hammered copper female nude torso

hammered copper female nude torso

eligius1427's picture

Really cool, I think it's

Really cool, I think it's great. It's very realistic. How did you keep from hurting the model while you were hammering? :)


topps35's picture

hammering women

She was really toned!!!
Only joking, it was hammered into sand bags and the onto a life cast formed in super hard resin. We are really proud of it, especially the texture. Now begins the tricky process of selling! Currently working on the back, hope to do male next and then a sort of orange peel round the body.
Really pleased you like it, critique from metalsmiths means a lot because you know how tricky it is.
Kindest regards
Michelle and Andy

B.J. Severtson's picture

suber hard

Could you give us a little about the "life cast formed in super hard resin" Nice piece good luck with the selling part of the problem.. Brad

topps35's picture

super hard life cast

We got an artist friend of ours to cast it for us in return for some abstarct railings for his house. As soon as I get in contact with him I'll let you know how to do it with some pics.
Andy and Michelle

J.R. Tamayo's picture

In my humble opinion...

In my humble opinion... absolutely exquisite!

topps35's picture

copper torso

Thankyou we are proud of her.
kindest regards
Michelle and Andy

Paula's picture


I'm impressed... how do the sand bags compare to working with a pitch-pot?....
Guthrie, MN

Gene Olson's picture

for large radius smooth

for large radius smooth curves it is preferable.

Pitch gives good support for detail, but would tend to give you dents to planish out on a large surface like that.

Gene Olson
Elk River, MN

topps35's picture

pitch pots

Hi Gene
We find that the sand is so malleable it forms easily any shape you want. On the contrary we have never heard of a pitch pot but it sound useful. Would you mind telling us about it?
Kindest regards
Michelle and Andy

Gene Olson's picture

Chasers pitch is a step

Chasers pitch is a step harder than plasticine clay.

In the oil based clays they have a recipe of clay powder plus wax plus oil. by varying the proportions, and the amount and stiffness of the wax you can make clays of varying hardness. (like the sandbags, these too can be useful in forming sheet metal)

In chasers pitch, the wax element is replaced with resin, traditionally tree sap pitch, So we have powdered clay, pitch, and oil (could be some wax too) in a recipe. Similar to mixing the plasticine the hardness can be varied with the proportions and/or by choosing a pitch that is stiffer or softer to start with.

A pitch pot is designed for working small pieces. It has a round bottom so you can mount the workpiece by filling the back with pitch and then heating the pitch on the pot and sticking it onto the surface, burying the corners if you can. The round bottom rests in a rubber ring so then you can spin it around to work on it from the easiest angle. For something like your torso, one would need to work on small sections at a time and move the pot of pitch around. I work large most of the time. I don't yet have a real pitch pot, though it is on my wish list. Most of the time I just fill the back, make a pile of soft pitch on a board that can support the piece and stick the two together.

For working on large pieces a work post that can hold a stake or small platform. board, pitch pot combined with an automotive style fender holder will work well. allowing you to position the work and get the support where you need it.

I had gotten a variation on that as part of a class I took. but at the last metalmeet we had here. A friend showed up with a very versitle part holder from Harbor fright for about $150. If I didn't already have something that worked for me, I'd jump on that.

Gene Olson
Elk River, MN

visitor's picture


Very well done. What gauge of metal?

Sandbags are a good for this size piece. The pitch would be messy and time consuming.


visitor's picture

female torso

beautiful and love the chosen base. . . .

topps35's picture

The base

The base was rescued from a farm yard. It has weathered for about 20 years. Not common now to find OAK sleepers. Scraped away all the soft stuff and the grooves and shapes that were left are amazing. Treated with Danish oil so colour is natural.
Andy and Michelle

don thibodeaux's picture

nice work

I really like your piece. Is it one piece of copper? And can you describe your approach of working in copper.

Don T.

topps35's picture

How we made it

Yes it is one piece of copper reclaimed from an old water tank approx 1mm thick.
We started by defining high areas i.e. the breasts in sand bags from the reverse. We achieved the general shape with sand bags and stakes, before placing on the cast. The danger of going straight to the cast is that in extreme areas, e.g. the overhang on the breasts, the material is quite likey to split. Once on the cast using a variety of rubber and wooden mallets and diffferent shaped nylon and wooden chisels to define details. It is important to understand where areas are going to stretch and need to be shrunk and move material into areas that need stretching. The breasts gave me a lot of trouble, I think nothing bigger than a c-cup!! Try to keep creases under control so they dont get too severe. Work from both sides of the piece using tooling to help define shapes and check that your shapes are correct on the cast. We used the cast for guidance and definition it probably wouldn't stand severe hammering. We are making the back at the moment which is a much more gentle shape. On this one we are trying for a more mirrored finish and have been planishing for 3 days now! Will post picture when finished. The back or a male torso woukld definately be the best to start on.
Details of the cast will be posted when I get them with some pictures.
Hope this helps, Andy was one of the last apprentices to go through FORDs UK, working in the R&D dept making prototypes for car body panels etc, Its the forming and shaping skills utilised here. I'm making the back and probably wouldnt be able to attempt the front.
Kindest regards
Andy and Michelle

warren's picture

Looking very nice

I like your copper torso. Came out very well, nice curvertures. Like your story on how you made it. I have never thought about using a mold. Seems like it would be hard to keep it tight. I got one laying around somewhere I still have to finish. I doing that one over stakes. Sure does take a bigger piece of copper than you think.