Bronze is a truly distinctive material. It carries with it a long history and an incredibly mutable character. It responds to its environment and the elements which surround it in captivating ways. Introduce it to sea air, for example, and you’ll witness a shift from a deep, even tone to a dappled green surface as the bronze oxidises. We find this mercurial quality endlessly exciting and have harnessed it to infuse our furniture designs with a spectrum of different naturally occurring qualities. Read on for an introduction to the manifold wonders of bronze furniture…
The lion’s share of our furniture is made using steel. It’s a practical material that allows for an exacting level of craftsmanship at a relatively modest weight. We can finish any of our steel furniture in a ‘Bronze’ powder coat, giving it a beautiful touch of warmth. Bronze calls for a bit more special attention and has some serious weight to it – but that’s part of what makes it such a captivating material. We can make many of our designs in solid bronze, infusing them with true gravitas and opening up a world of possibilities when it comes to patination.
This Edge rectangular dining table, for example, is formed of solid bronze. We’ve patinated its surface by hand, using a concoction of solutions which are sprayed or dabbed on to create the desired effect. This slow and steady process brings out a whole lot of character and gives the piece an artful, time-worn feel. The edges are polished to reveal the dual nature of bronze, as a material that both ages beautifully and shines to a glint depending on conditions. We carefully seal the surface off once finished to ensure it remains suspended at those points of perfection.
Our Lily coffee table offers a fuller look at the beauty of polished bronze. The curvaceous base shows the material off to full effect, catching the light as it flows fluidly in and outward. A white onyx top amplifies the effect, as it allows bronzed rays of light to reflect up through its semi-translucent form.
Our Cloud design harnesses the history of this multifaceted material. The legs of the coffee table are forged in solid bronze, which is then hammered using traditional blacksmithing techniques. A wedge is driven nearly parallel to the rods of bronze, creating a craggy, tapered effect. The result is at once elegant and elemental, which ties in beautifully with captivating marbles like Moorcroft Cartoon and Calacatta Oro.
We apply the same process in the making of our Cloud étagère. Four beautifully textured spears of bronze shoot up the expanse of the design, supporting a network of glass-topped shelves to create an eye-catching home for treasured tomes or intriguing art objects.
A polished bronze top plate introduces an element of the unexpected. Shining through the glass top of a dining table like our Capricorn, it can add a spark of energy as well as a glint of contrast against crisp, dark finishes. Polished to mirror-like effect, we find it creates a captivating central point at a dinner, casting a warm glow in the process.
To capture the luminosity of bronze without producing a distinctly reflective quality, we will often top our designs with dull polished bronze plates. This retains a slightly opaque quality while still accessing the light within the material to reveal a crepuscular glow. Shown above are our Balzac coffee and side tables made in steel with a ‘Bridge Red’ finish. We’ve upped the ante when it comes to their tops, plating them in gold as opposed to bronze. Although, both metals work beautifully, turning up the visual temperature of a space. On top of a plinth, like the above Balzac in ‘Ocean Blue’, a dull polished bronze top plate can help to animate an art object with a lively light radiating up over its surface.
Our AVA design beautifully showcases bronze as a material. Its carefully calibrated geometry flares into three expanses of surface area which place variations in patination on full display. In the case of this ‘Autumn‘ bronze patination, for example, some areas will be left to lighten in colour, while others will be darkened to create a sense of dynamism and intrigue. We find this antique bronze look works wonderfully on a feature table, creating a strong focal point which wears its story on its surface.
Our Avalon rectangular dining table stretches to scale over two pairs of tetrahedrons, balancing point-to-point for a dramatic display. Treating these bases for a ‘Bottle Green’ patination further amplifies their striking quality. We’ve then capped them with polished bronze top plates where each base meets the clear glass top above. This creates the effect of sealing the fresh, shining material in and setting it in contrast to the seemingly weather-worn, aged bronze forms beneath.
For a truly original effect, we’ve created this bespoke Avebury oval dining table with a segmented top. Two of the quadrants are made of bronze, and two in brass. They’ve all been patinated to a mottled effect, unifying these complementary materials before fusing them into one expanse. The result is a highly distinctive surface that carries with it marks of its creation and the texture of age. It’s been sealed to halt further transfiguration, and perches on top of a steel base finished in ‘Verdigris’ for an exceedingly elemental effect.
Text by Annabel Colterjohn