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How Flame Painted Copper Art is Created

Knowing that heat can color copper in glorious ways is one thing.  But to paint with it? That kind of blows my mind. So thanks to friend and reader Aims who spotted this amazing flame painted copper art video everyone's minds can be blown too. The Copper Colorists shown here are Skip and Racheal Mathews, metal smiths based in Arkansas. They are both masters at this unique art form.  They also teach the craft.

 Hummingbird by the Copper Colorists

In the video, Skip explains the art is really that.  He said, "When I teach this, I tell people that we are not trying to shoot for a specific color - that is pretty close to insanity - but we are trying to create contrast and composition."

Check out the next video where another copper colorist, Geoge Goehl explains how metal preparation affects the color.  He also talks about the different parts of the flame and their relative temperatures and how to use it on the copper.

Before You Go:

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  1. Thank you for this. I love copper and have always wanted to know how to get the different colors on it. I can't wait to watch all the videos.

  2. I just love flame coloured metal! Skip and Rachael creates are so beautiful. Watching him colour that butterfly made me go ooh and aah! For me that would be living the dream.

    Since watching these videos I'm still wondering what they do to keep the colours after they finish the piece.

    George reminded me of my first attempts at flame colouring copper. I had cleaned my copper in pickle and brushed it thoroughly with a brass brush. It took the colouring very well. I then promptly forgot all that I had done in my first attempt the next time I went to flame patina a piece and it didn't turn out as well. Perhaps it's time to write down the steps... :0)

    Next up - I need to buy a good torch setup and get practicing.

  3. This is fascinating! I only learned about flame coloring copper recently and tried it with a small torch on pure copper wire to just prevent natural oxidation in the future (I hope) and avoid having to oxidize it :)

  4. That hummingbird is incredible! Had NO idea that you could get so many varied colors. I have always wanted to try this. I am going to have to set aside an afternoon to play.

  5. Anyone know where I can get a copy of:
    Basic Copper Smithing and Flame Painting on Copper (2005, DVD)
    I'd so much appreciate it.
    Ron []

    1. Is it this one?


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