Sunday, 3 July 2011

Hammered copper jewellery..

Had a nice couple of weeks.. Gary had some time off work and though he did 4 long hard days work at his moms house, we have had some nice days out together while the children were at school.  Between time spent with hubby & days at work I havent had any time for felting... I should get a couple of days this week though hopefully.. 

I have however had time to play around hammering copper!  I started tinkering with it because I seem to be getting a touch of arthritis in some of my fingers.. which I absolutely do not want.  SO I decided some copper jewellery was called for (I have heard that its good for curing/preventing arthritis).
I used one of the pretty shell buttons that I brought from the Button Lady at WonderWool Wales
Kept it nice and simple & rustic (bit like me lol).  It didnt take long for Rachael to ask me to make her a copper bracelet too (no suprises there :).  I decided to make a mother & daughter set using another of the pretty shell buttons, and take some photos as I did.

Jewellers pliers & flush cuts, hammer, 'anvil' (any strong smooth steel, mine is an old shoe last), 16 guage copper wire, thinner copper wire (I used the stuff out of electrical cable) & a pretty button

After measuring a length of wire (circumference of wrist plus a little extra for the loop & hook) I bent the loop about an inch from one end.  I used a slim pencil to go round.

Bend the neck of the loop back a little so it makes a nice round loop rather than a teardrop. 
Holding loop with one set of pliers & the short end with the others, wind the short bit tightly around the longer

Using flush cuts trim off the bit marked by pliers - this is excess anyway.
A quick squeeze with the pliers tucks it in nice and neat

Pop it on the 'anvil' and give it a good hammering. 
This strengthens the copper wire - suprising how warm it gets when you beat it.

Check the length - hammering stretches the wire.  Used flush cuts to trim it to length (remembering to allow extra to form the hook).  I filed the cut edge smooth and beat it again to flare it out a little.

Cut a piece of thinner copper wire - 4 or 5 inches.  I hammered just the very centre piece.  Then bent it around my pliers so it was the right shape to go through the button.

I twisted it at the back being careful not to damage the button.

Then bent it over the bracelet wire nice and tight & wrapped it around the back of the button again.  Used flush cuts to trim the ends, bent the ends in toward the centre of the wire 'nest' up close to the button.
I used my round nose pliers to make a tidy little hook. 

Ideally I would of hammered it on a bracelet mandrel, which would make it stronger... but as I dont have one I make do with whats available. I bent the bangle into shape around a small china vase :)  

My girlie is very happy with it.. she has just come down the stairs in her PJs (lazy Sunday morning) with it already on.

xx

9 comments:

Heather Woollove said...

How beautiful!! I hope the copper works for you. Every time I see someone with one on, I ask whether they think it works for their arthritis, and they always say 'yes'! XXO-

Becky J said...

What beautiful jewellery. Thank you for taking the time to show us the process as well as the finished product. Such an unusual shell button, I think it would have been lost on anything woolly! It complements the copper perfectly.
Becky x

Terrie said...

Simple and chic bracelets. I may have a go with my ceremic buttons. Thanks for sharing and your sweet comments on my nuno felt dresses.

Kelly said...

Very nice, and the pictures are fabulous. I like how you used the button, perfectly simple. I think it's sweet how your daughter wanted one too.

Wooly Knits n Bits said...

If this helps with arthritis, I must give it a try! Love the tutorial.

FeltersJourney said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments :)
Glad you like the process pics - must keep doing this xx

Gkon Electricals & Electronics Pvt. Ltd. said...

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PyxeeStyx said...

Lovely work. A wooden rolling pin makes a fine substitute for a bracelet mandrel.

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks for the tip Pyxee :)