The Patina Project!

Starting April 7th 2021 the patina project will begin. I will explain further what I mean by this after first discussing what patina is and how it develops. Here we go!

Patina is the accumulation of grime, residue (from things like fertilizers), dust and other particulates on the surface of your pot. It usually looks like a dark stain or dulling of your item. Keep in mind patina can be seen on all sorts of items like furniture, coins, cars etc… It is often an indicator that an item is well used and old. The formation of patina will accumulate in certain area, usually where residues tend to coalesce. I will provide some examples:

Here is a Japanese antique by Takemoto. The pot was made around the 1870s-1880s so it has had plenty of time to develop patina. If you look closely the patina has especially accumulated towards the base of the pot. It looks like a dark band. The reason this occurs is because residues and water probably settles in this region. 

Another example on an antique Chinese Nanjing. You can see the patina accumulation once again. 

Here is another example on an antique Chinese with patina forming towards the base. 

Some glazes seem to accumulate patina better than others. Cream colored glazes patina quite well as you can see here. You can see an especially great formation towards the drainage hole.

The rim/lip of the pot is another area of note.

So this brings us to the question…How do we make patina? The answer is quite simple. You must use the pot everyday and have it exposed to the elements for an extended period of time (over 20-30 years). So with this said, I begin my own patina project. The bonsai pot above is a bean pot by Takemoto (diameter 1.18″). It has been well kept and preserved for many years, but because of this, little patina formed. Starting April 7th 2021, I will use this pot everyday for 30 years. I will take a photo every April 7th during that duration to update myself and everyone on this project. This way we can see the patina form together. I recommend everyone find a special pot and join me on this patina project! 

Thanks for reading! If you wish to learn more about bonsai artists and antique Chinese pottery go to my pottery education tab. 

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