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.
Here the artist is
preparing a portrait and must first sketch his subject from a picture, on the copper
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.
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.
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.