Let's Talk Copper.... Again
Recently, on a video, someone commented inquiring why I "waste all my time" on copper. Now, those of you who've followed my blog for a hot minute may know exactly why I turn to copper. But some new to my work and my site may be surprised at the multitude of reasons I have at the ready. Let's discuss a few of them!
"Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides." Junichiro Tanizaki
This discoloration should not be confused with an allergic reaction, which is rare, and more likely to occur from ingestion than surface contact. However, if you suspect an allergic reaction, please contact a health care provider.
And, while copper jewelry does require more care than it's silver counterparts, and certainly more than gold jewelry, it's very easy to maintain. A simple, quick bath in a bit of Worcestershire Sauce (yes, you read that right), or a quick brush with a super fine steel wool pad (affordable and easily available at any hardware store) is all that's needed to maintain a beautiful finish. If worn frequently, an occasional gentle scrubbing with dish liquid beneath lukewarm water will keep your copper jewelry clean and fresh. Just dry thoroughly and store in a sealed container when not worn to slow the oxidation process.
And that's it! You can enjoy the warm, earthy tones of copper, even enjoy its metaphysical healing properties (which you can read more about here), without a concern for it's "worth". Beauty and worth is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.
11/18/2016 01:23:30 am
I agree with you.copper is amazing to work with plus its more primal and elemental then silver and gold.I like silver and gold to but they get boring easy and are pricy for me and the people who will buy my creations.
11/19/2016 04:04:40 am
Have you tried Renaissance wax? It has been developed by British Museum to protect their artifacts. It creates a protective microlayer over the metal. It works, no more green fingers! Get the smallest container, only tiny amounts are used on jewelry. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B003AJWN62/ref=psd_mlt_nbc_B0012S1XBO_p
11/29/2016 11:18:45 pm
I love copper and was inspired by your work to use it. My customers agree with me that it goes with everything.
12/1/2016 12:27:58 am
Besides loving copper and silver, I've just added in a new metal to my palette: jeweler's bronze. It's a beautiful gold-ish color that when heated, turns a lovely mottled brown-ish color that pops against the un-heated metal. Heating also anneals it, which would make fine work easier. I've not used it yet in wire-weaving, but plan to. Just sayin.....
12/2/2016 08:31:18 am
I love copper! I love working with it, the way it patinas is always a favorite of mine. I love what you do with copper and get great inspiration from your work. Cheers
12/5/2016 09:00:11 pm
I've always loved copper so much more than silver or gold. Thank you for putting those reasons into words.
12/7/2016 05:28:38 pm
I know you can't hear me but I'm clapping my hands. You've said everything I feel about Copper...I think it's absolutely beautiful.
12/8/2016 02:05:53 am
Another great blog, thank you, Nicole.
12/24/2016 01:55:20 am
Copper is Gorgeous. Nothing else needs to be said. Your work is amazing and I love that I will own a piece some day. I was in Art Jewelry Adventure and was mesmerized by your tutorial. I have been watching as many videos as I can get my hands on to learn. I've yet to try it but I've collected a few good sized Cabochons (all would look amazing with copper!) so I'm on my way! I too struggle with being critical of my work -- or anything I do really. I loved your quote from art and fear in the blog post after this one!
2/9/2017 04:16:47 pm
This could have been me writing this, as it's all the same things I have said to others about copper. Yes, most people like silver, but those silverites I have shown my oxidized copper pieces to (especially the dragonfly from your tutorial) are being swayed over. I have such a warm, cozy feeling when I look at copper woven jewelry such as Nicole's, but then I am an earth and foliage type person (I could probably live out in the woods for short periods of time). By the way, I love how the greens look with the oxidized copper, but green has always been my favorite color with bright accents like a sunny day. Anyway, I do go on. I feel like you are all my sisters from different mothers as I read this blog each month.
3/9/2017 01:14:12 pm
That is so interesting about the Worcestershire (yes I had to go back and re-read to get the spelling right!) What if the piece has had a treatment in liver of sulfur? Sometimes I find in humid summer months that my oxidized pieces turn an unattractive shade of orange... kind of like a spray on tan! Would the sauce work on this?
4/7/2017 01:44:04 pm
I love working with copper whether I use a patina, or keep it shinny. It is so much fun to work with. Thank you for this article.
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