Friday, April 14, 2017

How to Fuse and Recycle Your Copper Scraps!

By on Friday, April 14, 2017 4 Comments

Metal smiths often use their torch to ball up short lengths of silver wire scraps. But I never thought you could do the same with copper scraps. British wire and metal artist, Lily Tree shows how easy it is to fuse and recycle your copper scraps!


She has some clever tips on how to lay wire or jump rings to add to the fusing process so the fusing creates organic and fun designs!

Remember you have to clean up the copper after it has been fused.  This involves dipping the pieces in pickle (mild acid) and then rinsing and buffing it up.  If you want the copper design to stay bright and shiny, use some Renaissance wax to protect it.




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4 comments:

  1. I have fused silver before but never copper. This is quite interesting as I usually throw copper bits away. Lately whenever I use Renaissance wax on my bright copper pieces they are becoming darker aka oxidising faster than ever. I apply 1-2 thin coats and buff well with a cloth. I have no idea what I am doing wrong

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    1. I think you do need much more than 2 thin coats to keep shiny copper that way. I like coated wire like Parawire which does a good job. I generally use Renaissance wax to protect patina.

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  2. I've never found anything that keeps copper shiny unless it's previously coated and you don't remove it. Not Renaissance Wax - not spraying it with varnish - nothing. It oxidizes no matter what. Some people love that - some people prefer the coated that stays shiny. It's definitely a conundrum if you want your piece to stay bright and coppery.

    As for the fusing. I use a lot of copper. I love working with it. I never throw anything away and have a huge bucket of bits and pieces of wire and sheet. I can see doing this and then using it to make patterns on other sheet with a rolling mill! That will be fun to experiment with!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for confirming that it is hard to keep natural copper shiny. It does oxidize easily as does sterling silver wire which contains 7.5% copper.

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