I am a self taught metalsmith. I handcraft decorative copper things including jewellery & sculptures.

Reclaimed Copper Bowl

Some pictures of the steps in making this beautiful vintage look hammered reclaimed copper bowl from a piece of 1mm thick sheet copper. This is a little different to my usual unplanned pieces which just evolve as I hammer…

I took measurements, I followed instructions from a tutorial (OK some instructions) and actually worked to a plan. And then deviated from the plan a bit. It was a fun project and that is the most important thing for me. If I don’t enjoy doing it then what’s the point?

Making a Reclaimed Copper Bowl

It always starts with sheet copper cut to size

Reclaimed copper Bowl - sawing a circle
The square sheet is given a round shape. This can be done using tin snips or a saw. I chose to use a saw. There is something so therapeutic about sawing copper. And I actually did the whole circle with ONE saw blade. Metalsmiths will understand why that feels good.
Reclaimed copper Bowl  - Hammer time
Once the circle is cut the edges are sanded and smoothed to get rid of sharp and uneven edges .
Then the hammering starts. Initially on a wooden block with a dip to sink in a bowl like shape.

About half way though

When I feel the bowl has reached the correct depth I made a flat base for it. Using a compass and a Sharpie I found the centre of the bowl and made a circle. This was then hammered flat gently to form the base. Apologies for no pictures of this as I forgot to take photos!

Reclaimed copper Bowl  -  planishing
The picture above shows the flattened bottom of the bowl. Then a planishing hammer is used to get rid of any serious bumps and dips on the surface.
The hammer in this picture is an old one I found in a salvage yard near Grantham. It does not have a clean, smooth, shiny surface. I am sure I can get that if I give it a good clean, but I like it just the way its and gives the design its own unique character. I will get a brand new one some day but this works just fine for my rustic pieces.
Reclaimed copper Bowl  - marking the rim
After planishing and checking that it is the right shape I marked out the edge of the bowl rim to get an even finish.
Reclaimed copper Bowl  - sawing the rim
Cut off the excess metal along the rim so it is balanced and symmetrical all the way round.

We are on the final stretch now!

Reclaimed copper Bowl - Pickling
My friend Emma donated this big slow-cooker to my workbench because she didn’t need it any more. I bring it out when I need to clean up bigger pieces which don’t fit in the 1 litre pot that normally lives on the bench. I am going to put the bowl in the warm pickle a mild acid) in the slow cooker to clean the bowl and bring up the shiny copper copper again.
This bowl is almost ready. YAY!
Reclaimed copper Bowl - Liver of Sulphure
Just out of Liver of Sulphur.
Shiny clean copper is great but I wanted it to look like a vintage bowl so I put it in a liver of sulphur solution to give it an antique patina. Most of this black stuff will be taken off.
Reclaimed copper Bowl ready
And done! 😀 The Antique finish Reclaimed copper bowl is ready.


It has been a fun project and I am sure I will be making more. I will make some smaller ones to enamel too.

I have listed this reclaimed copper bowl in my online shop (it may have sold by the time you read this post which would be awesome of course!) https://shaliniaustin.com/shop/hammered-reclaimed-copper-bowl/

Reclaimed copper Bowl with peanuts
I am really pleased with this Rustic Copper Bowl

I am Thinking of Making another Copper Bowl

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