I had always thought copper to be a nice metal for bathroom pipes or lighting but I never purchased anything decorative. It's not that I don't like it but I had just never seen anything that caught my eye. Then, I went to Pakistan where incredibly crafted vases, pitchers and bowls are made. I purchased a few things and my mother went crazy. Her entire house is filled with copper now!
When I heard that copper metal clay was invented I wasn't too interested as I've never come across any jewelry that called my name... until I saw some pieces made with it. And I love it in combination with silver and/or bronze. So, I ordered some and realized afterwards that the firing was much more complicated than silver so I decided to take a class. I'm so glad I did ... I would have had a devil of a time! You really have to add moisture to the ready made clay and knead it until it' the consistency of fresh silly putty. And, you must wrap and put away any unused clay in an airtight container before it begins oxidizing. When it does, it turns hard and black. Otherwise it was fairly similar to silver clay. Getting it out of the kiln is another matter. It really takes two people.... one to open the kiln and pull out the shelf and another to grab the fired pieces (with mask, gloves and long tongs) and get plunge them into water lighting fast. If you don't, a hard scale grows on the copper which is very difficult to remove. I was lucky as my pieces had hardly any scale. Then you pick of the scale, polish and put in pickle. If the pickle is fresh, it help remove the scale. As with silver, it's a delight to see your dull porous clay turn into a hard shining metal.
Here are my first copper jewelry pieces, peeks at my Pakistani finds and a sample of what raw copper looks like......
MORE ON COPPER
Copper has been used in medicine for thousands of years, apparently since before the beginning of recorded history. The ancients recognized copper as an essential healing mineral. Copper was found useful for its curative powers — largely due to its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties — in the treatment of wounds and skin diseases. In modern times, copper is becoming more widely recognized for its effectiveness in the treatment of a number of internal diseases including anemia, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and heart disease.
Here is an interesting quote from Shimmerings on copper....
"Mystical Properties:Due to the fact that copper is such a wonderful physical conductor of electricity and heat, it is also considered the conductor of the spiritualist's belief system. According to myths, copper has the ability to conduct spiritual energy back and forth between individuals, crystals, auras, the mind and the spirit world.It is also believed that copper has the power to amplify thoughts when sending and receiving psychic communications. New Age followers carry copper with their stones and crystals to 'straighten' the properties of them, as well they are used when crating crystal wands to be certain of their clear and straight powers. Copper is also quite instrumental in the physical and mental healing rites of many peoples of this world"
AND recently in the news, it is believed that King Solomon's copper mines have been found in Jordan!