Splash of Copper — Lorie Williams (Glendale, Arizona)

Splash of Copper is a family-owned copper splash-manufacturing business in Globe, Arizona, a small copper-mining community. The splash production began about 2007 when Lorie Williams’s father and uncle, both former copper miners who loved rocks and metal, decided they wanted to create something unique from the mine’s copper waste. They met with mining officials, agreed upon a contract to extract the waste, and partnered with a smelting operation in town.

Nowadays, Lorie, who lives in Glendale, Arizona, and several family members manufacture and distribute the pieces.

The collected copper waste is melted to liquid at the smelter. After reaching 2,000°F, the molten copper is scooped into various-sized ladles and splashed onto a cold metal surface. After resting 1-2 minutes, the splashes are scooped by shovel and dropped into a tank of cold water to set and cool the piece. Once the splash is poured, the copper that remains inside the ladle is knocked out, forming a vase or bowl.

After several days when the copper is completely cooled, it is buffed, polished and/or heated with an acetylene torch to create a patina effect. This process brings out the variety of colors visible in each piece. 

The trees are created using a drip method, where copper wire is heated, again with an acetylene torch, until it drips, one drop at a time onto a copper wire skeleton, to form clusters for foliage and trunk.

copper trees

Copper trees

copper splashes

Copper splashes

copper bowls

Copper bowls


stuff@offthebeatenpathstuff.com© Off the Beaten Path 2016