Monday, March 12, 2007

Should I Patinate This Ancient Coin

I was about to patinate the Constantius II you see pictured above when I was struck by the beautiful color and luster of the patina. I asked myself the question, “why patinate?” Why should I darken an already beautiful coin? I think the coin is remarkably beautiful in form, color and sculptural quality as is. Why should I darken an already beautiful patina?

Allow me to digress a bit. I salvaged the coin from a deeply encrusted lump of “concrete” and I had to zap the coin much longer and with more power than I normally use in zapping. Consequently the coin is much brighter than coins I usually get from a zapping session.

Was I simply trying to satisfy some preconceived notion we have about how a coin should look? I think so. I was influenced by what I had “learned” from others. I was not satisfying MY aesthetics! As an artist I already knew the coin was incredibly beautiful! In fact, I was trying to satisfy some anticipated notion of what others would think if I did not darken the surface of the coin. I was dealing with issues I had long ago dealt with in my painting and printmaking. I had learned to be free as an artist and I had learned that I could not be concerned with what others thought and have the joy I should experience as a creator. It took me years to free myself from the bondage of caring what others thought about my art. That was the point at which I really began to enjoy my art more than I ever had

What great freedom I experienced when I finally reached that plateau! The plateau I experienced as a free artist. The same principles apply to my coins. I cannot allow others to dictate to me what is good and what is bad. That is my decision based on my personal aesthetics. I now feel free from all this tom-foolery about the Holy Patina! I do know what I like. That is the truth. Please respond with your opinions. I only hope you can experience the joy I now feel!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As you know, I have been won over to zapping. I consider it to be a valid method of cleaning the coins and I don't consider it to be "artificial" in any way.

But I feel that patinating a coin is false. You have such a beautiful coin. Let nature patinate it. I would just leave it alone at this point and enjoy it.

P.S. Could you give us some more info about it, like, where did you get it, what percentage of the coins that you got in that lot looked decent, how much it cost, etc.?