Copper: planter and patina
Excellentaccents.com carries copper umbrella stands, tea kettles, and canisters are made of this red-gold metal found in both the humble penny and on the copper-clad statue presented by France to the United States in 1886, the Statue of Liberty. Copper's been used for at least 10,000 years, and no wonder. It occurs naturally as an uncompounded mineral, it's easily manipulated, and it gains a lovely patina from the copper oxide which forms on it. Any given copper planter next to our great looking hearth rugs can be treated to resist oxidation. If not it will eventually take on this patina, though restoration is simple. If oxidation is mild, half a lemon dipped in salt can be rubbed on the surface, followed by an application of beeswax. More advanced oxidizing requires a heavy-duty copper cleaner and fine steel wool. It's gratifying, either way, to watch the lovely glow emerge from beneath the mellow patina.
Fireplace rugs, copper kettles, Saturday calm
Caring for the things of the home is part of having them, obviously. Sometimes cleaning seems like so much labor, not at all pleasant. Other times, though, especially when the cleaning involves the polishing of fine wood or metals or the arranging of items around the hearth, it can be calming, centering. It's not hard to imagine a quiet Saturday afternoon, dallying about the home, polishing the copper planter or kettle, setting the fireplace rugs just so, arranging books or organizing a prized collection of musical recordings. This, followed perhaps by a quiet supper with a dear companion, brings a certain quiet pleasure not found elsewhere.