Care of Your Bronze Sculpture

The colors that have been applied to your bronze sculpture are accomplished by a technique called PATINA. Patina is defined by Webster as "a film formed naturally on copper and bronze by long exposure (to the elements) or articificially with acids..." The patina on your sculpture was accomplished by the careful application of a variety of chemicals. Each chemical is selected because of its ability to produce the desired color upon reaction with the bronze. After the colors are achieved, it is then necessary to seal the surfaces to prevent the colors from changing due to the "natural" patina process. This is accomplished by coating the entire surface with a thin layer of wax or special lacquer. Handling of your bronze increases the need for this protection.

Bronzes should be displayed in areas away from excessive heat or moisture. Dusting and an occasional waxing (once or twice a year) are recommended. Using a soft bristle brush, apply a very thin coat of carnauba paste wax to the bronze and wood base. Johnson's or Tre Wax is preferred. Allow the wax to dry for about an hour, then lightly polish with a soft cloth to renew the highlights. Never use household cleaners or furniture polishes containing cleaning agents. If your bronze should develop spots of fuzzy patina, you should gently scrape the area with a tooth pick, then wax immediately.

Some bronze owners prefer to let the natural process take place and enjoy the subtle changes that occur. This can be especially pleasing on surfaces that are handled frequently. The patina is the most delicate part of your sculpture. Please call me or a reputable art foundry if you have concerns or questions.


Blair Muhlestein