Woven Copper Wall Art

metal wall art

Copper Weaving #1
Metal Wall Art
10×14 on14x18 board

I shipped six of these copper wall art weavings to Denver, in January, for installation in the hospitality area of a hospital. All the copper wall art weavings were sized 10″ x 14″ and mounted on black-painted 1/8″ aluminum boards, sized 14″ x 18″. They were all to be the same general design, but each one different in the details. The coloring was achieved with a flame patina technique.

It’s worthwhile to consider all the steps involved and how long this process takes. Many steps, each necessary to achieve the end result.

Woven Copper Wall Art – Procedure

  1. Aluminum boards – must do first – waiting for primer and paint to dry is the most time-consuming part of the process
    •  Cut 1/8” aluminum to size with table saw or skil saw – be exact
    • Make sure blade is sharp before cutting! A dull blade won’t cut straight and/or a dull blade will warp the metal.
    • After cutting, clean up sides and with 3M coarse pad on grinder – remove all scratches
    • 20 minutes
  2. Paint Aluminum boards
    • Use Rustoleum (or similar) oil-based primer black – let dry for 48 hours
    • Topcoat – black spray – Rustoleum Hammered Black – very even – dry for another 48 hours
    • 20 minutes
  3. Measure and cut two pieces of copper .005 thickness: length + 1” and width + 1”
    • Mark centerlines in red sharpie on back sides
    • 10 minutes
  4. Measure and cut a piece of stiff copper (.020 thickness) to size
    Copper Weaving back view

    Copper Weaving
    back view

    • this will be the backing for the weaving
    • 10 minutes
  5. Measure and cut a wood board for doing the weaving on
    • same size as thin metal plus ½” each way: length + 1.5″ and width + 1.5″
    • Mark centerlines on board
    • 10 minutes
  6. Thin metal – mark lines for cutting with thin black sharpie
    • Then for one piece number the strips
    • for the other piece use alphabet for the strips
    • 10 minutes
  7. Thin metal – cut lines
    • Remove any burrs
    • Smooth out strips
    • Arrange in order for easy weaving
    • 15 minutes
  8. Do weaving – use small clamps to hold in place
    • Weave with the back side up
    • Start with the center – do one side to the end
    • Then weave the other side to the end
    • snug the pieces up tight
    • 45 minutes
  9. Flip weaving – apply blue tape to front
    • this is a temporary measure to hold the weaving together while the edges are being folded over the back
    • remove the small clips
    • 10 minutes
  10. Put weaving face down again. Lay the copper backing in place – keep ½” around the sides
    • Fold corners of the weaving over the backing board first, then hammer flat
    • Then fold each side over, hammer flat
    • Remove the blue tape from the front
    • 10 minutes
  11. Braze the ends of the strips together
    • Careful! Don’t melt the metal
    • 20 minutes
  12. While the sides are warm, do a flame patina on the front – 30’
  13. Let front cool, then spray Incralac, one coat in each direction – let dry 10’
  14. Cut,paintandgluefour round ½” x 1.5” dowels to back
    • use 3M contact cement – ½” #6 screws
    copper wall art

    Copper Weaving Side View

    • let dry 12 hours before handling
    • 20 minutes
  15. Mylar map – layout the shapes of the weaving and the board
    • use green cutting board to get diagonals exact
    • usually borders are same width all around
    • 10 minutes
  16. Mark the hole location with an awl then drill holes aluminum boards – use the mylar map – be as precise as possible
  17. Mylar map – markbacksofweavings – where the screws will go
    • Line up holes in boards with holes in weavings backs – 5/8” screw with washer or hangers
    • 10 minutes
  18. Wire up & sign the copper wall art weaving! – 10’
  19. Cut, paint and epoxy round ½” dowel feet to backs of boards – let dry – 15 minutes
  20. Box – 20 minutes
  21. Ship – do the paperwork, etc.

Woven Copper Wall Art – Time to Make

Basically 305 minutes  or 5 hours to complete each copper wall art weaving, but it always seems to take longer. It takes a lot of time to convert the work table from one project to the other, researching notes on what steps to do and when. It’s only 5 hours when 6 or more are done at once. If only one or two weavings are done, it can easily take 50% longer. I will probably not do these for much longer.