New on the Padilla Designs blog is a series called “Featured Materials”, dedicated to sharing what we love about the fascinating raw materials that come through our studio on a regular basis. We regularly work with copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel, aluminum, cor-ten steel, a variety of high-end hardwoods, and enjoy teaching our clients about the wonders of these natural elements and how they can be used in our artistic fabrication process.
Copper: The Living Material
Did you know that copper was one of the very first metals ever extracted and used by humans? It is one of the few metals that occur in nature in native form. Copper is easily stretched, molded, and shaped, is resistant to corrosion, and conducts heat and electricity efficiently. As a result, copper was important to early humans and continues to be a material of choice for a variety of domestic, industrial, and high-technology applications today.
As designers, we find copper to be a magic material that has so many colors, qualities, and expressions it would be easy to believe that copper is as alive as we are.
When heated, copper gets soft and changes colors. When pounded it gets hard and textured. It can be cut, rolled and formed into any shape or contour imaginable. When left outside it develops a layer of natural protection to the elements. Known as “patina”, this transformation is the expression of the element it self and makes copper such an inspiring medium to work with. The natural aging of copper goes through many stages of appearance. From reds, to dark purples, to lime greens and deep blues. The patina layer of copper is a living finish that is ever changing as time travels on.
To see some of what Padilla Designs team makes possible with copper, check out the gallery below.