Calisse Browne, of Metal Memories, is the November featured artist at the Artist Studio Association’s Beachstone Gallery, located at 620 NE Highway 101 in Lincoln City. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Wednesday.
Browne’s copper art is “painted” using a propane torch flame. As the flame from the torch heats the metal, up to 14 colors — from bright yellow and green to bold blue, purples and browns — can be oxidized out of the copper. This process requires patience and a willingness to adjust one’s vision for the piece as the air’s temperature and humidity affect the way the copper reacts to the flame. Flame painted art is a negotiation between the artist and the copper. Once a design is flame drawn and color is oxidized out of the copper, the color can be ground off, revealing the natural copper color and enhancing the design.
Browne started her “flame painting” by creating flame-painted copper jewelry. Her interest in creating larger wall art pieces caused her and her husband, Steve, to experiment with various torches and techniques to transfer the process used on jewelry to these larger copper works of art. Fire painting larger wall art pieces requires multiple steps. While some steps can be prepared in advance of the piece’s fire painting, the majority of them must be completed in succession, requiring patience and perseverance to create the vibrant, one-of-a-kind piece of art.
The couple is fortunate in that they work well together and complement each other’s abilities. Their biggest satisfaction comes from watching others enjoy their art.