willowbrook farm

historic yellow springs


Where Did the Name Come From?

Life’s Patina…what does it mean and why did I decide to call my new venture that? I have gotten many reactions to the name…some of them hysterical in their content, some a little confused and some that totally understood it. All of the reactions have been appreciated and have made me think more clearly about my goals and what I would like to accomplish with this project.
First of all, the definition of patina that most people think of, is the thin layer of brown or green corrosion that appears on copper or bronze over time. While I did have this definition in mind, the one that really applies to what I was thinking is the following: Patina is the sheen produced by age or use any antique surface.
This is exemplified by this set of drawers that I found to use in my bedroom closet. I LOVE it with all of its imperfections…the fragments of old paint, the varying hues of color that the wood has taken on depending on where the oil of past hands have discolored it, and the old metal hardware. It’s finish is certainly not perfect but it does have character!
Take these old shutters that I had built into an entertainment center. The hardware is original but we did strip the layers of peeling old black paint off of the shutters to get down to the original layer of gray paint. We added a little primer and the patina was enhanced.
The room that this fireplace is located in was built in 1789. Sometime in the 1800’s, this iron stove like piece was inserted into the original opening of the fire place, probably to create more heat. You can see where the black iron has been worn away by the fires over the years. No, it is not coated in a fresh coat of black paint but rather, we have left the markings that the past inhabitants have left on the house and that we will leave our mark on as well.
Check out this Mill stone! How awesome is this, sitting on an old brick driveway with an uneven stone wall as it’s back drop??? All of the materials, are simple but so beautiful in their form and function.
 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but in my eyes, these pieces are superb examples of objects that are enhanced by their obvious use over time. Their purposes have been many and some have been reinvented into new objects that will carry on their natural beauty in a different manner. All of them have developed a “patina” that has evolved over this passage of time. This patina is tied deeply to a history of the item. When I look at these objects, I see and almost feel, the past lives of the generations before me that day after day, used these items as a necessity.  Their craftsmanship is superb to have lasted these many years and their beauty has been enhanced by the wear and tear on the item.
That is how I came about using Patina in the name…now why did I link Life to Patina? We all know we have a changing of appearance as we age! Our mirrors, ( as well as our kids) do not let us forget about it. We all bemoan these physical changes of aging. A good friend wrote to me in a hysterical email that read like a dictionary page:
1)”People who graduated from college in the 1980’s are beginning to show the patina of age.”
 2) “I used to be able to run much faster; my legs feel like they are covered with a patina.”
Another email read:
3)”You seem to be describing my face, it has an aged patina since “it” turned 40. I would be willing to sell “it” in the barn for cheap.”
There were many others, but if I posted them all, I would never get to the end of my blog. ( although you would probably have to pick yourself up off the floor for laughing so hard, for that is what I had to do!) You guys know who you are, so thanks for the great belly laughs!
The patina that I am speaking about not only refers to our looks but our mindset. We might fight aging and all that it brings, but it comes never the less!  But in that aging, don’t we all possess a wiseness, a wealth of experiences, an evolving of what becomes important in life…priorities, maybe? I think that Life has a patina that is created by all of these past experiences combined with the people and places that frequent our lives. Life itself creates a patina!
(Just a side note…funny how the comments that I received that talked about the physical changes of patina were from the men!!)

share to:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.