I received my copy of ART JEWELRY magazine late last week, and there is a tutorial from Eva Sherman on how to create her stunning textured copper cuffs. While reading the article, I had my own ideas.
So, I have in my stash several pieces of copper tubing. I cut a 6" length and hammered it flat. The advantage to using tubing over sheet metal is 1) no cutting required - except to length; and, 2) the sides of the tubing create such a smooth edge when hammered flat- because of reason #1 - no cutting!
While the bracelet blank in and of itself was pretty, it was begging for some adornment. So, I cut a few lengths of 16 gauge wire, balled the ends together, and made a loose braid with the wire. I cut the braid to the desired length, and balled the ends. Then, I simply flattened the ends with my hammer. After forming both the bracelet blank and the braid on my bracelet mandrel, I soldered the braid to the blank and came up with this bracelet.
Please excuse the lint on the copper- LOL! That is the one thing about macro shots on the camera - one sees EVERYTHING that really was not there! :)
I wanted to see how this would look with a thinner sized braid, so I used 18 gauge for my second bracelet. The braid is not nearly as "stiff" as the 16 gauge, so I also soldered just a touch in the center of the bracelet.
The solder "seam" really show up in my macro shot, not as easy with the naked eye. But, side by side, I prefer the 16 gauge wire - it just has more presence.
A friend of mine saw these and immediately claimed the top bracelet - the one with the thicker braid. She then asked, can you make this with a wider base? Well, not with the tubing I have on hand, but I do have tons of sheet. So, I cut a piece of 20 gauge sheet to 1 1/4", added texture, and a 16 gauge braid.
Since my motto is not "the glass is not half empty, it is bone dry", I have concerns that the braids will not hold with solder alone. So, I riveted the braid onto the this last bracelet.
I am going to wear the skinny bracelets all week long, just to ensure that solder join holds!
I had quite a few scraps of 16 and 18 gauge wire left over from the braids. What to do with scraps? Well, first off, I have to thank fellow artist Linda Sinish - she wrote a blog post about wire artist Mary-Anne Harvey, whose tag line is Rug N Annie. This woman is not your standard wire wrapper - her work is simply fabulous (follow her on Facebook here: Rug N Annie). Mary-Anne does not have a blog (yet!), so FB is the way to see her amazing work.
Last week, Mary-Anne posted a picture tutorial of what she does with her scraps - she forms them into the most fantastic pendants (a ball shape) by simply shaping them with a rubber mallet. Here is my attempt:
Let me tell you, that little gnarled ball of wire has almost 8 feet of 16, 18, and 20 gauge wire (combined)! Her picture tutorial, complete with brief instructions states "hammer, hammer, hammer"...and she is not kidding! It took quite a bit of time to make this dense ball of wire! But, I am addicted, and have another one almost done on my bench. If you try this yourself, be prepared for sore fingers - one slight mishap of that hammer (and I had more than one) and you have a little owie on your fingers!
I think this pendant looks simply beautiful on this copper chain! Again - Linda, if you are reading this, thanks for the link to Mary-Anne's page!
Thanks for stopping by today - have a great week!