Outdoor Sculpture

36 page full-colour catalogue of Peter Powning’s outdoor sculpture


New Echo

Materials and longevity

Glass, cast iron, bronze, stone, Corten steel and stainless steel are materials that will all stand the elements over a prolonged period. It is not my intention that my outdoor work be completely unaffected by exposure. The work is meant to “settle in” to its site and mature with age, taking on a site-specific patina as a result of sun, wind and rain.

Glass is essentially impervious to the elements but obviously can be damaged by vandals or by being struck. Work that includes glass needs to be thoughtfully sited.

Cast iron and Corten steel will rust outdoors. This forms a protective surface layer of oxidized metal. Corten steel was designed for bridge building. Cast iron has been used for a couple of centuries for outdoor purposes such as manhole covers, bridgework, bollards etc. We have found cast iron stove parts that have been in our hedgerows for at least 50 years with no obvious signs of deterioration other than surface rust and pitting. My work is intended to mature with age; rust is part of that process. Once a piece has time to stabilize it will change very slowly thereafter.

The granite I use in my work is unaffected by the weather. Other materials may leave minor stains on the stone’s surface as the sculpture becomes rain washed, such stains will usually wash off. It is my feeling that this natural staining enhances the sculpture.

Cast bronze has excellent exterior longevity. It will continue to weather but this will only add depth to its initial patina. Combined, these materials give the sculpture a complexity and richness that improves with time.

Ratwing Press
610 Markhamville Rd.
Markhamville, NB
E4E 4H3