Cheri: It felt so good to get back to a challenge after our winter hiatus. And this challenge couldn’t have been better. I think we were all a little excited and a bit apprehensive when this project was initiated. After playing with the copper for awhile, knew whatever I made, it would most likely be jewelry. This is when I let the metal do the talking. I had a ball peen hammer and a small vice with a flat edge and I went to town banging on some copper. I was pleasantly surprised with how pretty the copper became after being hammered. Metal can lose what small elasticity it has in it after it has been work-hardened so I really wanted to make sure that I did not overdo the hammering or it would become brittle. After I had mastered the shape I wanted, I decided to do some research on adding a patina. I came across an article that said I could add blue to the copper by suspending the piece over a bowl of ammonia in a closed container. This was super easy, just be careful with the odor, it can be a bit overwhelming. The patina on my piece took about 12 hours to achieve and I think it came out pretty nice.
I punched holes with a hole punch and used copper wire to embellish the pendant and make the chain. I also hammered the copper wire to give it a rustic look. The rings were made by hammering a small strip of copper and then coiling it around a mandrel. I put two holes in the upper end and two holes in the under part. This had a button hole effect when I used a bead to bring the two pieces together and basically tied them with brass wire.
The copper turned out to be an awesome material to work with and I look forward to making many more pieces.
Leaving you healthy, poor and wise
days spent strolling among the birds
like trying to earn cash with words
only leads to sad hungry sighs.
Often leading to more surprise
a day spent looking at the trees
is time spent that truly agrees
leaving you poor, healthy and wise.
I’d rather see through the disguise
of camouflage among the leaves
and learn that what I do perceive
can often lead to more surprise.
Leaves screen birds’ nests from prying eyes
baffling raiders, next door neighbors
and eager list-yearning birders
who’d rather see through the disguise.