Our Patinas

David M Bowman Studio

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Blue-green & White Blue-green

Brown & White Brown

Dark Green & Black

Ochre, White Ochre, & Black Ochre

Grey, Silver, Silver Brown, & Stone Grey

Mottle, Burnt Mottle, & Brown Mottle

Spray Blue-black

Apple Green

Pigmented Blue & Antique Blue

Flame colored copper

Patina care

Our Patina formulas


About the Studio


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Contact us

David M Bowman Studio
Box 738
Berkeley, CA 94701
510 845-1072
[email protected]
[email protected]

David M Bowman Studio - Home

Ochre is the simplest of the multi-layer torch technique patinas. It consists of a layer of blue-greencovered with a thin layer of the transparent brown. Each layer is brushed on while heating the metal, and care must be taken not to burn the surface of the first layer while the applying the second. The texture and color can be controlled very finely, and graded from light and greenish through amber to woody brown.

The layering of the ochre patinas, and the translucence of brown, lead to another effect. By patinaing the metal blue-green, then cutting through areas of the patina with a hand grinder or flex-shaft tool before applying the brown layer, another effect can be created: the green-tinged ochre or honey amber colors can contain strokes of darker brown. This Machine Engraved Ochre is one of the few ways we can combine two separate patina colors elegantly on the same piece of brass.

Sometimes a third layer is added by the torch technique over the first two, to make either White Ochre or Black Ochre. The white layer is a simple solution, which coats easily and yields a nearly opaque white. After it dries overnight, it must be rinsed to prevent the application of the protective wax coating from smudging the white patina. More importantly, this rinse allows the underlying ochre show through to make a rich, translucent effect. In working on wallpiece 06.11, we discovered the value of wire-brushing white ochre, which partially strips the patina, revealing more greens, and giving a very different, and perhaps even more beautiful effect. We refer to this as Distressed White Ochre, and we now offer it as a standard patina.

Black Ochre has a layer of liver-of-sulphur black over the two layers of ochre, again producing a deep, layered effect. As with white ochre, black ochre can be wire-brushed to produce Distressed Black Ochre.

Tricolor is the same three layers as Black Ochre, but with each layer exposed, and applied in a painterly manner to create a pattern reminsiscent of grasses. We have used this patina for many years on Smokestack vases, but only recently started using it on Round vases, Lens vases, and Slab vases as well.