Copper Crafting by Hand

Published On August 26, 2015

Masterful, meticulous, deliberate—these three words describe Thompson Traders coppersmiths. Each maker is a master craftsman in Santa Clara del Cobre, Mexico, an historic coppersmithing region. Each copper vessel is hand-hammered, creating a unique product that celebrates the area’s legacy, expertise and artistry.

Thompson Traders coppersmiths dedicate hours, days and sometimes weeks to create one-of-a-kind vessels and finishes. Certain finishes, like antique stain gold are only obtainable by specific craftsmen.

For the Black Copper Alder bath sink, the process begins with a round piece of copper approximately 16” in diameter. The maker molds the copper by hand using a spinning lathe. Next, the copper sink is removed from the lathe and softened with heat. After applying heat, the coppersmith begins hand hammering the softened copper to achieve the desired look. Each stroke of the craftsman’s hammer yields a unique piece of art guaranteeing no two products are identical—a benefit of human touch. The hammering process varies depending on the vessel. For example, the Lucca farmhouse sink requires approximately 15,000 strokes in order to attain the final appearance.

Next, the maker folds the rim and cleans the vessel before applying the finish. The black copper finish, similar to all Thompson Traders finishes, is attained through firing. Some finishes require more heat and attention than others, including the Black Copper Alder sink.

The craftsmanship behind each Thompson Traders sink rests in the hands of its maker. Each a virtuoso and student of their Santa Clara del Cobra ancestors, they have honed their skills since the 16th century when the native P’urhépecha were considered the world’s most advanced metallurgists of pre-Hispanic times. The human touch is evident in every hand-crafted Thompson Traders copper vessel, with each sink representing the skillful hands of its coppersmith. No two pieces are alike in outward appearance; however, each piece is unified through its craftsmanship—the intrinsic value unique to Thompson Traders.

About Thompson Traders
Thompson Traders is the largest decorative metals product provider in the United States, with a focus on copper. Located in Greensboro, NC, the company is family-owned and operated. Working with artisans in Mexico and India, Thompson Traders transforms the highest-quality materials into one-of-a-kind designs for the home. Each piece is handcrafted, unique and possesses a story that is all its own. For more information, visit www.thompsontraders.com.