DIY: Creating Natural Patinas on Copper

I thought it would be cool to provide a few simple techniques that you can try at home to create natural patinas on copper. The process of creating patina on copper involves the gradual natural oxidation of the metal’s surface over time, resulting in a greenish-blue or brownish-green color. However, if you want to accelerate the patina process, here are a few methods you can try:

  • Ammonia fumes: Place your copper item in a sealed container with a small dish of household ammonia. Leave it in the container for several hours or overnight, and the ammonia fumes will accelerate the oxidation process and create a patina.
  • Salt and vinegar solution: Mix equal parts white vinegar and salt in a spray bottle or container. Spray or apply the solution onto the copper surface and leave it to dry. Repeat this process several times until the desired patina is achieved.
  • Liver of sulfur: Dissolve liver of sulfur in hot water, and immerse your copper item in the solution for a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the desired color intensity. Rinse the item thoroughly with water, and dry it with a soft cloth.
  • Burying the copper: Bury your copper item in soil or manure, making sure it is completely covered. The natural oxidation process will occur over time, and you can uncover the item periodically to check on the progress of the patina.
  • It’s worth noting that different copper alloys may react differently to these methods, so it’s always a good idea to test them on a small area first before applying them to the entire item. Additionally, be sure to handle these chemicals safely and follow any manufacturer instructions or warnings.

    Copper Art for Home and Office: Adding Warmth and Elegance to Your Space

    Copper is a beautiful and versatile material that has been used in art and design for thousands of years. Its warm, glowing tones and malleability make it a popular choice for artists and designers across a wide range of disciplines. If you are looking to add some warmth and elegance to your home or office, consider incorporating copper art into your decor.

    One of the most popular ways to incorporate copper art into your space is through wall art. Copper wall art can take many forms, from large-scale sculptures and installations to smaller pieces such as framed prints or mixed media pieces. Copper wall art adds texture and dimension to your walls, creating a focal point that draws the eye and adds a sense of depth to your space.

    Another way to incorporate copper art into your decor is through functional pieces such as lighting fixtures and furniture. Copper lighting fixtures, such as pendant lights and table lamps, add a warm glow to your space and create a sense of intimacy and comfort. Copper furniture, such as chairs and tables, adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room.

    Copper art can also be incorporated into your home or office through smaller decorative pieces such as vases, bowls, and candle holders. These pieces add a subtle touch of warmth and elegance to your space and can be used to create a cohesive look throughout your decor.

    One of the most exciting aspects of copper art is the way in which artists are using new technologies and techniques to create innovative and unique pieces. For example, some artists are using 3D printing technology to create intricate copper sculptures with complex geometries and organic forms. Others are using innovative surface treatments and patinas to create unique textures and colors.

    In conclusion, copper art is a beautiful and versatile way to add warmth and elegance to your home or office decor. Whether through wall art, functional pieces, or decorative accents, copper art adds a touch of sophistication and style to any space. Whether you are a collector, an enthusiast, or simply appreciate the beauty of copper, incorporating copper art into your decor is sure to add warmth and elegance to your surroundings.

    Empire Copper: Artist Feature - Adam Colangelo

    A huge thank you to my friends at Empire Copper for the feature. 

    Click here for original article, or read below: 


    By Elizabeth Fleming March 4, 2022

    Hey Empire Community! 

    For this month’s feature artist interview, we are in Ontario, Canada (virtually of course). Our artist this month is  Adam Colangelo. We have long admired Adam’s work and have really enjoyed getting to know him and we are sure you will too!

    Adam creates incredible copper wall art in many sizes, styles and colours; the colour and depth of his patina’s are truly amazing. My personal favourite are his red’s and pink’s, of which we have selected for the feature image of this article. 

    Now, let’s go straight to the source:

    1. Tell us all about you…

    My name is Adam Colangelo, I’m a self-taught contemporary copper artist living/working in the Niagara wine region of Ontario, Canada. I’ve always been a hands-on, experiential learner. Growing up, I enjoyed (and still enjoy) playing the guitar, wood working, cooking, gardening, and motorcycle restoration. I have a background in teaching/education; however, soon after graduating university, I redirected my skills and passions to creating visual art.

    2. How did you get into working with copper and creating copper art?

    One day shortly after my grandfather’s passing in 2009, I was tinkering in his workshop when I came across an old roll of thin sheet copper. I was inspired to create something from the copper as a tribute to him. I experimented with several thermal and chemical techniques to create various colours and textures, and the results intrigued me. I was excited because this type of work seemed to compliment many of my skills and interests.

    3. What was the first copper piece you ever made? And how long ago was that? How long have you been doing this for?

    I’ve been creating art in various forms for the past 15 years. The piece that kickstarted my copper art career was created in 2009. It was made from that old roll of copper I discovered in my grandfather’s workshop. I still have it in my collection. Looking at it now, you can see how my work has evolved over time.

    4. What are some notable features of your work?

    My most recent ‘feature’ project was a commissioned print run of over 1500 reproductions of my original “Take Them Up” for the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. (side bar: how insanely cool is this!?) I hope to visit one day and view each and every one of them.

    5. Where is your workshop based? and where do you ship to? 

    My studio is based in the Niagara wine region of Ontario (Canada). Most of my sales are within North America; however, I do ship worldwide. I just recently shipped two pieces to a collector in London, UK.

    6. Is there anything you would like to say about you, your business, your art, the art world or even a favourite quote?

    I consider myself extremely lucky to have found a way to make a living doing something I truly enjoy. It’s been a rewarding experience navigating the art world as an independent artist working with copper. There’s so much to learn when you first start, and you have to be prepared to work hard and wear many ‘hats’ in order to run a successful small business. But if there’s a will, there’s always a way.

    If you’d like to see more of Adam’s art, you can visit his website or, if you loved what read, and would like to know more, you can follow Adam here, on Instagram.

    Copyright Adam Colangelo ©
    All rights reserved.
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