Art and design with copper

Versatile, malleable and beautiful: copper has inspired artists and designers for centuries.

Thanks to its instantly-recognisable beauty and extraordinary versatility, copper is a widely-used artistic material.

With a colour palette that will naturally change over time when exposed to the elements (from its gleaming new form, through rich browns to the vivid green patina of ‘vintage’ copper), it can be advanced to and held at any stage of its development using a variety of treatments and techniques. Metallic rainbow effects and a wide range of textures can also be achieved with the application of different chemical recipes.

Alloying with other metals, copper forms more staples of the art world, such as bronze and brass. A variety of resources are available to inspire artists and assist them with achieving the desired colour, design and shape. Contemporary metal artwork, large sculptures and metal wall art are all within the realm of copper art, creating stunning pieces that will stand out in any building, room or outdoor space.

How can bronze works of art be protected from corrosion if they are situated outdoors?

Either by the use of lacquers, wax polishing, or both.

What range of colours can be achieved with a finished bronze casting?

Using chemical treatment, any desired colour can be obtained. Specialist companies should be consulted to identify the correct product for a particular project.

What type of bronze is used for modern works of art?
Bronze has been used for centuries to create statues, and is still the first choice for modern, striking works of art. The most widely-used alloys for such objects are leaded gunmetals, such as CC492K and CC491K.

Our Copper in Design newsletter provides inspiration for artists and designers interested in copper and its alloys. Here, you can sign up to receive it, or scroll down to view past issues.

Want to know more about the range of copper alloys, their colours and properties? This page provides an overview, and links to information on some of the most commonly-used alloys.