Friday, September 7, 2012

My New Love...

It's Copper!  I have been really playing around with copper lately - wire, sheet, I don't care - it all works!  I am inspired by the many artisans blogs and facebook pictures.  So today's post is about what I have created lately with this marvelous metal.

My niece had a Home Party in July - she sold her Thirty-One line of bags (I bought a ton!), and I sold some jewelry.  Rachel is a teacher, and many of the attendees were also teachers.  Well, one of the teachers brought her sweet 11 year old daughter, who has a blood disorder called Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, or ITP. Commonly referred to as Low Platelets, ITP can lead to an increased risk of severe bleeding.
Her daughter is a what I like to call a "girly-girl".  She had on a pretty dress and wore a pearl bracelet (the total opposite of how I dress)!  Anyway, her mother asked me if I could come up with some sort of a design for a Medical ID bracelet for her daughter, who did not want to wear a medical ID bracelet.  I could certainly understand not wanting to call undue attention to oneself by wearing a bracelet emblazoned with a caduceus.  So, I told her I would look online and try to find something appropriate.
I am an avid online shopper - I would rather pay shipping than walk into a store.  That makes me sound lazy, which I am not, I just don't enjoy shopping.  I searched everywhere and could not find anything even remotely close to an design that did not scream "look at my medical ID bracelet".  (I thought about posting photos and links on my blog of some of the bracelets I found, but the thought of copyright infringement stopped me). So I came up with my own.
In searching through my endless jewelry supplies, I found some 22 gauge copper sheet metal, bought a caduceus stamp, and stamped away.

I intentionally DID NOT line up the lettering - I wanted it to look "wonky".  I textured the sides and ends of the blank, gave it a bath in  liver of sulfur, buffed it, and tumbled it for 2 hours.  A coat of Renaissance Wax and some final buffing really made it shine.  Then I set off to make the bracelet portion.  The bracelet has two lobster clasps on each end.

To entice her to wear it even more often, I made a few extra bracelets - one can never have too many bracelets, right?  I was sure to include lots of different colors, as well as silver and copper - variety is the spice of life.
I love the idea of having options.  And, though not cheap per se, I made sure to use inexpensive beads - I did not want her to feel bad if one of the strands broke.  I am told she likes her gift and I hope she wears it!

I have also been playing around with my disc cutter - I replaced my old one (which I gifted!) with a Swanstrom Disc Cutter - WOW!  This thing is awesome!  I spent an entire day at my bench just making bead caps and discs.  Here is what I have actually put far....
I added some ceramic charms by Elaine Ray and Marsha Neal to these earrings
Beads by Diana P. at Suburban Girl Bead , small ceramic shard by Marsha Neal, and handmade bead caps and claps.

Gorgeous ivory/neutral lampwork by Glass Bead Art - handmade bead caps and clasp.
Porcelain beads and pendant by Yolanda's Clay - handmade bead caps and clasp.
Wow - I just noticed that there is a definite woodsy, earth-toned theme to all of these favorite season (next to winter) is almost here!
Thanks so much for stopping by!  I love to read your comments, if you are so inclined to leave one!  Have  a great weekend!


  1. Hi Patti,
    I've developed a love for copper too! I love the color of copper and I use copper bead a lot when I'm beadweaving. I love all the bracelets you've made. I think the medical alert bracelet is fantastic! And, what a great idea to make different bracelets for it so she can change it out with her different outfits! How cool.

  2. Patti, your bracelet is brilliant with the interchangeable beaded portions. And the copper piece is just right for her. Gets the message out there and is still stylish. Kudos!

  3. Wow - I love what you created for her medical ID bracelet - fantastic! I also love the idea of having different options for the beads - ingenious!

  4. Love what you created for the medical ID bracelet. ALL of the bracelets are really gorgeous! Copper is an amazing metal. I think it wants to be beautiful and you certainly have done that! Congratulations on all of these beautiful works of art!