by Lynda Carson.
(Spring Valley, California USA)
Chapter Three or Four
of An Adventure in Copper:
Today was a day to get brave. I got out my micro torch which had not seen the light of day in two years. Kind of afraid of the thing.
But I really wanted to try torching some copper components to get the beautiful colors I’ve seen others achieve with this technique.
After some trial and error, I’m learning to somewhat control the color by having a spray bottle of water in hand to cool the copper and stop the color change. It’s tricky and I’m not sure one can ever be totally in control of this process.
I did use steel wool to ‘erase’ the color and try again on the same piece. So there are do-overs.
I have to say it was fun and exciting to see what happens.
Not sure the photos do justice to the colors achieved either. Some gorgeous pinks, blues, purples, greens, even a bit of red and gold.
Fresh Baked Designs
oooh, I’m going to try that.
“Trial and terror” is the way I feel about my torch. Silly, but there you go. The rings look great. I love copper’s possibilities and I’m using it a lot now that the price of silver has skyrocketed. Getting lots of compliments from potential customers, as well.
Thanks for showing us these and telling about your experimentation. Is that sort of “brushed” finish on the bottom two rings a result of using the steel wool or was it already on the rings?
by: Dianne Culbertson
Gold and Silver get all the attention while Copper is so beautiful, so warm and rich, you certainly bring out the beauty of this under appreciated metal. The spray bottle is a wonderful tip and the “do-over” is an added bonus to this technique! Thanks so much for sharing. By the way, I love the name you have chosen!
More copper suggestions
by: Beth/Wire Tree Jewelry
I’ve been experimenting with copper for a long time and have the following suggestions:
– You don’t need steel wool for a do-over, unless you like the brushed metal look. You can just reheat and you can get a color change all over again.
– If you’re brave, you can move on to a plumber’s torch. Bigger, hotter flame creates a color change faster and I’m able to achieve bright reds that way.
– Add drops of flux (used in soldering) to the copper and then heat. It will turn some of the areas golden.
– Seal with lacquer. Over time the colors fade quite a bit without it.
Thank you, Christine!
by: Lynda Carson
Thank you for all your comments. This is actually a very exciting new development for me to keep working on.
Responses to question:
…The smallest washers are not brushed. I wanted to see what would happen to a plain washer right out of the box.
…And Beth, Thank you for sharing from your experience. That’s how we all improve our game.
Love the colors
by: Michelle B.
I love the colors you’ve been able to get the copper to turn. When I use my torch the copper just turns dark and then has little black portions on it – no cool colors like everyone else seems to get. Maybe my torch isn’t hot enough? I too love the rich color of copper and have been using more in my jewelry as well.
Thanks for sharing all this info! 🙂
I’ve been firing copper over a gas burner for several months, but I recently bought a torch and WOW…the colors have exploded on the copper! It’s fantastic! Check out some samples on my etsy page: http://www.etsy.com/shop/sakeith56
See especially my “Copper Fan Pull.”
I keep a large bowl of ice water next to the torch to dip and fire to get the desired effect.
Bright colors on copper
by: Handmade Jewelry
We have a mini torch as well and get good results in reds and oranges but some people get blues and purples. How do they get the vivid colors? Do they add chemicals while torching? I have even seen patterns that are incredible. How can we get brighter colors than we achieve now?