Cathy G. Vaughn

Posted by Jenni Kirby - December 17 2018

Vaughn is a full-time artist based in Richmond, Virginia. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design from the University of South Carolina and spent over 20 years working as a professional graphic designer. Alongside her work in graphic design, she honed her skills as a copper smith, and as a master craftsman has exhibited her work regionally for many years. Continually exploring her medium and seeking to expand its aesthetic boundaries, Cathy developed a unique process and began to create singular works of art by manipulating elements of nature with copper.  Her first solo exhibit, Lasting Impressions, at Richmond's Science Museum of Virginia in 2016, featured a wide selection of her copper abstractions. Her works can be found in private and corporate collections from Atlanta to New York.

Artist Statement

“Copper, in its many forms, is essential to my artistic expression. I love the way it responds to the environment, the way it transforms over time, and how it moves and spreads when worked with heat and hammer. I love combining found, overlooked, and ordinary objects in unconventional ways.

Surface transformation using hand-aged verdigris has long been a part of my process. When I started working with live leaves, I discovered that the structure of the leaves creates a micro-environment for the chemical reaction to take place, and the days-long process renders an etched and verdigris image on the surface of the copper. Pushing the boundaries of a medium is where the light comes in for me.”

See the process - Jenni speaks with coppersmith Cathy G. Vaughn about her art and history. 



The recipient of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond’s 2015 Award for the Innovative Use of Traditional Craft Materials, Vaughn was also selected for the Peninsula Fine Art Center’s 2015 Virginia Made show which featured 10 Virginia artists whose work crosses from craft to fine art. Vaughn’s work is represented by Glave Kocen Gallery, and is part of private collections around the country.