A true artisan experience, every process is currently done by hand, completely in-house, with the aid of small machinery.
At the moment, Studio Natalie works exclusively in reclaimed copper water pipe, salvaged wire, and lead-free glass enamels.
Once the copper pipe is sourced, it is fired in a wood stove. Since the copper pipe is factory tempered or work-hardened to withstand extreme water pressure pumping through it, the firing of the copper is crucial as it softens it enough to cut and shape. The pipe cools slowly, so it stays malleable for the next stages of the process.
The pipe is then cut and lightly hammered into flat sheets. Each sheet is graded for size, surface markings, or damage.
Patterns and designs are cut out of the sheets. After each piece has been cut out, its edges are smoothed out using a belt sander, files, and/or sandpaper. Pieces are then either hammered, or pressed with a pattern in a hydraulic press.
Once the pieces have been shaped, they are then placed in a rotary tumbler with stainless steel shot to polish them.
In the case of our glass enamels, we uses both opaque and transparent colours in our products. Each piece can have up to 12 layers of enamel fused onto the copper to achieve the right colour and texture. A kiln is used to enamel the pieces, making them a consistent and high quality.
The total process time can take anywhere between days to weeks to complete. Most pieces are processed in small batches, with the exception of custom orders.