I made a dome out of copper in the school's studio with the materials provided to create a bowl. This ended up being a drinking chalice. I then decided to try and make another bowl. This time, I wanted to make it double-walled to make it appear heavy. I ended up with "Green Bowl" and it Most were well received during following critiques in and outside of school and so I kept working with this idea.
|outer wall raised from a 12" diameter copper disc|
|"Green Bowl" -raised copper|
Working in the studio at school is a privilege because of all the resources available. Since most students work on small-scale things such as jewelry, I thought that I should find a way to use less of the metal available; as these bowls can be quite large. I looked into buying metal, but obviously copper is very expensive and brass isn't too far behind, especially on the student budget. I talked to people and found generous friends that would donate materials and I would find many items at thrift stores and rummage sales.
I have gotten a cymbal, some copper dishes, many old serving trays, award plaques and various other forms of sheet metal that were destined for the scrap yard or landfill.
So, as the metal is hammered, it is stretched and also hardened. It is similar to bending a piece of wire. If you bend it once, it is harder to bend straight because the crystalline structure of the metal gets compressed. This also cause the metal to be more brittle and continuing to bend or form it could cause it to tear or break. Annealing the metal is important in the process because it allows the crystalline structure to decompress. This is done by heating the metal. Once annealed and cool, I can continue to shape the metal without tearing it, however, there are limits to how far the metal will stretch.
Many of the vessels have hammered texture on the surface that is created from the hammering into shape but is mostly applied afterwards for decorative purposes.
|grinding and sanding completed|
When I am happy with the finished surface, I can add a patina. There are many different options to be explored with these. The patina I chose for this vessel is a cupric nitrate for the green and also liver of sulphur for the dark copper inside. One is applied to the heated metal and the other is just mixed and applied with special techniques to get the desired results.
|applying cupric nitrate|
Thanks for reading.