Thursday, November 1, 2012

Copper Tornado to Copper Bangle

So, you might ask, how does one go from a tornado of copper wire left over from a construction project to fun bangles?
First, measured lengths were cut using my favorite flush wire cutter.
While the cut is pretty clean, both ends of each length of wire were filed to ensure nice, flat surfaces.
Since these wire lengths are going to be soldered, those flat surfaces are necessary for a flush connection.
Not flush?  No solder flow.
Actually, I should amend that. 
The solder will just won't flow where you want it.
Also, to maximize my chances for successful soldering, I sanded clean each end of the wire lengths since solder does not like to flow on dirty surfaces.
Each length was bent to bring the ends together.
Once the ends were together, I was ready for soldering.
At this point, the shape is of no concern. 
The only thing to focus on is maintaining a flush connection between the two ends.
In spite of doing what I thought was a good job of lining up my connections, I had trouble with some of my soldering attempts.
I find that as the metal heats up, it will occasionally shift, ever so slightly altering those carefully made connections.
That ever so slightly altering will usually mean a gob of solder where it is not wanted.
Once the soldering is completed, it's time to focus on forming.
Each soldered wire was placed on my steel bracelet mandrel and hammered into shape.
The preferred trusty hammer from the hardware store.
The soldered wire was rotated as I hammered.
When there are no gaps between the wire and the mandrel, I'm done.
While working on the bracelet mandrel, I do pause periodically to put the soldered wire on my steel bench block to hammer it flat.
All of this hammering shapes the soldered wire into the desired bangle shape, and it also work hardens the metal so that the new shape is maintained.
For added interest, I textured the surface of each bangle with some of my steel stamps.
Each bangle was wire wrapped with a beaded dangle and then treated in a liver of sulfur bath.
Light sanding with a foam sanding block nicely highlights the stamped textures.
And there you go.....tornado to bangles.


  1. Though I am not into making jewelry myself, it is so fun to read about your projects and progresses of your stuff! I will go to the Main Line Art Center show and maybe I will see you there!

  2. Hi Annika- I will be working at the Main Line holiday show a couple of days. Hope to see you there!