copper buttons

copper buttons

made some buttons for my mom

I remember as a child my mom had a small wooden box with tons of buttons in it . I was very facinated by it and when she got that box out to make something I would sit on the floor and play for hours . She still has that box with the buttons , so I made her a couple of new ones out of copper

I cut out 2 discs an 2 flowers from copper

I used a disc cutter for the circles as sawing a circle by hand and make it perfectly round is really hard to do , so one of my most prized tools is my disc cutter the flowers were sawed out by hand with a jewelers saw and 1/0 blades ( very fine )

circles and flowers

always clean your metal before soldering – trust me on that it will make your job easier

after soldering the flowers onto the copper I used some stamps to add something interesting

As you can see I did not really bother in cleaning the buttons up before the stamping , as i have to solder again for the button loop . I did however cleaned the back to get rid of the black oxidation

I domed the buttons in a dapping block and cut some wire and formed it

My buttons will have old fashioned loops instead of the holes , like the buttons in my moms box I cut some wire for the loops and formed them with needle nose pliers

make sure they fit together and then another round of soldering

After I soldered I cleaned and polished may pair of buttons

I used my trusted polishing machine . I like the antqiued look of copper better than the polished shiny finish so I put them in a patna bath ( Liver of sulfur ) the left button has the patina the right button does not After the patina is dry I just took some sandpaper and sanded the buttons so that some of the patina was left

seal the buttons with lacquer of leave them pure

a banana for scale :)

as always if you liked my tutorial , come and take a look at my shop at www.nicilaskin.etsy.com

I was born in the late 70's in Leipzig , East Germany. When I turned 12, the Berlin Wall came down and a whole new world opened. I finished school in my home city and also went to Nursing school there. After moving to a different city in Germany, I met my husband of now 9 years on the internet, of all places. He is from New Jersey and we decided to move there. I am always up for an adventure so off we went. Because I was a nurse from a foreign country, it was not easy to get a license and work. I was prepared to go back to school all over again in the US to become a registered nurse. ( I had worked for 4 years in Germany as registered nurse ). My hubby "shopped" around and called almost every state in the USA to see where it would be easiest for me to find work without going back to school and, voila! New Mexico appeared on the radar. New Mexico accepted my translated license and gave me a brand spanking new one after I passed ( with flying colors ) my NCLEX (which is like the bar exam for a lawyer). And then we moved again ... to New Mexico..... I won't bore you with my life too much. We came back in the summers to New Jersey to visit my in-laws and to have be closer to my parents in Germany. (Yes, I took the summers off.) I painted and went to a pottery class in 2008. Next to the building where the pottery classes were held was a small work shop occupied by a little old lady who was a Metalsmith. She made beautiful things in sterling silver and with sparkling gemstones and - lucky for me - she taught classes, too. That is when it began. She showed me how to make a ring and a bracelet from the beginning and how to handle a torch. Needless to say , I love fire! In short , I was hooked! I started out as a small hobby shop in the garage in our house in New Mexico making small pieces and selling them at the local farmers market. I did not sell a huge amount but it was fun and I met awesome, wonderful people and made a couple of friends. One of them introduced me to Etsy, and I opened my shop here in 2009. I was still working as a nurse at that point and saw the site as a nice venue to sell some of my work. Last year in September, my husband "took over" my shop (so to speak) and tried to make it nice for me. My native language is German and so my descriptions were not the best. "This is a sterling silver flower necklace " - well, you get the picture. He took new photos and revamped my store, giving me a lot more time to create and make and build up my shop inventory. December of 2011 was the first month on Etsy where I could say, "Hey, this is a real business and I am making money. Maybe, just maybe, I could do this full- time." I could and I did. In February of 2012, I made this my full time job. I also started making guitar picks out of sterling, aluminum, bronze and copper. Making them from scratch, starting with a blank sheet of metal, cutting the shape out, filing and deburring, stamping, patina and finally polishing the picks is gratifying, especially because I know people will cherish my little picks and play music with them. My hopes for the future is that I will be successful here on Etsy and on my own little .com site, designing and making beautiful jewelry that others enjoy . nicilaskin.etsy.com

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