Tuesday, December 3, 2019

IO Challenge Holiday Wishes "Joy in Copper Mobile"

For this Impression Obsession challenge, Holiday Wishes, I had a little copper left, along with the bright idea to try a few things I hadn’t tried before. 

Lesson number one: trying new things is good. Trying new things with a thin metal that slices through skin in a way that makes paper cuts seem like a rocking good time, is not good.

Lesson Number two: using die cuts to cut images from copper makes a nice change to always using them to cut images from paper. Using intricate die cuts on copper means that you must stuff your Big Shot so full of paper shims that you must enlist help from your entire family; half to hold the machine and the other half to crank it the approximately 27 times it will take to get the cuts deep enough. This can take some time, especially when you happen to have all Y Chromosomes on the job and whose hands will "accidentally" keep slipping from the crank, right when it is at its tightest. The result is the crank rocketing back with such force that the unsuspecting ones still holding the crank will lose their grip and end up with bruised knuckles and cracked wrists, much to the great hilarity of the rest of the pack. I tolerate it because-and only because-don’t have to do it. 

I believe I've already addressed-in toto-the potential liabilities of using blow torches to heat copper, starting with the trip to any craft store and simply asking for a blow torch. But I have an actual positive to share today, friends. 
I’d been heating copper using the torch function. See, when you ignite a hand torch, you get a soft flame. Then you engage the torch which will turn your copper colors. It's very difficult though because it happens so quick that you end up with the metal turning silver (called scaling-caused when you overheat metal) too quickly and you bypass all the warm colors. This time, I just used the soft flame, not the torch. Took a few minutes but worth it. Totally pleased. 
And, for the record, you can emboss copper! Which I did before heating. 
And hence, my Holiday Wish for you. 

I also wish for the Spirit of Christmas to fill your homes and your hearts! (Along with a a different type of spirit to fill your eggnog and keep it full of another type of joy. Heh heh) 

Merry Happy Chanukah Christmas!



  1. Sorry I'll try again on the comment. I love your copper mobile and dream of trying to use dies on thin metal but after reading how hard it was and lacking all Y chromosomes maybe I will simply admire your work. Well done!

    1. Hahahaha Smart choice, my friend! Ty gor the compliment! But you MUST try it! Just maybe on a solid, embossed piece. You save your machine and no Y chromosomes needed

  2. I bow to you for die cutting copper with wafer thin dies. That's an amazing feat. This is so cool! I have not burnt copper in a while now but love the look. Your write up was hilarious - the entire family needed to turn the crank. Hope your bearings in the cutter held up to that.

    By accident I discovered if you overheat copper to the silver point, soak it in vinegar with a little salt and voila! Natural color comes back.

  3. Love this! I'd have every finger wrapped or stitched...lol! You are amazing!

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