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Campania’s cast stone products are available in a choice of thirteen (13) exclusive natural pigment stains in addition to natural cast stone. All of our patinas are hand applied in a multi-step process, producing uniquely beautiful original pieces. Designed to replicate the look of naturally aged materials, the patinas will not prevent the natural aging process that occurs in an outdoor environment.
Like stains for wood, each piece will accept our patinas in varying degrees of intensity, creating natural variations that add character and distinction to every piece. Even when applied with the same process, no two pieces will look exactly alike due to the composition of the cast stone, and the varying age of the pieces. Rather than creating uniform stains, our approach gives our products their unique beauty and appeal.
Due to the hand-application process and photography, actual colors may vary slightly from those depicted in these examples. Please consult our catalog photos and our website for examples of variations of our patinas.
Campania cast stone planters and statuary will age naturally over time as they are exposed to the elements. Campania’s patinas are intended to create the illusion that the cast stone has already begun its natural-aging process.
Part of the natural aging cycle for all cast stone products is a chemical reaction between salts found in natural materials and water. This reaction is called efflorescence. The degree of efflorescence will vary depending on weather conditions. When Mother Nature produces rainy, cold, windy weather, the calcium carbonate (salt) contained in the raw materials used to make cast stone will be drawn to the surface and will appear as a chalky white residue on the surface of the piece. This residue will disappear as more of the same weather conditions complete the efflorescence cycle and will disappear as the chalky white-residue washes away. The efflorescence process occurs only once.
Other than efflorescence, iron oxidization is another natural occurrence that may appear on a very small number of birdbaths and fountains. Bowls and basins hold water and are continually wet. The raw materials used as ingredients for cast stone birdbaths contain minimal levels of iron. When iron reacts with water, a powdery pink or orange residue can appear on your birdbath. This effect is not caused by interior structural supports, since many of your Campania pieces are engineered to be strong enough without such supports.
Each piece of cast stone will age differently. Mother Nature will ultimately determine the appearance each piece will acquire as it ages. However, these natural processes can be minimized by scrubbing and cleaning the affected areas with a soft brush.
Campania works hard to minimize the effects of efflorescence and oxidation while maintaining a natural looking product. We have consulted with many specialists concerning these reactions and constantly test our raw materials to ensure minimal amounts of salt and iron. While these reactions are minimized, they still occur. Many customers believe they enhance the aged character and uniqueness of our cast stone products. Indeed, these natural processes can be used as a selling tool since the weathered finishes created by Mother Nature cannot be precisely duplicated by the hand of man. Please contact our Customer Service Department with any questions you may have concerning the natural aging of Campania cast stone products.
Most of Campania’s fiberglass products are available in (4) standard colors, but some items are also available in different colors.
Specific assembly instructions are included with the purchase of each Campania fountain. Please check that these instructions and all fountain parts are included before setting up the fountain. The following general guidelines should be followed for every fountain set-up:
- The fountain should be set up on a flat, level surface to ensure proper water flow.
- A properly prepared base of gravel, flagstone, or other hardscaping material is preferred to maintain stability.
- Check that the pump works BEFORE assembly by placing it in a bucket of water and operating the pump.
- A fountain pump should only be connected to a properly grounded 110 volt (AC only) GFCI protected receptacle.
Proper care for all cast stone fountains should include the following important tips:
- Consistent filling is required to maintain a proper water level and ensure that the pump remains totally submerged. If the level of water is too low, the pump will be damaged. How often a fountain should be filled depends on water flow and specific weather conditions in which the fountain is running. Appropriate water level is also required for proper fountain performance.
- Keep pump inflow free of debris to insure proper water flow. Periodic cleaning of the pump will extend its life.
- If desired, the fountain may be cleaned with mild soap and a soft bristle brush. DO NOT use bleach as this may affect the patina.
- Algaecides available at pond supply or garden shops can be used to combat the buildup of algae.
- Always follow general winter care for fountains as described above to extend the life of your fountain.
All of our cast stone pieces are manufactured with a high density cast stone mix with a PSI (pounds per square inch) strength of approximately 7,500. While this high density mixture is designed to produce a strong and durable product, proper maintenance is recommended to protect our product from the freeze-thaw cycles that occur in winter. Any piece which can hold water, snow or ice, such as a planter, birdbath/ fountain top or shell, and any piece which is placed directly on the ground surface, such as a statue, birdbath/fountain base, planter or bench leg, can be damaged by the winter freeze-thaw cycles.
Cast Stone & GFRC Planters – If a planter is to be left planted over the winter, it should be raised up off the ground by placing two (2) pressure treated wood strips underneath the planter, making sure not to block the drainage hole. Attractive pot risers sold by Campania may also be used for this purpose. This will allow the soil to drain and will prevent the planter from freezing to the ground. If a planter is placed directly on the ground and goes through several freeze-thaw cycles, drainage may be blocked. This may cause an expansion of the soil inside the planter, which in turn may cause the planter to crack or crumble. We always recommend that drainage materials such as small stones or terra cotta chips be placed at the bottom of the planter before filling with soil to ensure proper drainage. If a planter is not to remain planted over the winter, we suggest that it be stored in a covered area where it will be protected from the elements. If a planter must be left outside unplanted, we suggest that it be emptied and turned upside down onto wood strips. It should then be covered or wrapped with burlap or any absorbent material (old blanket/towel) and then wrapped with dark plastic. This will prevent moisture from accumulating in the planter. Please note that even if a cast stone container is raised off the ground, there is always the risk that the container will absorb water through its surface which, when frozen, can cause the planter to crack or break.
Our glazed and terra cotta pottery is high fired between 990 (terra cotta) and 1000 (glazed) degrees centigrade to ensure frost resistance and durability. They are also subjected to rigorous testing in freeze-thaw conditions to ensure quality. Due to the processes used in the manufacturing of our hand-made and hand-glazed containers, all variations with respect to firing, color, size and crackling are not deemed to be defects but are natural occurrences in the manufacturing process. The glazes on our containers consist of natural, not chemical, components and therefore the final color of the product will vary. This process creates the unique beauty of each piece.
Terra cotta and earthenware are always slightly porous. Although this allows plant roots to breathe, it also constitutes a risk in winter. When the temperature drops below freezing, any water present in the pot walls will freeze and expand. This will cause the pot wall to spall and can ultimately destroy the pot. Whether this actually happens or not, depends upon the quantity of water that can be absorbed by the fired clay. This, in turn, depends upon the quality of the clay and the way it has been processed.
Machine-made terra cotta planters can absorb a lot of water and are the most vulnerable to winter damage. Hand-made containers, like those offered by Campania, absorb far less water because the clay is processed differently. They are frost-resistant if handled correctly. However, because any water held in a pot from rain or melting snow will freeze and expand, any pot made of a non-elastic material is at risk if left outside unprotected in winter. Accordingly, while the high firing temperature and quality of our glazed and terra cotta containers results in a durable and frost-resistant product, we still recommend that they be stored in a frost-free covered area in winter. If left outside, water may accumulate in the container and freeze, causing the planter to crack and break.
Steel Planters - Campania’s Lightweight Steel planters are made of steel sheets 1.2 mm thick. If used outdoors, it is recommended that an appropriate sealer is applied to maintain the surface finish and prevent oxidation. Note, if oxidation occurs, rust may leach onto the ground surface with the potential to stain. Avoid collection of standing water in the bottom of the planter which can cause rusting and deterioration.
Zinc Planters - These planters are fire galvanized by dipping them into a hot zinc bath to protect the steel from rust. These planters are not designed for directed planting and are intended to be used with an interior grow pot or liner.
Always place a Campania planter on a solid level surface and not directly on grass, soil, or an uneven surface.
Proper winter care is recommended for all Campania fiberglass planters for protection in environments with potential freeze-thaw cycles. If a planter is to be left planted over the winter, ensure proper drainage by:
- placing a layer of coarse gravel or other appropriate drainage material in the bottom of the container;
- making sure the drainage holes are not blocked.
If the planter remains in contact with the ground surface over the winter, the freeze-thaw cycles may cause the planter to crack.
Color is applied to Campania’s cold painted planters after they are fired. As such, the color is not integral to the piece as is a fully glazed planter. To maintain the integrity of the planter and prevent peeling/fading of surface color, we recommend that cold painted planters be used indoors only.
Always place any Campania product on a solid level surface.