Lee Stanton Blog

Age Is Beauty

Age Is Beauty

There is no argument that antiques add a level of experience, knowledge and sophistication to our homes. They bring a layer of history, culture and character into our homes that we may have never otherwise experienced. When we think of antiques, we often think about fine and well-preserved antiques sought out by museums and serious collectors that are admired but hardly touched. However, antiques are often overlooked because of their patina that can actually bring texture and endearing beauty into even the most edited and or grandest of homes. The patina from age and the life that it has led humbles the historical, cultural and sophisticated experience. It adds a sense of familiarity and comfort just as just as a gentle smile of a favorite aunt, uncle or grandparent adds to our life. They come with a story that we can learn from and share with others. With that in mind, I suggest we explore the aging process and perhaps even consider objects with patina as an art form and embrace the patina that incurs with age as beauty.

Let’s start with furniture. We have all seen wood from a lumberyard. It usually is soft, porous and aesthetically one-dimensional. For that reason wood is often cured. The curing process allows the wood to release moisture, protects against decay, prevents it from warping and helps prepare the wood to receive surface finishes. Let’s relate this process to something we can savor. We don’t enjoy wine from grapes when they are first pressed. Wine makers usually put them first into stainless tanks to control temperature, stabilize and begin the fermenting process.

After the wood is cured it is used to make new furniture. What characteristics do you think wood has at this stage? It probably lacks the characteristics that wine lacks after first sitting in stainless steel tanks. As we know wine is aged in wood barrels. Fine winemakers transfer the wine into wood barrels to continue the slow and more natural process and allow the wine to age and take on the rich characteristics we all enjoy.

The fermentation and aging of wine is perhaps the most important aspect of creating an outstanding finished product. The aging process can make the difference between producing a mediocre product versus an award winning wine with characteristics that discerning tastes savor and appreciate.

Leather, metal and pottery also take on a discerning patina as they age that is hard to accomplish with items that have not been enjoyed and cared for offer time.

Taking the patina process to the next level, let’s consider raw objects in their purest state. Items such as workbenches, wine tasting tables, comfy leather club chairs and industrial pieces that were never really intended to be refined but rather used and abused. These pieces actually celebrate imperfection. The deconstructed nature of some of these pieces can actually become a work of art with a structural and modernist characteristic that cannot be intentionally duplicated. And don’t we all appreciate that sense of individuality? Imagine the satisfaction from something that is unique and will always be unique because no one can copy it. Savor that evolution from years of use, enjoyment, and care. Take pride in embracing a piece that earned it beauty and personality in it’s own right.

As British designer, Jasper Conran states in the attached video tour of his grand home in which we he embraces the pure along with the impure, “Patina is character. It represents the life an object and gives it soul. 

                         In Residence: Jasper Conran | via NOWNESS