For those of you who don’t know me as well, I make copper maps.? I used to say I was an artist working in metal, but lately the maps have taken over 80% of my orders and 95% of the horizontal surfaces in my studio.? (I reserve a small piece of real estate for my laptop and wacom tablet.? My scanner used to be sacred too, but right now it has five maps piled on top ready to be cut).
When I get a lot of orders, my weekends turn into geography overload.? This weekend, for example, was a map making frenzy!? I had nine custom map orders, which is a LOT for little ol’ me.? There are many steps involved, from etching to cutting to patina to finishing back then front, and a billion places where you have to stop and let things dry — so it was pretty optimistic to think I could get them done in just a couple of days.? But the weekend ain’t over yet…
Since my customers choose the map location, I usually have a very random assortment at any given time.? Right now I’m cutting several scuba diving hot spots, a handful of nostalgic lakes and rivers, and three American specials, including 22 states, whole & in pieces.? Take a peek in my etch bath and channel your inner 5th grader:
Normally I etch the metal and then cut the shape, but given the complexity of these I decided to cut first and let the etching process soften the edges so I don’t spend days filing them down.? This wouldn’t work so well with copper, but luckily the customer wants a silver tone, so the maps will have a zinc base.? The finished maps will look similar to these sketches:
Hopefully I’ll be able to show finished pictures soon, as (A) that will mean I actually finished them, and (B) the finished pieces always look waayyy better than the sketches ; )
…with love and piles of artwork, C.