Introduction: Copper Wall Art
This instructable will show you how to make a copper wall piece.
Cut out a copper disc.This one is 25 " and 22 ga.
I put this on a pipe with an 8 1/2 " flange .The size of the center depends on your personal preference and disc size.
To start with I use a heaver hammer to pound it down around the
pipe.Sometimes I use a rubber hammer when the copper isn't hot.A plain metal hammer will mar the copper.For the most part I use a auto body hammer with a rounded and leather wrapped around the head.I got a set at one ofthose traveling 2 day tool sales for around $15.00. * Important* After working the metal for a while the metal will become harder and you will hear a difference in the tone.This is when you must heat the metal called tempering.If not the metal will become brittle and crack. I found that a weed burner works best on the larger pieces.I especially concentrate on the folds.I wear a pair of large leather welding gloves.When handling the hot metal.
Now I remove it from the post and put it on my anvil (chunk of railroad track ) sometimes with a piece of leather on top .I them beat on the folds and try to fold it up as much as possible.
Now I heat it up real good and using a large screwdriver and a small crowbar to open up the creases.Once they are open enough I put it on a sandbag or piece of cardboard and start to flatten it out with the hammer. Now if it doesn't look creased enough ,you can put it back on the post and fold it again.
Now I lay it on the piece of leather and start to pounding it flat.As you do this you will see the crinkles start to form.I usually flip it over many times working it till its flat .Reheating as needed.This is more art then science.You'll see what's happening as you go along.
I now clean a spot on the back with some steel wool and solder on a wire hanger.I Use a propane torch and put a wet towel below it to keep theheat from spreading.You're probably better off using epoxy.
Now for the fun part.Cleaning.I use coarse steel wool.Sometimes I wash it with muratic acid.I also use barkeepers friend.But it takes a couple of hours of scrubbing to get it clean.I finally go over it with fine steel wool and the give it a clear coat of clear acrylic or metal lacquer. Sometimes I have also used acid patinas .Here are some other examples.I also use this method to make bowls .You can see more at my Etsy store.
NathanArt on Etsy.com
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