To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Monday, August 31, 2009


In my view cast iron is artful, but copper is artsier, a step up.
My love for copper began, when in my teens at the end of a year in a finishing school I was awarded the title of "student of the year." My award was an antique yellow copper hanging planter. I still have it, but it's in a box "somewhere" in the garage.

As a child I was greatly intrigued when the grocer put the grapes on one scale and the weights on the other. I had no idea that the weight had to do with the price. Ignorance is bliss:)

These copper scales were a find at one of the antique stores in Athens. The weights in the wooden block are of the metric system. The price was kind steep, but you understand now that I wanted a tangible memory of my childhood.
A few years later we saw the same copper scales at an antique market in Delft, Holland for on third of the price. Ooh, shocks, I guess you can't win them all!

A Dutch tea kettle, planter and a half liter jug (one-eighth gallon). All second hand items. Since the inside of the kettle is well-used, but the bottom is still very straight, my sense is that this kettle was used for serving tea, rather than boiling water.
It's a toss up whether I like both the yellow and red copper. How about you?

When we came back from our (first) four year stay in the US, several people helped us to set us our household, by giving us second hand items. In a large box, among some miscellaneous items was a small black ugly lamp. Hubby threw it back in the box. "Wait a minute", I said. I got a knife and made a scratch on the bottom. "That's what I thought", I mumbled.

Then I got a cloth and a mild abrasive cleaner, and after 6-8 hours working on it, the cutest shiny copper lamp appeared. Originally it had been a petroleum (petrol or spirits) lamp. The original handle (on the side) to turn the wick up and down is still there. The petrol would be put in the "bowl" of the lamp. Later it has been remade into a regular lamp with an electric cord. I put a shade on top of it, and voila!
Since then this little lamp has gone with us everywhere.


Whitemist said...

Copper is very beautiful and very recently , very valuable (per pound weight) due to the statement by some investor that "come day we will run out of copper". Go figure.

DawnTreader said...

Copper is beautiful but the downside is it has to be polished... Love the items you show here though. I have one copper kettle that was my grandmother's. I think it is a little more reddish than yours.

crochet lady said...

I like copper things too. I am currently wrapping polished rocks from Lake Superior with copper wire, to use as a pendants.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It is after 3am and I ahve been awake for almost an hour. This is really awful!!

You should not come to SA then Jeannette as you would not stop buying. :)

Copper and brass are very common items in households here. So much so that we take them for granted. I love both and had wonderful collections of them which I go rid of when I went back to the bush.

I love that little lamp and am so pleased you saw what it was and brought it back to life.

I will post the ivory collection sometime this week for you.

Michelle said...

I LOVE copper! I use it in my paintings, I wear it....:)

jeannette stgermain said...

How neat! So you make jewelry too! Do you make them for yourself, or do you sell it too?

Gaelyn said...

I like copper and brass old things, but would never keep them as polished as you do. Yet I like to use copper beads, especially with turquoise. I collect sterling silver items, be it jewelry or other small trinkets, and then just let it tarnish. Like your collection.

jeannette stgermain said...

You are right, it would be very tempting to buy anything antigue looking in sight LOL

Can't remember anything copper in my home as a child, so it may have been more items from the generation before my parents.
It was more the discovery and the rescue the lamp from the garbage bin that was exciting!

Can't wait to see your ivory post:)

jeannette stgermain said...

Yea, I forgot that you use copper in your paintings! Have never worn copper, because the chance of it oxidation and turning color (how quickly does it mostly take?)

jeannette stgermain said...

Sorry, I went out of order with moderating...I didn't know about the monetary value of copper, as I have had these items for at least 10 years, but when checking with hubby he verified what you said!

jeannette stgermain said...

Dawn Treader,
Hope you find the comment, since I went out of order...
Yes, I don't like the polishing either, but it does give me satisfaction after I've done it LOL
It's wonderful that you have a keepsake from your grandmother!

jeannette stgermain said...

It would be very hard to choose for me between copper and silver - I love both (even more than gold).
Most of the time, mine are tarnished too - it's because of the move that I polished them (so I thought, let me take the pics NOW LOL).
I prefer silver jewelry - don't mind that it cost a little bit more.

The Green Stone Woman said...

You're a real Dutch woman with your llove for copper. I like the yellow copper the best and always find it the most authentic. I don't know if this is true, I think it is just a personal taste factor. I used to have a yellow copper can on three little legs with a decorated lid on it. My ex in America has it now. He appreciated it more than I do. Americans like those kinds of things. I gladly let him have it. I'm not much for polishing copper items and it would turn black here.

Rosie said...

Copper is very satisfying to look at - I think its colour makes it look warm and interesting. I love your kettle and lamp and also the old weigh scales - I think I prefer the more yellow copper to the red:)

jeannette stgermain said...

LOL! Is that a compliment, Irene? (just kidding:) )
My guess is that because as a nation the US is so young compared to the rest of the world, anything that looks 50 years or older is highly valued.
Mmm, I'm not much for polishing either, but I take it in stride:)

jeannette stgermain said...

Copper has "class", I think - maybe that's why I like it!In that vein, may be yellow copper looks more sophisticated and urban?

Greet said...

Thank you so much Jeanette for following my blog and for your comment.



Diane AZ said...

Nice collection of copper items. I can't think of any real copper items that I own, but I recently made an abstract paper mache sculpture and painted it a red metallic copper color.

jeannette stgermain said...

You are welcome. I once had a room mate with the same name:)

jeannette stgermain said...

Thanks, D. Copper 50 years or older in Holland, where I originally come from, is more available. It sounds like you move in different branches of art!

DUTA said...

I got acquainted in the past with the copper bracelets that are worn for relief of rheumatic pains. There's a company in London, named Sabona, specializing in the manufacturing of these pure copper items. It works ,and they are also fashionable.

I do like copper household items but as with silver items they need regular care.

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, I've heard about that. Have you tried these bracelets yourself?
Yeah, I know - polishing is not one of my favorite chores, but I do it once in a while LOL

VioletSky said...

I used to be very fond of copper - I think it grew when I lived in Holland. But, as has been mentioned, that polishing made me less fond of it and now I have very little left. I do really like your lamp, though. What a keen eye you have!

jeannette stgermain said...

Violet Sky,
My collection grew while I lived in the US because it made me think of Holl. One of my Dutch bloggie friends has said that Dutch people living abroad are more Dutch than the ones living in Holl. and it may be true LOL

Glennis said...

What a great find in the copper lamp, it is a lovely thing now you have polished it up. Sadly the polishing has to continue to keep it looking at its best. The scales are also nice I remember my Mum using similar ones to weigh ingredients for her cake baking. She was and still is, a great cake maker.

jeannette stgermain said...

thank you for visiting! Yes, I'll have to sacrifice some of my time to polishing LOL While I was doing it (for the blog) I was thinking that a century ago it would be someone's job to polish the silver and copper - sometimes I wish those simple times would come back! (but then I would miss the computer:) )

Lynette said...

That little lamp is a jewel and I can't believe someone would put black paint over it, what a find!

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, the little lamp was a great find - since it has been so long ago, I can't remember if they painted black, or it had turned black because it had not been polished for so long -

Lillie said...

Wow! those are great treasures!

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you. Lillie. This move made me aware of how MUCH I have (and I discovered I like to make collections of things LOL)