What Happens When You Take Scraps and Set Them On Fire
Burn it. Hit it. Cut it. No matter how they crush, heat, or twist it, copper is the undying power behind Immortal Element.
The art, jewelry, furniture, and home decor-creating and marketing duo, Aaron and Heather Houser, do everything “in-house” as a husband and wife team. Former Northern California residents, the couple currently operates the business out of the rustic Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, fusing ancient designs and techniques with modern marketing.
“Our materials are locally sourced, and crafted by hand with intention and purpose,” Heather tells me during our phone interview. Calling from the landline phone in her rural home, she sounds grateful to be out of the summer rain I hear drenching the otherside. “Aaron [uses] ancient coppersmithing methods. He can create any piece at any time in any part of the world. He’s made the conscious choice to avoid mass-production, like using a hydraulic press to cut designs or outsourcing [work], in order to maintain a minimalist, back-to-basics structure,” says Heather, adding “everything he needs to make jewelry, lamps, or furniture fits in a backpack!”
Heather delivers 21st century balance to the business; she manages the marketing, social media, and online presence, including design, photography and editing. She also brings the jewelry to life, attaching chains, gemstones, and 14k gold ear wires to the copper components from Aaron.
Both self-taught in their crafts, they forged Immortal Element in 2013. Copper, known as the first metal widely used by humankind, exhibits an array of beautiful colors when set ablaze or oxidized for patina.
Aaron started working with copper in 2005 when he received a sheet of the raw metal as a birthday gift. Already a practicing woodworker, he enjoyed experimenting with the new material, and integrated copper into his furniture, lamps, and other work. He explored esoteric studies, particularly the craftsmanship methods from ancient cultures like Native Americans, Greeks, Egyptians, and the Vikings. From the scraps of this other projects, Aaron made jewelry as a way to reduce waste. Drawing on shapes in sacred geometry, ancient mythology, and totem designs, Aaron cuts, hammers, and fires moons, feathers, and chevrons that shine like armor, but rest light atop the body.
Artistic, wearable hardware, their jewelry runs copper through the gauntlet, exposing the hidden riches. Each piece is handmade. The texture is born of each hammer strike, and the shades of red burned to rise like a Phoenix. In a process he calls “fire painting,” Aaron uses a blowtorch to create shapes and patterns much like painting with brush.
Heather described how other pieces are air-sealed with a sea salt mixture that transforms into a bold patina of marbled blues and earth tones. Each piece is lacquer-finished; so, your skin will not turn green, always a plus. Using copper allows the price point to stay affordable, and Immortal Element’s artistry adds the high-end feel.
Accessories are not just for the ladies, either. Men’s formal wear was an organic progression for the stylish couple, who conquer in bowties.
Custom orders are welcome, and take about one-to-two weeks, and that includes orders for furniture, lamps, sconces, etc. Immortal Element has made exclusive designs for Samba groups, burlesque troupes, and fire spinners which include copper bikinis, body armor, headdresses, masks, swords, and other rare, exceptionally cool items.
Immortal Element’s logo combines the ankh, an ancient Egyptian symbol for life, and the Mayan number for 29. Heather explained the story behind the name and logo: “This is a nod to ancient cultures and methods…[Copper] is the only metal that can be consistently recycled without losing purity, hence, it’s immortal. Its element on the periodic table is Cu29.”
This durable, beautiful metal shines with old and new influences from Immortal Element. Invest in a piece of their work, and invest in your immortality.
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