Whilst we make use of copper and its structural qualities as a means to craft different objects, copper, amongst other metals, plays an important role in the healthy functioning of our body and mind.
At its most vital, copper helps in the functioning of various different aspects of our body, small amounts of which we absorb from foods obtained through our diet.
Research has also been carried out into coppers potential benefits in areas such providing arthritis relief, with the frequent touch of copper being said to invoke an anti-inflammatory response that may help with muscular discomfort.
One important benefit of using copper is its inherent ability to be recycled and reused without degradation to quality upon melting down and casting into new forms.
Whilst it still takes energy to recycle and re-purpose copper, it takes considerably less so than in the mining and production of new material.
This ability for copper to be reused whilst maintaining its various useful qualities, combined with coppers vast range of potential applications, makes it a very useful material.
One of the key reasons why we believe that Copper is an ideal material for use in kitchens and bathrooms is that it is a naturally anti-microbial material. This means that, with time, the copper prevents the growth and proliferation of potentially harmful germs, bacteria and viruses that can be spread by human touch.
An in-depth explanation as to how exactly the copper prevents the growth of bacteria can be found within many sources online, however it is said that within 2 hours of contact, copper is able to kill and prevent the development of up to 99.9% of bacteria.
With our copper products, this benefit does however only apply to the Natural items that have not been lacquered. The reason for this being that lacquered items do not leave the surface layer of copper exposed.
One of the key benefits of choosing copper and brass for exterior use is for their great resistance to the corrosive effects of weather and other elements.
Unlike certain other iron-containing metals that will eventually rust and deteriorate when left outside, copper develops a layer of tarnish or 'patina' that protects the material from further corrosion. This layer of tarnish not only provides excellent protection, but also dramatically effects the colour of the copper itself, resulting in a range of characterful colours and tones.
The many uses of architectural uses of copper in building roofs and cladding are testament to its long-lasting nature, with these potentially lasting for many hundreds of years.
A natural fungicide and garden deterrent
Copper acts as a great natural deterrent, helping to prevent the growth of moss and lichen on roofs and buildings where the metal has been used.
It is also a useful material in gardening, due to its fungicidal properties and its ability to deter slugs and snails.The material is said to cause a small electrical shock in the slugs or snails that deters the organism, essentially providing a safe and non-toxic method for helping protect your garden.
Yes, Copper does turn green over time, however this is generally only when exposed to certain, usually harsher, conditions. This colouring will more likely be obtained when copper has been left outside for a long-period of time, and will be unlikely to occur in a household environment.
This green-blue hue is often found for example on copper that has been exposed for years to the natural weathering effects of air, sea and rainwater.
For some more information on this effect, known as 'Verdigris', we have a journal entry that may be of interest which can be found here.
Over time, copper can change to a variety of different colours. This colour change is caused by a coating, or 'patina', that forms on the surface of certain materials that is formed naturally through exposure to air and other elements over time.
Fascinatingly, the colours to which copper changes can rely heavily on the type of environment in which they have been exposed to, and are able to provide not only an interesting aesthetic but also bring with them benefits such as protection against corrosion and anti-microbial properties.
We've found this colour-changing characteristic of copper to be a really exciting one, as it can be explored through the use of various different processes that allow us to change the copper into a whole range of vibrant colours.
Yes, copper can be stopped from changing colour through the application of a protective coating that prevents oxidisation.
Through the testing of many different waxes and types of lacquer, we've come to use a marine-grade protective coating that creates a clear protective layer on-top of the copper. The extra coating stops environmental elements from reaching the copper and changing its colour.
We apply multiple coats of this lacquer in order to provide the best protection that we can, ensuring that the copper retains its chosen finish for many years to come.
Yes, the following are all images demonstrating the change in colour of copper as it has naturally aged.
Copper is known to be the first metal used by humans, with its first uses believed to be at least 10,000 years ago. Whilst the exact period of its first uses may be unknown, what is clear is that copper and its many useful characteristics played an extremely important role in the aiding in development of human technology and culture over time.
What remains useful to us today, such as coppers malleable nature, its low melting point and ability to be worked with by humble means, must surely have been vital in the development of early civilisations.
Copper is a highly attractive and useful material, and it is clear when observing examples of its uses throughout history that many cultures have treated it with a great deal of respect, crafting both beautiful, decorative objects alongside highly functional, everyday items such as bowls and simple tools.
Fascinatingly, whilst it has been used for thousands of years, copper still remains a highly useful material whose applications and uses have developed according to the times. Today for example, the excellent conductive properties of copper allow it to be used to build incredibly complex and sophisticated electronics, to which have become commonplace and essential elements of our lives.
If you have an interest in the history of copper, we highly recommend browsing the many interesting resources that are available on the subject Online.