Cathy Vaughn - VAUGHN_SurfaceTension_24x36.jpg

“Copper, in its many forms, is essential to my artistic expression. I love the way it responds to the environment, the way it transforms over time, and how it moves and spreads when worked with hammer and anvil. I love combining found, overlooked, and ordinary objects in unconventional ways. I use tools passed down from my father and grandfather in my studio every day, and cherish the craftsmanship I learned from them.

Surface transformation using hand-aged verdigris and hammered detailing has long been a part of my process. Four years ago, I began experimenting with making abstract art on copper using live leaves and chemicals. I discovered that the tannic acids and nutrients in leaves react with the copper and the acids used in traditional patinating methods. The structure of the leaves creates a micro-environment for the chemical reaction to take place, and the days-long process renders an etched and verdigris image on, and in, the surface of the copper.

A class in copper bowl-making in 2017 reenergized my interest in forming copper.  Texturing hammers and found object forms help bring intricate surface detail in my hand-hammered bowls. Additionally, I have incorporated many of the bowl-making forms and tools into my candelabra work, and find that working a single material in myriad ways keeps me fully present to my process. Pushing the boundaries of a medium is where the light comes in for me.”

Studio number 11



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