Monday, August 4, 2014

My adventures with metal continue....

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!



  1. Patti - those are absolutely wonderful!!! I had seen a tutorial on copper bracelets made with copper tubing and using air chasing - loved the look. I tried it and love the look but can't get it annealed soft enough to bend it into a bracelet shape. What kind of torch are you using? Any suggestions for me on getting it bent? Thanks and again - you just keep upping the bar!!

  2. I love your bangles!! I took a class with Eva 2 years ago and came away with some of my favorite bangles! I saw her article and I'm going to try some of the things she did. But, using tubing is a great idea and I love the braided wire. But, on to those beads from scrap!!!! OMG! They are fantastic! I love them. I can't find the tutorial but I'm going to keep looking for it!

  3. Thank you for sharing Linda's blog. Her work is wonderful.

  4. Well, I can see why she snatched that bracelet! Oh, you and metal talk well together. I love the twisted balls, they would have me 'following the path' forever!

  5. I have to say these are some of my most favorite pieces of yours. I love the bracelets and especially the narrow ones, But the hammered balls are so unique and wonderfully mastered. LOVE them!

  6. absolutely love the way that braiding looks Patti! I don't think I could pick a favorite ... I'd wear them all!

  7. You are a true artist. These things are all beautiful! To get those ball pendant on your first try is amazing. They are wonderful.

  8. Those bangles are wonderful Patti, I love them! And how creative those balls of hammered wire are!