What happens when a clay chiminea gets older?

aging chimineas

Our friends down in Devon have been watching with interest as their large Mexican clay chiminea ages. It’s really interesting. Here are some photos, with captions to explain what you can see. They love the look. It’s natural and real, and helps the chiminea bend into the garden beautifully.

What happens when a clay chiminea gets older? Green mould develops on the lid, simply because the chiminea is under trees.

“We could easily clean off the green mould but it isn’t doing any harm and we actually like the way it looks.”

The finish is chipping off here and there to reveal the pure terra cotta clay underneath.

“We were wondering whether the original finish was the clay itself, or a coating. It turns out it was a paler coloured finish painted over the clay underneath. We’re excited to see patches of beautiful, bold orange coming through, the exact same colour as the terra cotta plant pots we’ve got. Yes, we could repaint it, but the developing patina is exactly what we like, it fits with our relaxed style.”

Plus a bit of dirt here and there to complete the start of the ‘patina’ process!

“Our cat Dave enjoys sleeping inside the chiminea in all weathers, on top of the grill inside. It doesn’t look very comfortable but he seems pretty happy with it! In this photo you can see how the patina is developing all over the body and chimney part of the chim. Dave is checking that the stepping stones are still flat and level. He says they’re fine. Well, done, Dave.”

We’ll keep you updated on the condition of our friends’ chim as we descend into winter 😉

PS. Do you fancy checking out our 5 hot outdoor fire safety tips?