Thursday 3 April 2014

Where to find Patina in Paris

Mine is the business of creating patina. No! Let me rephrase that.  Mine is the business of RECREATING patina. You see, for me, there is a vast difference between the two. 

Creating patina means you buy a few modern ready-made products off the shelf, slap a couple of layers onto a piece and then call it antiqued. This option does not work for me. It looks fake and lacks depth.

Now, recreating patina is something totally different. Seeing the real thing helps me understand vintage and antique pieces. Studying them, allows me to see how they've aged naturally over the years. For that, I photograph real antiques with real patina at every opportunity I get. I always have one or more of these pieces in mind when I set out to paint a piece with many different kinds of old-fashioned paints from original old recipes and then merely speed up the ageing processes.

If you, like me, have a passion for patina, then I would like to share this with you.  You don't need to pay a lot of money to visit museums or pluck up the courage to go into upmarket antique shops where you'll probably be frowned upon for taking photographs.  There are many other places to photograph these gems for free and if you're fortunate enough to find yourself there, what better place to do this than in Paris! Or for that matter, in the French countryside!


There are many high-end antique shops in the 6th and 7th Arrondissements of Paris and walking from shop to shop at night, taking photographs and stopping for coffee at Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore on Boulevard Saint-Germain, is a great way to explore and experience the area without the normal daily hustle and bustle.


My favourite being Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt (Saint-Ouen Flea Market) in Paris. One day at this market is simply not enough. Be sure to ask before you start snapping away. Some vendors may take offence.


In Paris ...

Montmartre, 18th arrondissement, Paris

Maison de Balzac ~ 47 Rue Raynouard, 16th arrondissement, Paris

Île Saint-Louis, 4th arrondissement, Paris

 Île Saint-Louis, 4th arrondissement, Paris

...and in the countryside

Paulhaguet, Auvergne, Haute-Loire

Le Puy-en-Velay, Auvergne, Haute-Loire


Fix-Saint-Geneys, Auvergne, Haute-Loire

La Chaise-Dieu, Haute-Loire 

Cathédrale Notre-Dame-du-Puy ~ Le Puy-en-Velay, Auvergne, Haute-Loire

La Samaritaine ~ Rue de Rivoli, 1st arrondissement, Paris


Take a break from the busy streets in the Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) and find these painted bees on a gatepost at the entrance of the apiary.

best of all ... CHURCHES and CATHEDRALS

There are so many of them and they all have the most beautiful pieces to photograph. Most of them are open all day and evening and very often quite deserted. If you're visiting for the purpose of photographing, be sure it's not during a service. 

Église Saint-Roch ~ 284 rue Saint-Honoré, 1st arrondissement, Paris

Chilhac, Allier

Chilhac, Allier 

Church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois ~ 2 Place du Louvre, 1st arrondissement, Paris

Church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois ~ 2 Place du Louvre,1st arrondissement, Paris

As you can see, I'm pretty passionate about patina and love hunting for good examples.
I have so many more images I would like to share with you, but perhaps we'll save them for another time.


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