For most of his life, Sam Spano drove a truck. He spent four decades delivering fuel oil in freezing winters and transporting ice during sweltering summers, all while imagining a different life, one inspired by the beautiful copper rooflines and architectural details of the New York City buildings he’d drive past. So when he got laid off in 2011, he decided to give his dreams of handcrafting copper furnishings and accessories a shot by launching Copper Fields Design Studio in 2012. “Copper has always captivated my attention,” Spano explains. “It’s a warm, inviting, long-lasting metal that improves with age.” Today, the Copper Fields Design collection includes rustic, industrial, and modern functional works of art—suitable for both indoor and outside use—such as planters, chairs, tables, vases, and chuppahs or wedding canopies.
Working with reclaimed metal whenever possible in a workshop converted from his former garage in Yonkers, Spano uses only his hands, hammers, rivets, and one power drill to craft his designs. He also custom-creates richly colored patinas (the film caused by exposure of the copper to the outside elements) in much less time than another popular artisan—Mother Nature. Offerings range from a small planter ($65) to intricate wedding canopy ($10,000) and include outdoor railing planters ($150 to $200 per foot). All work is custom, and clients—who include Paul Simon—are very much part of the collaborative design process. Copper Fields work can be viewed at Oak & Oil in Katonah and Be True Yoga in Scarsdale. For more information, visit www.copperfieldsdesign.com.