Last week on the Lump blog we talked about the common form of rust. Although beautiful and varied in its own right, it provides no protection to the metal underneath, in fact the metal will eventually corrode away entirely. For this reason it is not the type of rusted finish you will see on our Lump pieces. At Lump we only use Corten steel to create our Sculptures, Light Features, Screens and other decorative pieces. Corten steel will rust like any other steel. The rust will leach a stain in poor weather and push through any painted barrier. But what is different about the rust on Corten steel is it behaves as a protective coating and will continue to regenerate itself forming a stable rust-like surface. This is similar to the formation of patina on copper or bronze surfaces. Bronze is so highly valued as a material for public sculptures since the patina formed on the surface is usually solid in form and protects the underlying bronze from further corrosion. Like rust, patinas can be accelerated using a huge range of chemicals, acids or natural products, all of which will give different colours and results. But when rust develops on Corten steel or green patina develops on bronze and copper, slowly and naturally it not only enhances the appearance of the metal, it offers a shield of armour from the elements, protection, ensuring the life of an object and the integrity of the metal for decades to come.
The Statue of Liberty boasts a natural green patina on its copper surface.
Lump Eggular Sculpture's Corten Steel with a natural rusted finish