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The beauty of your bronze sculpture urn can be preserved with easy and basic maintenance. Quality bronze art will last for centuries and will be enjoyed for a lifetime if properly cared for. Let's start with the basic nature of patina which is the natural process of metal coloration that occurs with age and elements. When the urn leaves the foundry it has a coating of paste wax to protect the finish to prevent oxidization. Over time though, this barrier will become worn and the natural effects of water and air will combine to start the oxidization process, similar to what happens to your car when left out in the elements.
Even when maintained on a regular basis, the patina will mellow over time and begin to deepen. This finish is highly desireable and is one of the pleasures of owning fine bronze work.
Because bronze contains a high copper ratio, over time it will begin to darken and form a green patina similar to what you might see on outdoor statues. This is normal and even adds to the character and beauty of the piece. Regular cleaning and waxing will help to prevent this process and preserve the lustre of the metal. A soft clean cloth for dusting is really all you need, but if a deeper clean is needed a little warm water, soft cloth or soft non wire brush to get into corners or remove stubborn dirt.
Bronze is beautiful displayed anywhere, but exposure to direct sunlight or placed in a window where it will get hot can affect the color and the speed at which the wax breaks down. If the surface starts to look a little dull, you can bring back the shine with a good wax that does NOT contain spirits or turpentine. The harder the wax, the higher the gloss. Use a soft brush or rag and rub the wax in a thin consistent coat using a circular motion. Thick applications may result in white residue or show brush strokes.
The wax should dry in about 20 minutes and you can then use a clean dry soft cloth to buff the surface to a glossy sheen.
Bronze should not be placed in or splashed with chlorinated water as the chlorine is extremely corrosive and can erode the metal. Salt air can also cause the patina to turn faster and cause the color to go from brown to red or green. Bronze still looks beautiful with these changes, but clients should be aware that this can occur.