easy teaxture if you do not have a rolling mill

fun with metal

easy texture for metal

this is basic metal smithing 101

take a patterned steel sheet

tape a strip of metal that is softer then the steel to the plate

use clear tape so you can see the back . Start hammering with a ball peen hammer on the whole back ,basically covering the back with dimples .You will need some elbow grease with this as this takes some serious hammer time WATCH YOUR FINGERS !!! while you hammer the back the metal expands and gets pushed into the pattern in the steel plate thus creating a negative the plates are meant for a rolling mill or a metal press .If you do not have those tools ,the hammer is a cheap way to get the texture on the metal

here you can see the dimples on the back which look pretty neat too

flipped over you now have a nice texture

my arm is a bit sore now ,but its worth it this took about 20 minutes of non stop hammering

file your edges and form your bracelet on a mandrel

I have a synclastic form for my small metal press to give the bracelet that nice shape , but you can do an ordinary bracelet too 🙂

I made a copper synclastic bracelet today with some snow flakes

copper disc pendant

And because I needed to work out some frustration I made some earrings and a pendant too

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

copper buttons for my Mama

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Today I made some buttons for my mom . It never occurred to me to make her some even though she always needs some for one project or another . She loves to sew , knit and crochet . But today I remembered the button box she had when I was a little girl . Ach gosh I loved that box . It was built like a treasure box filled with many many different kind of buttons in all shapes and colors . There were bright red ones that were large and had a nice feel to it and small ones shaped like flowers that were very delicate looking . I used to arrange them on the floor and ” paint ” pictures with them , faces and flowers , clouds and suns.. I remember the old copper ones the most . They were scratched and dark from aged patina . I loved picking them up and running my fingers over the cool metal . I also remember the smell of them .. copper ..metallic … comforting . I spend hours sometimes sitting on the floor sorting through them .

So I called her via Skype and asked her if she still remembers that box and she does , she still has a lot of those buttons and that little treasure box to go with . I will be sending her the buttons tomorrow to be put in the box and maybe someday her grandkids will be as fascinated by that treasure as I was .


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again you can check out my shop at www.nicilaskin.etsy.com