What is a patina?
Most people have noticed a green protective layer on copper roofs, cathedrals, and historical objects. Generally speaking, patina can refer to any fading, darkening, or change in color that is felt to be a natural sign of metal aging, and patination refers to the intentional application of chemicals to develop a patina. While an archeologist may see this as color that develops overtime with years of oxidation, many contemporary makers are speeding up the process and creating these rich copper derived patinas in a matter of hours.
What makes PS patina jewelry unique?
At Porcelain and Stone, we have a custom concoction of patinas we use to create a unique shade that develops over time for our patina line. For those with metal sensitivities, we are conscious to use one sided gold-fill (one side is solid 14k gold), which ensures that what touches the wearer is non reactive gold, and only the surface of the earring is able to be patinated. Each piece is hand fabricated in a mix of brass and gold-filled metal, and then texture is added. We apply our patina to our hand-forged and custom in-haus fabricated pieces and wait for the magic to happen. To finish, each piece is varnished to protect the patina, and make sure that color stays vibrant!
Changes in Patina overtime
Patination is a delicate process. Even during application, patina can change color dramatically depending on humidity and temperature of the studio. On a well loved piece of patina jewelry, you may notice the color wearing in some areas. We anticipate this, which is why we texture each piece to give the patina a surface to grip onto! The patina will hold in selected areas and the texture in the piece will be highlighted even more as time passes, becoming uniquely you and reflecting your daily story: it becomes more beautiful the more you wear it.
How to Care for Patina Jewelry
Patina jewelry is meant to be worn, but if you follow some best practices, then here is some advice from the designer who has been making and wearing these pieces for eight years.
- Avoid showering, bathing, or swimming with it. Basically, common sense strategy to learn is: don't allow the piece to soak in humidity. Just like your skin absorbs moisture and oils, this piece can as well. That's the beauty of a reactive metal, it lets you get these gorgeous patinas, but it's also the trouble with it.
- Avoid abrasive contact or layering with it. Some of the designs are suited for inherit protection of the patina. Where the metal has been hammered down or textured, becomes a natural physical protector. High points like the Panel Cuff has, brings out the beautiful contrast of gold and turquoise blue tones.
- Avoid dropping. But if you wear it, this isn't really a concern.
- Like any crystalline structure (any actual material will work in physical nature) something can break when dropped with the right set of circumstances. Just like diamonds break. Just like tungsten carbide rings break (for emergency ring removal, this is the one ring you just take a hammer to instead of sawing off, and they are very well known for their strength). Folks tend to have a surprised face when I remind them (or teach them for the first time) that diamonds (and all materials) break (ever repair a diamond ring?) and that their strength is a scratch strength. Look up general Mohs scale of hardness use here for minerals. If it helps to think about, diamond drill bits have actual diamond dust encrusted on them because their ability to break allows us to use them functionally. A big part of the diamond industry outside of jewelry making is for actual tools in manufacturing processes.
Turquoise Ring is here, and the Mini Turquoise Ring + Porcelain is here. Blog post is here for these rings.
What’s new in our Patina collection
Our Patina collection is finding more inspiration in the navigation of celestial stars. Recently, we’ve been thinking about starry summer nights, and moonlight reflections over calm waters. Our Moonrise style earrings and necklace are inspired by coastal colors of course, this time referencing the moon over glowing waters. Our Eclipse Studs are like the sun and moon sitting snugly together. Both designs will have you ready for a sunset walk on the beach, or maybe the daydream of one until the weather warms up.
Genevieve is a jeweler, sculptor, and recent Massart graduate, who has been happily learning and working with the Porcelain and Stone team since the summer of 2019. You can find her work at @gem_montante