Wednesday, 16 April 2014

To Do : Raku

Beautiful Copper

I've become quite enthralled with the Raku process to color copper. It's easy enough to do. First, clean a piece of copper sheet thoroughly with a plastic scrubbing pad, detergent and powdered sink cleanser. Next, heat the metal (held in heat-proof pliers) with a torch until it is glowing hot then drop it into a pot full of evergreen needles and cones. Cover it and let it cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Lift it out and check the effect. I gave another copper square the treatment yesterday, then planned and cut earring parts.


Just look at the great colors in these — copper, red, gold, green and even a touch of blue.

I decided to make one pair to swing from diamond set squares. Here, the finished earrings are waiting for a coating of archival wax to preserve the colors.

The second pair here are waiting to be given a subtle vertical bend. The process is called chasing. It's easy: lay the triangle, face down, on a suitable, slightly yielding, surface. I use a hockey puck! Borrow your husband's cold chisel and place it along the item. Use a brass hammer to strike the chisel, creating a bend in the metal.

You can make the bend quite sharp but I chose to chase these lightly, just enough to increase the play of light. You can see the finished product below.