I've been a little fixated with copper lately; it's such a beautiful, versatile metal and it always surprises me how many jewellers I come across that say they don't like to work with it.
It's wonderfully malleable when annealed then hardens easily with some light hammering, it can be polished up to a lovely pinkish shine or left a warm peachy satin, it can take a huge variety of colours through patina's and heating and even oxidises on it's own eventually to a beautiful warm tone.
It has a variety of supposed health benefits ranging from alleviating arthritis and carpal tunnel to helping with circulation and is easily absorbed through the skin in tiny amounts without overwhelming the body.
It is recyclable, durable and easy to keep clean - a 10-15 minute soak in simple household acidic substance such as lemon or tomato juice/sauce will polish it right back up.
What's not to like?
Well, just to play devils advocate I suppose, it oxidises rather quickly so needs to be sealed or cleaned very regularly (apparently losing it's healing benefits though), some skin types, myself among them, react rather strongly with copper, turning both the metal and our own skins an unlovely shade of green (usually caused by sweat or acidic skin conditions), and it has a very distinctive smell that lingers and lingers and lingers on the hands after working with it (thankfully, not so much when worn just when you've been filing away at it all day).
Personally, I think the pro's outweigh the con's and, most importantly, at least from a jewellers perspective, is that it can be made into some amazingly beautiful pieces.
I am Vee.
Artist, Jeweller, Designer, jack of many useless trades, mental archive of many useless facts.