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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hand hammered copper bracelet

A simple rustic wire bracelet can be made with just 10 inches of 10 gauge square copper wire, 3 inches of 22 gauge round wire and a glass bead. Tools include Hammers and block, bracelet mandrel ,torch, and a drill or punch.

First step is to anneal the wire and texture the full length. Flatten the end about 1-2 inches from each end, making sure you stay in the same plane.

Anneal with the torch and cool the form the wire around a mandrel. Of course you can use alternative  forms like a wooden dowel or rolling pin.

I placed the bracelet back on the mandrel and using a grooved face texture hammer worked all around the piece . Anneal again and quench in water  and again form the bracelet to the mandrel., aligning the ends .

Next I used a punch pliers to mark the drill locations. I find that is the easiest tool to use. You could use a punch and hammer or even a nail.

After drilling the holes I used a gray cratex rubber wheel to clean and polish the holes and to smooth the entire bracelet on the inside. I also ran the wheel over the tops of the texture to smooth and brighten some areas to give a little sparkle.

Using fine round 22 gauge gold filled 14k wire to lace up the top will give a little contrast as the copper changes to its natural deep orange/brown. I started with about an inch of wire underneath and between the copper and threaded up through in a wrapping lace. This traps the end and when reaching the middle I noticed a red glass bead on my bench top and put it on the wire. Finish the lacing by tucking the end under the bottom laces and pull tight. The end was wrapped over between the copper sides and again tuck in out of sight. Using a small buffing wheel on a flex shaft I polished the inside of the bracelet and then smoothed all corners for a nice feel. 

All that is left to do is to place the bracelet back on your mandrel and with a rawhide hammer or other plastic face hammer work harden and straighten the wire.

Slight curves can be straightened or accented by hand.

And there is the finished piece. Ready to go to my Etsy shop   https://www.etsy.com/listing/115419546/hand-formed-copper-and-glass-bracelet