Copper has been used in our homes for hundreds of years as a building material. Copper is widely used in electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing and fixtures such as doorknobs. Copper is also used to make cookware, beautiful range hoods, sinks, bathtubs and counters. Copper has recently gained popularity as a “green” building material because so many copper products are recyclable.
Copper is also popular as a decorative metal art. Many beautiful home decor products are made from copper such as vases, candle holders, sconces, wall tiles, sculptures and other copper wall art. It is used to create Tiffany lamps, a process known as the Copper Foil Method. Chemical coloring is a technique applied to copper that results in a variety of interesting designs and effects. Time, temperature, surface preparation and other variables influence the end result of this technique.
When exposed to the elements, copper, over time develops a greenish film called patina. Unlike rust, the patina actually protects copper from deteriorating. One of the most famous examples of this is the Statue of Liberty. Many people prefer this antique looking, naturally occurring finish. However, if you prefer the shiny pinkish look that most people associate with copper, a laquer can be applied to preserve this look.
With so many different looks and finishes, copper is a great choice for interior and exterior decorating. Not only is copper extremely durable, actually lasting for centuries, more than two-thirds of the copper used for architectural and decorative purposes is recycled from scrap. Another amazing benefit of copper and its alloys, brass and bronze, is the fact that it is naturally antimicrobial. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has demonstrated that copper alloy surfaces kill more than 99.9% of certain bacteria known to be human pathogens within a couple of hours.
So whether its used as a building material, or in decorative art, copper is a valuable and beautiful element in our homes. It has become a favored medium for many artists creating unique sculptures and wall art for the interior and exterior. It has been used for thousands of years and is sure to be around for thousands more.