heart bracelet

anticlastic bronze cuff with copper hearts

anticlastic bronze cuff with copper hearts

cut a 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch wide strip from 20 gauge bronze

cut a 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch wide strip from 20 gauge bronze

cut lots and lots of hearts from copper

cut lots and lots of hearts from copper
I have a heart cutter from swanstrom ,

flux the back of your hearts and add solder

flux the back of your hearts and add solder
I use hard wire solder for that

heat the hearts until the solder melts

heat the hearts until the solder melts
and then flux the bronze strip and solder the hearts to it

quench in water

quench in water

form your bracelet

form your bracelet
Now I realize that not everybody has a metal press with the anticlastic / synclastic former ,so you can make the bracelet normal on a wooden bracelet mandrel and a raw hide or nylon hammer. I happen to have a full metal shop and have 2 hand cranked metal presses ( the hydraulic ones scare me and I do it rather by hand soI have more control )

thats my metal press

thats my metal press
yay for awesome tools !!

you feed the bracelet through the former 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch untilyou have the bracelet form

you feed the bracelet through the former 1/4  inch by 1/4 inch untilyou have the bracelet form

you can see how the bracelet forms

you can see how the bracelet forms
hand cranking is a lot of work

almost finished forming

almost finished forming

I put the bracelet into the pickle solution after I formed it

I put the bracelet into the pickle solution after I formed it
Pickle solution will clean your oxidation from metal

hearts , hearts , hearts and more hearts

hearts , hearts , hearts and more hearts

what do you think ?

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 πŸ™‚

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

three hearts

three hearts

3 metal hearts πŸ™‚

I used copper ,brass , sterling silver

cut 3 hearts in different sizes from different metals mine are copper, brass , sterling silver

cut sterling silver wire to make your ring shank

silver wire ,or metal wire is the best you can use for ring shanks , the width is always consistent and its a lot less work

mark with your makers stamp and 925 for the sterling

bend your ring shank until the ends meet

flux and add solder – heat with a torch until the solder flows

The solder will flow when the metal gets red hot

be careful – any hotter then that and your sterling will melt

after soldering and quenching in water ,clean in the pickle solution

I also soldered all 3 hearts together

the solution is almost spend ( you can see it on the blue color ) if it gets to be really blue you will need to make a new batch

after the pickle bath form your ring on the ring mandrel

and a nylon hammer

now you need to solder the ring shank to the hearts

add flux again , use a third hand to hold the ring shank in place , add solder and torch again

quench in water – throw in your pickle solution

polish

thanks for reading

copper tea light holder

made a copper tea light holder πŸ™‚

cut a 1 1/2 inch wide strip by 6 inch long from copper

draw your shapes onto the metal

small tip (if you like a shape make a template out of plastic via exacto knife )

cut out your lizards

i use a jewelers saw with 1/0 blades

shape the strip ,dome a circle and cut a 3×3 inch square

solder everything together ( use plumbers solder as it has a low melting temp )

start polishing – steel wool will do or sand paper

put a tea light in and light it

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 πŸ™‚

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

tea light holder

I love making these – tea light holders

I love making these - tea light holders

I used copper for that

I used copper for that

cut a 1 1/2 inch wide strip by 6 inch long from copper

draw your shapes onto the metal

small tip (if you like a shape make a template out of plastic via exacto knife )

cut out your lizards

shape the strip ,dome a circle and cut a 3×3 inch square

solder everything together ( use plumbers solder )

add your tea light and light it πŸ™‚

add your tea light and light it :)
the reason for using plumbers solder is ,is that it takes a much lower temperature to solder the parts together , after all its a tea light not jewelry πŸ™‚

etch a sketch or how to etch copper

etch etch1

Take a piece of copper – I used a 1 x1 inch square . Seal the back with nail polish or lacquer and wait until dry.

etch2 etch3

After the polish is dry , clean your copper thoroughly with alcohol and q-tips . Do not touch again . I use gloves after the cleaning part. Take a Sharpie and draw whatever you like- have some fun !!! Wait until dry and trace again with the sharpie .

etch4 etch5

take a glass container or an old plastic cup and pour a bit of your etching mordant . Be careful not to splash . Wear gloves and an apron . NEVER ever touch the mordant . Carefully place your copper drawing site up inside your container , make sure its covered fully . I don’t dilute but you can . I am just not patient enough . Wait about 3 hours and then take out with either some gloves or a plastic pincher. Put in another container with baking soda to neutralize the acid . Then rinse and dry.

etch6 etch7

start polishing to get it nice and smooth . Or use steel wool .

etch8 etch9

add patina and polish again. Punch a hole and add jump rings or split rings and make it into a keychain or a pendant .

etch10 etch11 etch12 etch13

 

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 .

 

c c1 c2 c3 c4 c5 c6

 

 

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

Copper Bird Bracelet

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This is actually a very simple thing to make . You start out with a wide copper strip ,I used 1 1/2 inchΒ  by 16 inch17 gauge copper for this cuff bracelet .Β  Draw your bird onto the bracelet strip or on a piece of paper . Pierce the inside of the wings and the inside of the birds body and cut out the bird. When you are done with cutting out file the edges nice and smooth . Form your bracelet on a mandrel either oval or round until you are satisfied with the shape . Start polishing with either a polisher or use steel wool or sand paper .

 

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