Bronze is a metallic alloy consisting predominantly of Copper with around 12% Tin, but may also contain other materials such as Arsenic, Lead, Phosphorus, Manganese, Aluminium, Nickel and Silicon which change the characterises and colour of the material.
As with brass it has a relatively low melting point which lends itself to high quality castings, although the relatively high cost of bronze has lead to it’s demise as a mainstream handle material.
Although still used on some high end projects, bronze is now more commonly referenced as the finish, rather than the base material, as a bronze finish can also be chemically induced on other metals.
The resultant finish is sometimes referred to as a living finish, which will change over time, lightening where it is handles and darkening where it is left untouched. It is this variation in patination that makes bronze so appealing.
Bronze as a finish covers a multitude of different shades and patinations, varying from antique brass all the way through to Ebony bronze. Even the base material can effect the colour of the finish, bronze on top of brass has tinges of yellow and green, on top of bronze the finish is warmer with browns and pinks, whilst on copper traces of orange can be seen.
The way that the surface is treated also has a bearing on how the finished product reacts to light. Shown here is a brass disc which has been lightly bronzed, however, each segment was sateened in a slightly different direction before the bronzing, highlighting how the direction and texture of a bronze finishing can create subtle differences in how the colour changes from different angles.