Legend has it that Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile, bathed in copper vessels. If today's metalsmiths have their way, 21st century divas will again luxuriate like royalty in lavish, copper baths.
Sultan Baths, a Canadian firm with offices in the USA, deals in solid copper-bronze bathtubs cast in antique Turkish molds using traditional techniques. The gleaming, clawfoot tubs are a full inch thick and weigh half a ton. They're equally stunning in price - the largest models top $27,000 (faucets extra).
Pomegranate Metals of Las Vegas also produces handmade copper tubs. "Typically they're spa-type freestanding tubs, about 300 gallons in size," says fabricator Lamar Noorda. "We make them out of sheet metal, one-eighth inch thick." Although copper is a relatively soft metal, "by the time you're finished hammering and shaping it, they're pretty structural," he adds.
Copper baths may be strictly for the "rich niche" market, but copper sinks, countertops and many other home products made of copper or copper alloys are popping up everywhere today. Most are cost-competitive in price and offer unique finishes that range from deliberately distressed to sleek and shiny. Cu