Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Paten, with Patina

It's curious to note that the root word for patina is paten, Latin for plate. Today I bring you a paten with patina. Visitors to my work often ask if the color on the larger pieces is a patina. It's not a word we use everyday, and it's not a concept our technologically advanced society often pauses long enough to appreciate. Perhaps the poets do a better job of explaining it than metal smiths do. The face of a sailor could be said to have a patina. The surface of an antique piece of wooden furniture might possess a patina. The brass railing, beside a marble staircase, leading up the steps to a public building, has developed a patina. Thousands of hands have rubbed some surfaces smooth, satin, polished and left other areas untouched, weathered. Just as the repeated dusting's, cleanings and touching have given the surface of a wooden table character over time, given it a glow, or luster. The face of the sailor shows the effects of his environment over the years. A patina has much to tell us about the passing of time and the evidences of that time passing. It's not something that's applied. Patina is all about developing character.

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