Thursday, November 11, 2010

Copper, Bronze, and Brass

Today, we've got copper, bronze (copper + tin) and brass (copper + zinc).

Conch shell trumpet
From Tibet, 18th-19th century AD
"In Buddhist temples in Tibet and China, the conch was used to call the monks to services, and were usually decorated with textile streamers. This conch trumpet is a very fine example of the brilliant colours and intricate workmanship of Tibet. The shell is mounted with a gilt copper mouthpiece." ~The British Museum

The Blacas Ewer
"The Blacas ewer is an exceptionally fine example of medieval inlaid brass. Metalworkers in Mosul, northern Iraq, inlaid brass vessels with intricate courtly scenes in silver and copper to create glittering objects that were very popular with the local élite. They were often given as diplomatic gifts to neighbouring rulers. The ewer is signed by Shujac ibn Manca, one of the best inlayers in the city, and dated Rajab AH 629 (April AD 1232)." ~The British MuseumIn the World But Don't Know the World
By El Anatsui
born in Ghana, lives in Nigeria.
El Anatsui flattens discarded metal objects and weaves them together with aluminium and copper wire to make tapestries. (click on the pic to see it bigger!)

Noah and the Flood
Gilded bronze, 79 x 79 cm
Baptistry, Florence

Bird, 1952
By Elisabeth Frink

Warriors from Benin, Nigeria, 16th century

Did you know that the alchemical symbol of copper is also the astronomical and astrological symbol of planet Venus, and the gender symbol for female?

And that lobsters and other large crustaceans with blue blood have hemocyanin, which is similar to our hemoglobin but contains a copper atom instead of iron? (Info from here)

* What is Bronze? from Kidipede
* Reproductions of the Gallehus Horns. The originals were Germanic, early 5th century AD.
* Kingdom of Benin Royal Court Art
* An etching copper or brass lesson plan for middle school and up
* Recreating Chinese Bronze Vessels lesson plan (high school)
* (Copper) wire sculpture lesson plan (upper elementary and up?)
* A copper mask lesson plan (middle and up)
* A place where you can buy copper sheet sampler packs to experiment with.
* A site about Bronze Art Fraud

1 comment:

Rumble Strip said...

The "Noah and the Flood" piece is stunning. (All the pieces are excellent, and I enjoyed the descriptions.)

And thanks for the information about the symbol. Had no idea that copper was in the mix, too!