Speaking through Copper
"One day I decided to try and patinate it, so I poured on some chemicals, walked away and came back and thought, 'Wow, this is just fabulous!' because of the patterns left from the chemicals flowing," she recalls. "I mounted it and hung it in my house and people noticed it."
Today, after years of experimenting, Johnson has found the perfect recipe, layering and timing of chemicals for her popular patinated copper artwork, which can be up to 8-foot-by-4-foot in size. All work must be done outside, which results in a unique set of elements on any given day in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the foothills of an inspirational backdrop like Pikes Peak. "I can only get blue tones when it's freezing cold outside," she says. "But shades of verdigris can happen at any time.
Johnson has developed her signature patina process over the past few years, and treats her copper with a mixture of three to seven chemicals, manipulating temperature, time and various chemical layering to create her unique patterns.
Johnson claims it's actually not the patina process that's as time-consuming as the mounting of the artwork, a combination of drilling through Plexiglass, framing and drilling some more.
Many restaurants throughout Colorado have found Johnson's work to be the perfect addition to their swanky dining rooms, and her work can be seen in The Warehouse Restaurant and Gallery as well as The Famous Steakhouse in Colorado Springs. Johnson has also shipped out orders to Ohio, New Jersey, California and Arizona.
L. Brooke Johnson Studios, Colorado Springs, CO, (719) 321-5823
Also in this Issue:
- Kinetic Art: Copper in Motion
- Anita DiPietro Designs
- Luster Metal Works: Transforming Metal
- Speaking through Copper
- Automata: Contemporary Mechanical Sculpture