Hand Hammered Copper Plates

Copper Plate - Copper Plate
  • 13" Wide

  • "Tiesselinck" Abstract Leaf Copper Plaque - "Tiesselinck" Leaf Copper Plaque

  • 12" w.

  • Stickley Seed Pod Copper Plaque

  • 12" w.

  • Can I put water in my copper vase?

    Yes, our copper vases are water tight. However, water will eventually discolor the finish on the inside of the vase. If your vase has a wide mouth opening, the discoloration will be visible. We are happy to seal the inside surface of the vase so it will not discolor. Just ask us!

    Can I use my copper tray for serving food?

    Copper is not recommended for food usage. You will need to line your copper tray with clear plastic or glass to keep the food from coming in contact with the copper. A simple solution is to use large lettuce leaves as a base.

    Do I need to polish my copper? What should I use?

    We recommend that you DON'T polish your copper pieces. Polishing will diminish the unique heat patina finish. Fine steel wool or a coarse-napped terry cloth can be used on the copper to restore its luster.

    Why isn't my copper shiny?

    The copper used is crafted using a centuries-old bonfire method. The copper is heated in a bonfire and then worked with hammers to create the designs. The flame, ash and soot from this process produces this rich chestnut heat patina finish. By the way, this bonfire method is chemical-free. No chemicals are used to achieve the patina.

    Where does the copper come from?

    The artisans live and work in the highlands of Michoacan in Central Mexico. There were copper mines in the region, but they have been closed for decades. The copper they use is all reclaimed scrap copper--very earth-friendly!

    Is the copper pure?

    The copper is 99.9% pure.

    Are the pieces made from a mold?

    No molds are used. The artists use a pattern and individually craft each piece by hand, hammered from a single lump of copper.
    bonfire.jpgMade by the Purepecha Indians of Central Mexico since pre-Columbian times. When the Europeans arrived in the 16th century, they found the Purepecha making domestic implements and weapons from copper found in local, above-ground mines. Father Vasco de Quiroga introduced a few refinements; however, little has changed in how the copper is worked and finished. Because the copper mines have long been closed, today the smiths gather and melt discarded copper for use in their workshops.

    During the bonfire method, coppersmiths take the reclaimed copper and patiently heat and hammer it until the metal is "raised"--meaning the bowl or vase walls are formed. The smith then takes a special hammer to finish the piece. Depending upon the amount of salt in the air and how often the copper piece is handled, the metal will oxidize and the finish becomes matte, as the color darkens to deep browns and reds. The manufacture is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.

    Fair Trade Federation members must: Provide healthy and safe working conditions.

    Pay a fair wage in the local context.

    Provide equal opportunities for all people, particularly the most disadvantaged.

    Engage in environmentally sustainable practices.

    Build long-term trade relationships.

    Provide financial and technical assistance to workers whenever possible.