cop1.jpg (23721 bytes)

Large copper sheets are produced by the mining companies in Katanga.  Copper is abundant and mining represents a large part of the Katanga economy.  The first step in preparation of the sheets is to flatten them out carefully in order to gain a uniform texture to work on. 

cop2.jpg (24079 bytes)

Here the artist is preparing a portrait and must first sketch his subject from a picture, on the copper sheet.
cop3.jpg (25796 bytes) Once the subject is drawn on the copper, the metal can be worked from both sides in order to create relief.  The relatively soft metal is pounded using different tools, depending on the effect desired. 
cop4.jpg (26430 bytes) The finished images on the copper are then treated using different materials.  Pastes are made from different clays, and powdered soils and applied to the different parts of the images.    Each material affects the copper and in turn leaves a unique color or texture.
cop5.jpg (24379 bytes) The copper sheet is then passed over a fire.  The heat causes chemical reactions between the pastes and the copper resulting in color changes to the images.  The different colors can be seen in the samples below.  Colored gravel is also added to some of the copper works.   
Click on images below to view the larger version
cop6.jpg (16716 bytes) cop7.jpg (26158 bytes) cop8.jpg (39469 bytes) cop9.jpg (16240 bytes) cop10.jpg (9817 bytes) cop13.jpg (54508 bytes) cop14.jpg (42004 bytes)
cop12b.jpg (31319 bytes)
For questions or comments regarding CONGO-PAGES, have Congo pictures/stories to share, send email to:  
Created and maintained by Nick Hobgood