Step 8:  Doing the Patina

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I carefully mix my patina chemicals with water using a prescribed ratio or recipe.

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The patina (or color on the surface of the bronze) is achieved by using a chemical (in solution) applied with a spray bottle while the sculpture is heated with a torch.   Bronze is capable of having many different color treatments.   For Spring Snow, I use a very warm color that allows for highlights in the bronze to be enhanced by constant touching in a public setting.

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Some patinas require the use of more than one chemical.

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After the chemical has darkened the entire surface, I rub the sculpture with steel wool to bring back the highlights.

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To further enhance the highlights, I do a bit more polishing with a buffing wheel on desired surfaces.

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Lastly, while still warm, the owl is waxed and polished with a clear, hard, paste wax and soft cloth.   The wax will help protect the patina from dramatic color shifts.  

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Now, the only steps left are to attach the owl to an appropriately elevated rock or pedestal; to install and orient it in it's final architectural setting and if necessary, to direct "life giving" light at it.    By enthusiastically sculpting the piece from every direction and elevation while it was still in clay, my options now for presentation have been greatly enhanced.

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