Turning a Mistake into Art

My first attempt to mix metals prior to firing really turned into a disaster . . .at the time of fabrication, that is. I created a solid copper cuff with a light raised texture to it and then did a few pieces of very thin bronze clay and attached them with slip to the copper cuff. My goal was for the bronze to sinter in with the copper cuff during firing.

Well, when it came out of the kiln, the copper cuff was beautifully solid, however the bronze attachments did not sinter on the surface, only on the bottom. Sighing, I decided to use my pick and drill and take off all the charred remains of the burned bronze and try smoothing out the metal that did melt in. I used one of my strongest drill sanders and proceeded to smooth it out and it suddenly became an interesting abstract pattern.

I am looking and at this and wondering if I could really make this become something special instead of a trashed scrap. I continued to buff, sand and smooth with the pattern and then tumbled it overnight to really give it a good finish. Guess what? It was really cool looking at that point. To make it even more exciting, I used my finger and pasted in a patina guilders paste to make the effect of “weathered” copper–it really was a worked over piece! After sealing and buffing, I was like . . .WOW! This is a really cool bracelet.

It was one of the first pieces that sold at my last show . . .what a great way to learn the process of just giving in to the way the piece is headed and not always my preconceived idea of what it should look like. And the woman that put it on, it was a glorious feeling of joy and accomplishment! She looked awesome in it!
antiqued copper

Front view of the piece (can you see the bumps of bronze?)


Back view of the piece–smooth beautiful copper


Not only did it fit her perfectly, but the colors were FANTASTIC!


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