As a large portion of our door handles are cast in bronze we have the ability to add subtle shading to the pieces by oxidizing them and then sealing them with oil and wax. However, those of you who are art collectors will also know that bronze can be finished with more sophisticated colored patinas. Some of these colors, specifically Verde Gris, will often develop naturally on bronze and we have all seen the beautiful blue green hues on the domed roofs of old churches and civic buildings that have developed after decades of exposure to the elements. As our time scale does not permit the patina to develop naturally we are able to create several colors of patina by applying pigments directly to our bronze. To ensure an intense color that permeates the surface we heat the bronze up to 200° and apply the pigment by hand often with a very fine brush. As you can see from the picture below we add a pea-green pigment over the body and toes of our lizard door handle to approximate the color of the Anole lizard.
We use these hot patinas typically on our nature inspired door handles and cabinet pulls. For an autumnal appearance on our sycamore leaves we use an ox red pigment and for our wasp cabinet pulls we turn to a mustard pigment. Our use of hot patinas on bronze began when we started making our wasp cabinet pulls for our limited edition Ascot series of case goods. The furniture pieces in this collection are all decorated with vine leaf motifs created using a form of japanning, a technique that uses gold leaf over casein to create a raised motif which is then hand painted with colored glazes made by suspending pigments in turpentine. The bronze wasps, some with closed wings and the leader with open wings were made as the finishing touch to the Ascot Highboy.