The History of Suiseki
Japanese History
Chinese History
Korean History
Common Classifications   
Japanese Classifications
Chinese Classifications
Korean Classifications
Japanese Terminology
Chinese Terminology
Korean Terminology
Collecting Suiseki
Where To Collect
Tools & Gear
Evaluating Suiseki
Ten Views of a Rock
The Science of Suiseki
Preparing Your Suiseki
Using Acid
Drying Stones
Stone Cutting
Developing A Patina
Caring for Suiseki
Displaying Your Suiseki
The Daiza
The Suiban
The Tokonoma
Other Displays
Overall Design

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Preparing Stones: | Cleaning | Using Acid | Drying | Stone Cutting | Developing Patina | Care

Developing a Patina

A classic Suiseki characteristically has a beautiful patina, and the silky glow adds to the stone's value. There are several widely accepted methods of bringing out this quality in a stone.

Hand Rubbing
Hand rub your stone every day for 30 - 50 years. Although lengthy, this method is a simple, traditional practice among suiseki collectors.

Using Oils: glycerin, olive oil, baby (mineral) oil
Stones that have a smooth surface respond best to oil treatment. Your stone will have a beautiful patina after the guaranteed method outlined below.

  1. Rub the dry stone with one of the oils above, covering splits and cracks.
  2. Leave in the sun for three months, away from moisture from rain or dew.
  3. Rub the stone with oil again after 3 months. Polish it vigorously using a toothbrush, shoe brush, etc.
  4. Then carefully wipe the stone with a clean cloth
  5. Then rub stone with human body oil from your forehead and hands.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 every month for a year.

Talcum Powder
Since talcum powder is white and oily, it has been found by some collectors to enhance the patina of their stones, in conjunction with the "oils" method above.

  1. Follow the "Using oils" method above
  2. After 1-2 days, rub stone with talcum powder and brush strongly
  3. Repeat talcum rub every month.
Patina from Watering
Stones will develop a very natural, beautiful patina after several years of water treatment.
  • place stones in a container filled with water
  • or spray with soft water (distilled water or filtered tap water)
  • place stone in a moist area (such as under a bonsai bank) to saturate with moisture

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