Bronze Sculpture & Figurine Care
Bronze is a copper alloy and is generally comprised of copper and a small amount of tin. It is favored by artists for its workability, strength and durability. Bronze naturally develops a greenish patina called verdigris which is pronounced “ver da gree”. This patina is the natural reaction of bronze to air, humidity and other environmental factors. Patina develops to varying degrees depending on environmental conditions.
Sometimes sculptors create this color by heating and applying chemicals to the bronze sculpture or figurine. The patina protects the metal and is often seen on bronze sculpture and figurines. Sometimes the artist will apply wax or lacquer to keep the patina from changing.
Care and Cleaning of Your Bronze Sculpture and Figurine
You should place your bronze art in a location that will keep them beautiful for years to come. Bronze sculpture and figurines should be kept in well ventilated areas away from excess heat and humidity. Damp or unventilated areas should be avoided.
Keep bronze pieces as clean as possible. Accumulations of dust and dirt may facilitate the degradation of the bronze surface. You can keep your bronze sculpture and figurine clean by dusting it with a soft WHITE cloth or soft brush, or a soft brush attached to your vacuum cleaner. If your bronze requires heavier cleaning, test a small area first, cleaning it with a very mild surfactant (dish soap) and distilled water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry thoroughly. Take care not to rub too vigorously, especially on any of protruding bronze sculpture features as you may bend or break them.
During the cleaning process, take care not to remove the natural or applied patina. Doing so may damage the beauty and value of your bronze sculpture or figurine. You should never use abrasive waxes/ polishes, abrasive brushes/ pads or chemicals on your bronze art.
Applying Wax to Your Bronze Sculpture or Figurine
If you decide to wax your bronze sculpture or figurine, be sure to use a wax that does not contain any cleaning agents. This is an important caution as cleaning agents may damage the bronze surface.
Apply a very thin layer of wax to your bronze sculpture or figurine with a soft brush or cloth, and buff with a soft clean cloth or soft buffing brush. Allow the wax to dry for several hours before polishing. There is no harm in waxing your bronze sculpture or figurine two to three times per year, or more often if needed.
Cold Cast Bronze Sculpture & Figurine Care
Cold-cast bronze sculpture and figurines are generally spray coated with clear polyurethane. The best care for your cold cast bronze sculpture or figurine is to clean it by dusting it with a soft cloth, soft brush, or a soft brush attached to your vacuum cleaner. If your cold cast bronze sculpture or figurine requires more through cleaning, test a small area first, cleaning it with a soft WHITE cloth and very mild surfactant (mild diluted dish soap) and distilled water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry thoroughly.
Never use colored cleaning products or colored cloths on your sculpture or figurine as the color may transfer. Take care not to rub the sculpture or figurine too vigorously, especially on any of the protruding features as you may break them. Never spray dusting or cleaning chemicals/ sprays onto the sculpture or figurine itself. Remember, as with any fine art, avoid displaying it in direct sunlight.
Cold cast bronze is beautiful and durable, by following the above care and cleaning suggestions you’ll have your cold cast bronze sculpture and figurines to enjoy and treasure for many years too come.
Bronze is a very durable art medium with many beautiful examples enduring for many centuries. The bronze patina is the most delicate part of your bronze sculpture or figurine. By following the above care and cleaning suggestions you’ll have your bronze sculpture or figurine to enjoy and treasure for many years too come.