Faux Copper Vase #545

Faux Copper Vase #545

Piece #545 – Sycamore, Copper, Calcite – 5.5″ by 9.5″



This vase is made from sycamore, copper leaf and calcite crystals. The vase was turned on the lathe with a wall thickness of 3/8″. The ivy leaves and stems were cut about 1/8″ deep into the wood using a high speed dental drill. Once all of the wood inside the stems and leaves was removed the calcite crystal was inlaid, sanded and polished thru 4000 grit sandpaper. Next I removed all of the wood from the vase all around the stems and ivy down 1/16″ deep. This left the stems and leaves inlay 1/16″ proud (above) the entire surface of the vase. I sanded the vase to 180 grit. Using my Dremel and a carbide Steel, ball shaped bit I cut in the dimples on the surface of the vase around the stems and ivy. This is called stippling.

I then sealed the entire surface of the vase with dewaxed shellac and let that cure for a couple of days. Next I painted the stippled wood around the stems and ivy with flat black spray paint and let that cure overnight. On top of that I put down a coat of hard table varnish and let that dry several days.

Following the proper procedures I gilded the stippled surface around the stems and ivy leaves using copper leaf. See my YouTube video on the gilding process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKY2Rj1snJs

I let the copper leaf cure about a week. Next I caused the copper to tarnish using David Mark’s chemical technique leaving a colorful patina on the copper. After curing the copper leaf several days I applied 6 coats of Gloss Spray Lacquer covering the entire vase, stems, ivy and copper leaf all. Lastly I buffed the entire vase with tripoli and white diamond jewelers polish bringing it to a nice luster. Beeswax was then buffed on using a Beal polishing wheel on my lathe.

The separate base stand is a piece of oak burl. I carved it to look like tight, twisted, ivy vines. I then air brushed it with transparent latex paint. It also received the gloss spray on lacquer finish.


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