Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yma is home

On Friday, I finally made it down to the foundry to approve the metalwork and choose a patina. It was a bit nerve wracking to drive by the site of my near demise last week, but the car behaved very well. 

At the foundry, Danella, the artist in charge of the reassembly and chasing handed me a sharpie to note any areas for revision. After a few polishing touches, the sculpture was sandblasted again and taken to Steve the patinator. We discussed the various options and I chose a medium-dark version of a patina known as "French Brown". 

Steve bolted the piece onto a revolving stand,  heated it with a blow torch, and sprayed it with a coat of "liver of sulfur" or sulfurated potash. This turned it almost black. The next step was to rinse it with water, give it a quick blow dry and wipe back the darkness from the higher areas before massaging the whole thing with loose sand which gave it a nice burnished effect. In order to create  more depth and richness, we heated it again with an even larger blow torch and sprayed it with ferric nitrate which produced a warm red overtone. 

While the sculpture was still hot, Steve brushed it with wax. It would take another half hour for it to cool before the final coat of wax and buffing so I had a chance to witness a different piece being poured in the forge area before heading home. I'll post photos of the finished sculpture next week, in the meantime, enjoy the images from the final stage of the process!


  1. Finalmente c'e l'ho fatta!

    This is a very informative blog Alecia, it got me inspired, and I am starting my own!

    So what is patination exactly?

  2. Thanks for the kind words :) Patination is when the metal discolors. There are three methods. Traditionally, sculptures displayed out of doors would oxydize because of moisture in the atmosphere. You can also create a natural patina by burying a sculpture in the damp earth for a while. Lastly, you can use chemicals to color the sculpture in a variety of ways.