Living Materials – Brass Mailboxes
Did you know that brass and copper are often called living materials? This is because of their ability to change with the environment. Copper, is subject to verdigris with the hues and patinas that this process is so well known for. Brass which is often used in the marine industry, is know for its ability to somewhat resist this process and tends to go more like the “dirty school bell” look.
To Polish or not to Polish
Yes these materials can look great when polished, after all that is what Brasso was designed for. Brass looks like Gold and Copper, well it can look like Rose Gold, but to keep them this way be prepared for a bit of elbow grease. While the polished surfaces can be protected by clear lacquers these surface protectants will break down after a while, and if subject to UV conditions this “while” can be quite short. There is a clear powder coat (Vista) which is more durable however it makes the product look milky and detracts from the finish.
Yes we can accelerate the aging process however many of our customers choose to have their mailbox supplied in the “natural” state so they can watch this process develop with time. That can be great however don’t be shocked when in that initial period when fingerprints may be evident. You can accelerate the aging process yourself, use a cleaning product with high levels of ammonia, sulfur or even salt water. Try a Google search where you will see plenty of suggestions.
Verdigris is the common name for a green pigment obtained through the application of acetic acid to copper plates or the natural patina formed when copper, brass or bronze is weathered and exposed to air or seawater over time. It is usually a basic copper carbonate, but near the sea is a basic copper chloride. Wikipedia
Commercial Aging Processes
There are several companies which offer commercial aging processes, or even plating services which emulate a bronze finish (bronze is typically used in casting and is seen in many public statues and works of art) however these processes can be quite expensive and not without problems.
This Mailmaster mailbox cluster was manufactured from brass and then post treated with a specific bronze aging process. All in all Mailmaster can manufacture in all materials for all occasions. Brass, often being used in Heritage listed building but also along with Copper, making statements in residential addresses across Australia (shop here).
Contact Mailmaster Letterboxes for further information on this product range.