Monday, October 8, 2012

More Fold Formed Cuffs

My previous fold formed copper cuff was part of a small grouping that I worked on a few days ago, streamlining my efforts to maximize output.
The number of cuffs that I chose to work on was determined by the number of pieces I could fit on my solderite pads at my soldering/annealing workbench.
Once I had shaped the cuffs with the help of my bracelet mandrel, I cleaned the surfaces with a fine grit sanding block, revealing a fairly clean copper surface.
While I think this clean copper surface looks lovely, I appreciate the fact that metals will oxidize and maintaining this brightness is a real challenge.
Wax and/or lacquer can be used to protect a finish, and I am still in search of one that holds up to the effects of oxidation as well as exposure to oils and perspiration of the wearer.
Luckily, I like the patina of oxidized metal.
I like the warmth and richness, and I like how surface textures can be perceived with greater dimension.
Many of my copper and sterling pieces get treated with liver of sulfur to immediately develop a patina.My new cuffs were put in a solution of liver of sulfur that had been dissolved in hot water.
To develop the patina, each piece was dipped until darkened, removed and wiped with a soft cotton cloth and dipped again.
I repeated these steps four to five times for each cuff.
A light cleaning with a fine grit sand block highlighted the details, especially in this cuff.
The copper strip for this cuff was first milled with some dried flowers, leaving ghostly impressions.
 As shown in the last posting, fold forming creases are nicely highlighted with the same sanding block.
I love the way the copper takes on the appearance of well worn leather as the patina develops.


  1. Gorgeous! I agree with everything you've said. I just love how copper takes LOS & the richness that develops even beyond that. I don't have a press (wish I did!) but I did etch the one cuff I've made then used JAX green on it. I can't wait to make some and leave them without JAX. Yours is beautiful with the LOS patina.

  2. Cool! I love reading about the process explanation of how the results in the photos came to be.

  3. Lela- Does your lacquer/wax work well at protecting the Jasx patina? I always worry about long term stability of the finish. Crafto- Thanks. I always love reading about how things come about....the inspiration, the techniques, the problem solving along the way. That's where the real learning happens for me.

    1. JAX Green: I put it on the copper day after day after day until it built up to where I wanted it. I brushed away some with a brass brush & sand paper until I had some of the background showing. I sealed it with two coats of Krylon Matte Finish...which claims to be a permanent, protective matte finish and to be moisture-resistant. It dries quickly, so that's good. Then I put a couple coats of Dorland's Wax Medium...buffing after each coat. It also boasts being a protective medium that can be used for any number of things including metal.

      I've been wearing the cuff & don't see any sign of change in the patina. Of course, the way I have it on, you wouldn't really notice if some did chip off - but I don't think any has.

      It's over here if you'd like to see it: