This is a product care list of some of the things we have had through our Gallery. We also have a "What’s it Made of?" page. To help you better understand what are products are made of.
Brass is an alloy of copper tin and zinc. After a brass piece is made it is usually polished to a high shine and then coated with a clear lacquer or acrylic to prevent tarnishing which is caused from oxidation. Brass may also have a patina on it which is also sealed with a clear lacquer or acrylic. The clear coating is meant to be permanent so the brass keeps its luster. We do not recommend the use of Brasso or abrasive types of polishes. These could damage or remove the clear coat sealant. Brass pieces can be cleaned with a damp cloth to remove dust that can be corrosive to the clear coat finish (see also bronze care). Our large brass pieces such as our vases or large candle holders screw together in sections. The threaded pieces are part of the casting and in some cases your item may be shipped in two or more pieces. In this case they need to be screwed together by hand, no special tools are needed.
True bronze is an alloy of copper, tin and zinc (see what's it made of). For our purposes here we are assuming you have a true bronze, not a plated bronze such as “French bronze” or a cold cast bronze (a bronze made with polyresin and copper fillings), or a faux finish bronze which could be any thing from polyresin to plaster with a faux (false) finish on it. Most true bronzes are hollow cast using the lost wax method (see what’s it made of). After casting most bronzes are treated with chemicals to produce a patina. These patinas are sealed with a wax or lacquer to prevent oxidation and loss of the patina. Care must be taken when cleaning bronze sculptures, especially antiques, damage to the patina could greatly effect it’s value. Indoor bronzes require little maintenance other than a light dusting from time to time. The accumulation of dust can retain moisture that can cause the break down of the wax or lacquer coating (sealant) and eventually the patina itself. Minimal handling of the bronze is best as well; fingers have salt and oil that can effect the sealant. Finger prints can usually be removed with a damp cloth. Never use a wax type household cleaner or polish. After a year or two bronze sculptures can be re-coated with a paste wax such as kiwi natural polish, make sure the sculpture is thoroughly dusted first. Apply a light coat of wax with a soft brush, let it dry and buff. A second coat can be applied if necessary. Sculptures that have a lacquered or similar sealant other than wax should not be waxed. The lacquered sealed bronzes are meant to be permanent and need no further maintenance other than a light dusting from time to time. Bronze sculpture should not be displayed near evaporating salt water such as a large pool or aquarium.
Most of our clocks require little or no maintenance other than a light dusting and a battery change. Our pendulum clocks require two batteries, one AA, that keeps the time, and one C or D battery that controls the swing. The AA batteries in our clocks should last from one to two years. When the clock starts to lose time, it is time to change the AA battery. Like wise, if the pendulum slows down or stops swinging, the bigger battery most likely needs to be changed. The bigger battery should last nine to twelve months. After changing the battery a slight start swing will get the pendulum going again. Our pendulum clocks have only one adjustment on them and should only need to be adjusted once. When you first assemble your clock this adjustment is to ensure that the pendulum swings equally in both directions, left to right. After the batteries are installed and the pendulum is placed on its pins the pendulum (when not in motion) should hang plumb up and down. If it leans to one side or the other the pendulum needs to be adjusted. This is done by a small screw at the back of the pendulum weight (the opposite end of the clock face). With the pendulum still on its pins swing the pendulum to one side or the other. Loosen the screw slightly so the back half of the pendulum weight is free to move. Note: the screw does not need to come all the way out, just loosened. Once loose, turn the back half of the pendulum weight slightly either direction for plumb on the pendulum. Once you have re-tightened the screw you’re done.
Concrete statuary will age naturally over time as they are exposed to varying weather conditions. Sometimes during the aging process the calcium carbonate contained in the raw materials used to make the concrete will be drawn to the surface. The calcium carbonate appears as a white chalky substance. This chalky substance will disappear in time as weather dissolves it. This process is known as efflorescence. Efflorescence is part of the natural aging process of cast stone products. Efflorescence occurs only one time; concrete manufacturers today try to minimize the amount of salt in the mix to help reduce the efflorescence process. Concrete statuary requires little care. Taller pieces should be watched for settling, to keep them from getting to far out of plumb which might cause them to topple. In many cases the statuary can be shimmed back to plumb using utility sand under the low side of the base. During the winter season outdoor fountains should be covered or have the basins removed and turned upside down to prevent cracking. Water expands when it freezes and can put great pressure on water holding reservoirs and cause them to crack.
Glass requires little care other than a light dusting from time to time. Glass cleaner can be used on most all of our glass products for general cleaning. Frosted glass should be dusted only if unsightly dirty. Handling of frosted glass should be avoided; it has pores that easily trap oil and dirt from hands and fingers. Cleaning, in some cases, can push more dirt into the pores. Smudges and marks can be removed with a clean cloth and glass cleaner, if that doesn’t work next use diluted dish soap with a soft paint brush. Glass cleaner can be used to finish cleaning and to remove any soap residue.
Stained glass products such as lamps and sun catchers can be cleaned with glass cleaner as well. When a stained glass product is taken out of its original packaging it may feel oily. This residue is flux left over from the solder when the piece was manufactured. In most cases it will come off with glass cleaner and a soft cloth. If it persists, try diluting some dish soap with water that should get most of it. Finish up with glass cleaner to remove soap residue.
Most of our Lucite/acrylic pieces usually only need a light dusting from time to time. A clean damp cloth may be used to remove fingerprints. Frosted Lucite pieces should not to be handled with bare hands. The oil from our skin can get down into the pores of the frosted Lucite and is difficult to get off. However if finger prints occur we first suggest wiping with a damp cloth, if soil is still present use a soft to medium soft brush (paint brush or hobby brush) work the area with soap solution and brush using a downward motion. Rinse under warm running water. Again try not to handle pieces with your bear hands. Hands should be covered with rubber or plastic during the handling and washing.
Polished and cast Lucite that has a glossy surface can sometimes get scratched when cleaning with a damp cloth that might be a little dirty. If the pieces are excessively dusty wipe gently at first to remove dust, then get a new clean cloth (paper towels work well) and finish cleaning. Excessive pressure can put scratches on pieces. We suggest only clean water (distilled if you have it is even better) be used on Lucite. Because there are so many types of cleaners on the market today, it’s hard to predict how it might react with the Lucite. If you have a cast or polished (glossy) Lucite or acrylic piece that has light scratches in it they can be removed with special polish for Lucite and acrylics. This polish is also good for general cleaning from time to time as it leaves a protective film on the piece. Deeper scratches can be removed with a scratch remover. This is a rubbing compound that with a little elbow grease can remove most scratches; there is also a polish that can be used to finish up with.
Most of our natural stone products require little care other than a light dusting from time to time. Dust is slightly corrosive and if left to sit on natural stone can dull the finish. If for some reason your stone product needs cleaning of marks, fingerprints, stains we recommend a cleaner with a neutral Ph and a soft cloth. Glass cleaner or dish soap can be used as long as they are diluted with plenty of water. Do not use abrasive cleaners like soft scrub or abrasive cleaning pads. Do not use bleach, vinegar, or ammonia. Do not use acid based cleaners such as lemon or orange that has citric acid in them. Do not use furniture polishes or waxes. As a general rule, don’t use anything on natural stone that you wouldn’t use on your hands. Most hardware stores have cleaners specifically designed for natural stone.
Oil paintings should be kept out of direct sunlight most oil paintings get darker with age; such is the nature of oil paint. Oil paintings do not require much care other than a light dusting with a feather duster from time to time. Oil paintings should never be framed under glass, this causes water condensation to build up and will damage the painting.
Polyresin products can be cleaned with a light dusting or mild cleaners. Polyresin products are sensitive to solvents like paint thinners, acetone, and nail polish remover. Polyresin fountains should have distilled water (bottled water) put in them to avoid hard water deposits. Do not use Lime A Way, CLR or muratic acid to remove hard water deposits as it will remove the finish. Polyresin only products are primarily meant for indoor use. If used outdoors. They should be kept out of constant sunlight and brought indoors during the winter months. For this reason we sell very little polyresin only products. Please see our "About Fiberglass" page to understand the differences. Also as a shopping reference. Any product that has a drop down menu, where you can choose your finish. Then it is made of fiberglass.
Raku ceramics need a little more care than most ceramics. Raku should not be placed in a spot in which direct sunlight will fall on it. It is not dishwasher safe. They should not be filled with water or dirt unless they are specifically designed for that purpose. If an arrangement is desired we recommend a dried floral or artificial arrangement. Cleaning should only require a light dusting. However if fingerprints or other stubborn marks are present a lightly dampened, soft cloth may be used. No chemical cleaners should be used. Many raku pieces are porous and should be kept from excessively dust areas and handling as hand and fingers are oily.
We carry many types of wood products made from many different species of wood. From domestic woods like oak, pine, and mahogany to various tropical varieties. Almost all of our wood pieces are sealed with lacquer / polyurethane or other type of sealant. And require little care other than dusting from time to time. Wooden statues and sculptures are susceptible to humid conditions as is all wood. So a dry location is best. Also avoid direct sunlight if possible, as the sun will eventually fade the finish.