Author Topic: "Patina" usage.  (Read 333 times)

Offline Adam Hoagland

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"Patina" usage.
« on: February 25, 2016, 06:10:59 PM »
[size=12]In the context of collectable cast iron cookware, what do users of this forum believe to be the correct usage of the term "patina."  I know what the dictionaries say, so there's no use quoting your favorite.  I've seen "patina" used to describe everything from thick orange rust on a skillet that desperately needs to be cleaned with steel wool, to a piece that's been electrolyzed and has no coating of any kind whatsoever on it, to a piece that has been cooked with for decades and has an ebony shine to the cooking surface.  I've seen it used to describe pieces that were jappaned.  Most recently, when I e-mailed someone a question about a grinder for sale, the responded that the wooden handle was intact and had a nice patina. 

I know that some sellers are willfully ignorant when they have a product of questionable quality to present for auction, but has "patina" just become a catch-all term anymore for any color of any coating on any substance?  To my way of thinking, a shiny smooth black coating on the cooking surface of a skillet or other piece that develops as the result of prolonged deposits of conditioning or fat or both is a "patina," and that using it to describe rust on iron or lacquer on wooden handles is a bit of a slip-up. 

Any thoughts?[/size]

Offline C. B. Williams

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Re: "Patina" usage.
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2016, 05:40:30 AM »
The only time I have ever used the word "patina" in the same sentence with cast iron is when it was subjected to extreme heat causing that orange-red discoloration associated with that. I don't think normal rust or seasoning is a "patina". IMHO.
Hold still rabbit, so I can cook you.

Offline Tom Neitzel

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Re: "Patina" usage.
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2016, 10:25:37 AM »
I'm kinda with CB, I have not considered the word patina in relation to cast iron.  I suppose there's nothing wrong with it, but just seems a little odd.

When I think of patina, it is the green that copper gets with age, or the wonderful, soft, smooth finish wood gets with age.

I'm not sure I would consider the fire damaged iron colors to be a patina.

To me, a patina is something nice, not a defect.  Just FWIW.

Tom

Offline Jim Fuchs

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Re: "Patina" usage.
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2016, 11:05:53 AM »
Agree with C.B. and Tom. Patina is not a word I associate with cast iron usually. To me, patina is a naturally aged piece, properly cared for, and showing signs of use over time. Think the word "patina" has gone by the way of the usage of the word "rare"...much over used anymore. The meaning is lost.

Offline Neal Birkett

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Re: "Patina" usage.
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2016, 01:21:14 PM »
Quote
has "patina" just become a catch-all term anymore for any color of any coating on any substance? 

Pretty much.  I think Jim's got it right.

I would not understand what meant by a description of "patina on cast iron cookware anything," unless I had good pictures.  And with good pictures, said description becomes moot.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 01:21:36 PM by The_Regulator »
Best Regards,
Neal

Offline Mark Zizzi

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Re: "Patina" usage.
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2016, 03:34:49 PM »
Well if you look it up, patina (on metal) is a thin layer that forms as a result of oxidation or other chemical processes. So it would seem bare cast iron could indeed form a patina. A copper roof that has turned green has a green patina. I know that they have stopped painting the large steel girders under bridges and building structures, etc. so it can develop that brown "protective patina" which is actually a fine rust coating. Hard to make sense of that, but that's what they do.   [smiley=shrug.gif]

Offline Neal Birkett

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Re: "Patina" usage.
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2016, 03:47:42 PM »
And that's the heart of this thread!  Literal meaning vs the way it gets used.
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Neal

Offline C. Perry Rapier

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Re: "Patina" usage.
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2016, 09:57:05 PM »
I like the phrase, 'patina indicative of use and age'.  :-/

Offline Neal Birkett

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Re: "Patina" usage.
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2016, 03:23:20 AM »
I agree, that's a good use of the word.
Best Regards,
Neal

Offline C. B. Williams

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Re: "Patina" usage.
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2016, 10:30:14 AM »
I agree with Tom, the statue of Liberty has a "patina" (green on copper). But, I think a patina can be wanted or unwanted.
Hold still rabbit, so I can cook you.

Offline Mark R. Smith

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Re: "Patina" usage.
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2016, 12:33:32 PM »
I have read where patina was used when a person had sandblasted a BS&R Deep Fryer and had ruined the original finish. Was stated they had ruined the patina and would not season right.