cristina.
In this summer vacancy we went to Fredriksberg, in Denmark, to visit some of our good friends. It is a nice place, i can suggest you to visit the zoo and the king’s gardens, where you can find also some beautiful exemplars of red squirrel jumping from and running on the oak trees.
In the meantime, in Pietrasanta, opened a very interesting exhibition: Dark Optimism, by David Linch . You can find it at Palazzo Panichi where are collected some of the photos and lithography of the famous artist and film director.
In the same exhibition you can find also some not yet published short films that he realized for advertising or the music industry. the show opened the 23rd of august and will close the 14th of september, so if you are near you still have some few days to visit.
After two weeks of vacancy we are back to work, I hope you have enjoyed your summer vacancy, let me know with some comments !
a wax model by Gustavo Aceves
One of the more frequently asked question for us is: which material i must use to make my model ? there is a short answer and a long answer. the short one is : every material hard enough to make a mould out of it. In any case if it is too soft there is a good chance that we can use some substance that will harden it so no problem anyway.
the long answer is the following. We can roughly divide models in two category : burnable and non burnable. from the burnable ones (soft wood, wax, some kind of paper , some kind of gum) we can obtain a direct casting , in other words we can attach some sprue on it, cover it by ceramic and proceed on the production like it is wax. Some customers prefer this because it is a little more money saving (you don’t have to do a mould and wax making), but the disadvantage is that you can only do a copy of your work and in any case can happen, not often but it can be, that the cast goes wrong, so you will loose model and sculpture in one time. another problem is that burnable material are often good only for little models.
Anyway even from the burnable materials you can obtain a mould and begin from that, thing that you have to do for sure with the non burnable materials. The non burnable materials have some advantage and some disadvantage, let’s see some:
plaster: it is the more classical material you can use; you can brake and repair it in case you have for doing the mould and you can work till you obtain a very fine surface, but is sensible to water so you have to imbue it with linen oil or some other substances that can preserve it if you want to preserve the model in the long therm
clay: also a very good and classic material to do mould out of it, but if you don’t cook it will crackle drying (an effect that some customers like)
plasticine: very good also, in the short time it will not harden so it will be sensible to physical touch , in the long therm it will crackle and often became musty, also, some rubber you can use for moulds don’t harden because of the content of sulfur in it, but you can fin it also without sulfur.
paper mache: very interesting material, but also very sensible to humidity, you will have for sure to protect it with some paint before to begin the moulding
wood, cooked clay, glass, plastic, ceramic, stone: all this material are eligible for doing moulds out of them but they all have the same problem: if you have to cut them to make the mould often the fixing is not invisible
fabric, gum, foam: they are good material but too soft, they need to be imbue or sprayed with some substances (generally wax or resin) that will harden it, but also will change forever the soft nature of the model….
a laquered plaster model by Theo Mackaay
Yes , it don’t exist a perfect material to make a model intended to be cast in metal, the only perfect one is the one that permit the sculptor to obtain the esthetic result he /she want. So in the end : the perfect material is YOUR perfect material , leave to us the rest of the problems.
In occasion of the 450th anniversary of the death of Michelangelo Buonarroti the Visual Arts Center (C.A.V.) in collaboration with the municipality of Pietrasanta organized a new exhibition of modern art called “shadow dust and a promise of future”, of which you can see some images in this page.
Very interesting , for me, is the group of artists that is represented , coming from different cultures and using different techniques to represent the relationship between shape, essence and light. Into this exhibition you can find figurative, conceptual, abstract art all focused in the same direction.
Highly recommended if you are nearby and even if you are far from here. It make a big impression on me even if, i must confess, this time none of the pieces in show are made by our foundry but hey, none is perfect , you know.
The exhibition take place from today saturday 26th july to 14th september, open from 19.00 (7 pm) to 24.00 (0 am) (closed on monday)