Real Verdigris

Real Verdigris

Having recently written about verdigris, and the art of creating its look as a faux finisher and decorative artist, I was attuned to a variety of naturally occurring verdigris surfaces I saw all over beautiful Balboa Park, on a recent trip to sunny San Diego.  Such beautiful texture, hue, and depth of surface,  to say nothing of the sense of history, and paradoxically, timelessness, that the oxidation process produces…or, shall we say, creates.

Here are some Varieties of Verdigris for your viewing pleasure:

Remember, verdigris is  the natural patina which forms on the surface of  copper, bronze, or brass as it is exposed to air and water, wind and weather over time.  In essence, it is the weathering, or tarnishing of these metals, and shows itself in a variety of green hues. The verdigris above was produced by the slow tarnish of the bronze equine sculpture seen at top, galloping  into a cloud-studded sky. The green-hued substance has, over time, formed on the bronze surface, and dripped onto the stone base of the statue, lending it an air of age, mystery and grandeur.

Above, the powdery residue of verdigris has formed predominantly at the base of this bronze sculpture.  For the scientifically-minded, verdigris is a “complex chemical mixture of compounds, complexes and water, with  primary components of copper salts of acetate, carbonate, chloride, formate, hydroxide and sulfate.  Secondary components include metallic salts, acids, organic and mineral.

A soft patina of blueish verdigris is forming over the bronze surface of this Barbara Hepworth sculpture, further texturing its surface, and adding visual depth. The addition of the natural blueish-green pigmentation also ties the piece into the landscape of the sculpture garden where it resides.  Living outside really does help that verdigris process along!

The same could be said of this wall relief.  Perhaps the verdigris process is moving more slowly here because this piece is somewhat sheltered by the pavilion style open-air cafe  where it is installed.

The heavily verdigrised sculpture rising out of the cafe’s pool provides a perch for a brightly-hued visitor.  Here both the elements of air and water are definitely at play in creating the strong verdigris hues.  Both the surrounding chairs and the duck’s feet add a complementary pop of color to the scene.

This fellow just seemed so comfortable on its verdigris perch.   Its green head feathers, the blue pool, and saturated verdigris coloration come together to create a scene of both harmony and humor. The feeling is peaceful, yet alert, as we know the duck could take flight and vanish from the picture at any moment.  While watching this beauty, my friend Janet said, “I am communing with the duck”.  I hope, through this post, you can, too!

Have you seen a beautiful, or timeless verdigris surface on one of  your daily jaunts lately?

If you feel so inspired, share it with us here.  We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all communing with this thing called Life, together.

Happy Verdigris!

 

 

 

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I noticed some patina on some copper downspouts recently as I was walking on the campus of Dominican University. It really caught my eye.. nature’s artistic hand at work.

    • Thank you for the comment Kristin! it is amazing what we start tuning into as a result of our work. Happy verdigris and patina-watching!

  2. Verdigris is so fascinating! Thank you for bringing it to our attention! the photo with the duck is priceless!

  3. Thank YOU Julie! I got several great photos with our duck…beautiful colors there too…it has been interesting researching a bit more about the nature of verdigris, in preparation for the posts and article! All the best, and thank you for reading and commenting…

  4. Love the primer on verdigris, thank you, but really love the duck! At the right place in the right time.

  5. Lucky duck…quack!
    Thanks for reading and commenting, EB!

  6. […] Variegated Verdigris…the age of patina on a drain pipe, against the eaves. […]

  7. […] Verdigris is  the natural patina which forms on the surface of  copper, bronze, or brass as it is exposed to air and water, wind and weather over time.  It’s aqua-green tints work well in natural settings. […]


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