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Copper Tooling

Submitted by: Leann, a TeacherArtExchange list member
Unit: Crafts - Foil Tooling
Project: Foil tooling - Oriental Art
Grade: Middle School - Upper elementary
Length: Three to four class period



Given tools, teacher demonstrations, class periods, examples, discussion, and visuals, the students will create a copper tooling based on a design or image that they create.



Repousse, Relief


Goals of Concepts:

The students will create a copper tooling.


Supplies/Tools/ Equipment:

Copper Pieces cut to size 5" x 7" (13 x 18 cm) recommended. (May use Copper Leaf. or Copper Sheets),Newsprint. - Drawing Pencils. - ball point pen - Popsicle sticks. (or plastic/ wood modeling tools ) - Newspaper - Shoe Polish or Liver Of Sulfur - Brushes..





Copper Tooling. - Design, tooling and finishing copper are a few of the tutorials in this book.

Tooling Around: Creating with Glass and Sheet Copper. - Step by step guide for creating tooled overlays for stained glass lamp shades, boxes, jewelry and holiday ornaments. Includes directions on how to emboss, sculpt, pleat and hammer copper to create lamp bases, tree trunks, leaves, mirror frames, etc.


Motivational Strategies

The students were shown and variety of copper tooling examples as well as an example done by the teacher. They were impressed at the variety of subjects that could be depicted as well as the detail achieved.


Instructional Preparations/ Suggestions/ Safety:

The students should have been shown the proper ways to handle the copper pieces, as the edges were sharp.


Student Activities/ Procedures:

1.   The teacher showed the students examples of the various copper tooling examples. The students were then instructed to create a sketch the same size as their copper piece. (Oriental theme was used - but any theme can be used - handouts of ideas were provided)

2.   Once the students were happy with their sketch they were then instructed to tape the top and bottom of the sketch to their copper piece to prevent it moving as they were transferring the image. For this reason it is suggested that they leave a 1 inch margin along the top and bottom of their sketch.

3.   They are the place a thick pad of newspaper to begin their transfer on. If they don’t use the newspaper the lines won’t transfer. They should go over ever line of their sketch to transfer it to the copper plate. Trace over all lines with a ball point pen - remove drawing.

4.   After the sketch is transferred the students should use the Popsicle stick to begin pressing out areas of the copper (rounded modeling tools may also be used). This will give the project a 3-d effect. Turn back to front side and refine edges of design. A dull pencil works good for this if modeling tools are not available.

5.   Antique with liver of sulfur (if using copper Tooling Foil.) - or antique with India ink. (if using aluminum). Shoe polish may also be used.



Did the students create a copper tooling project

Did students show low relief by working both sides of the metal?

Did students exhibit craftsmanship?



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