Art in Ashes - Exclusive Funeral Products

The Ageing Process of Corten Steel

Corten steel, also known as weathering steel, is a group of steel alloys which were developed to eliminate the need for painting, and form a stable rust-like appearance after several years’ exposure to weather.

The name ‘Corten’ is derived from its two key properties: corrosion resistance and tensile strength. It is a material that is widely appreciated in art and architecture for its natural, earthy aesthetics and its robust, enduring nature.

The unique aspect of Corten steel is its ability to form a protective layer of rust when exposed to the weather. This is because of the presence of certain elements such as copper, chromium, and nickel, which form an adherent protective layer that impedes further corrosion.

This is why the material is particularly suitable for outdoor sculptures and memorials.

Read more about what Corten Steel Urns and Sculptures are.

Over time, Corten steel undergoes a stunning metamorphosis. Initially emerging as a bright, metallic surface, it gradually darkens through shades of orange and brown to a rich, deep russet tone.

This evolving patina becomes the artwork’s living skin, reflecting the natural cycle of birth, growth, and decay, which is particularly resonant in the context of memorials.

Regarding funeral and cremation artworks, Corten steel has found a significant place.

The durability of the material means that the artworks can withstand the rigors of outdoor settings, such as memorial gardens or cemeteries, without deteriorating as quickly as other materials.

We think that this longevity makes Corten steel artworks a great metaphor for memory and remembrance, as it weathers over time but does not give way.

More and more artists and artisans are adopting Corten steel in the creation of cremation urns, sculptures, and other memorials.

The material’s robust nature allows for a wide range of artistic expression, from minimalist designs to intricate, detailed workmanship. The changing color palette of the steel adds a dynamic visual element to the memorial.

It symbolizes the ongoing presence of the loved one in the lives of those who remember them.

Lastly, the evolving patina of Corten steel can be seen as a representation of the grieving process itself.

It is changing and deepening over time, but always part of the landscape of life.

In this way, Corten steel art memorials offer a beautiful and enduring tribute to those who have passed. Our outdoor artworks bridge the gap between art, the natural world, and the human experience of loss and memory.

Also visit Colonia-Art for more beautiful garden sculptures, garden screens and garden ornaments made with Corten Steel.