Copper Curls

I've been fandangling around with my blog sidebar.  

Tidying up.  Creating a link section.

So that people can explore my earlier blog posts if they fancy it.

No pressure.

It's just that I started to get a bit lost around my blog.  Searching for posts and photos.  Thoughts of "I wrote this and even I don't have a clue" came into my head.  So I decided I'd better get a bit more organised.

As I was going through my jewellery design posts and bending my brain, figuring out how to link them up using photos of my designs, I realised I had made different pieces of jewellery and not posted about them here.  I'd posted the photos on my Mimi and Tilly Facebook page and had totally forgotten to post here.

I also realised that I don't give much detail about the designs other than to say, "Hey, I made this!"  which is ok, but doesn't tell you much about the process, or why I am so made up with what I've done.

So...

Here is a copper upper-arm bangle that I made for my beautiful sister, Charlotte.




This piece started out as a fairly short but fat piece of copper wire which was hand-forged.  Which means the metal is repeatedly heated and shaped over and over again. 

I heated the wire until it glowed red.  This is known as annealing.  It makes the wire much more malleable.  Then I stretched the wire using a rolling mill.  Heating and stretching a number of times until the wire was the thickness I wanted.

 I hammered the wire lightly to get the texture I wanted and then gently shaped it to fit my sister's upper arm.

I love this bangle.  It reminds me of ivy, vines and creepers.












Hand-forging is quite a long drawn out affair (do you see what I did there?) but I love it.  It's a slow but steady process.  Gentle but effective. 

 There's something a bit magical about playing with metal to stretch it out.  And I love that when you heat up metal, you are basically making the molecules jiggle about faster and faster so that they are easier to move.  When you heat up copper it glows the most beautiful deep red.  That's when the molecules are really getting jiggy.  

You also have to be very careful.  When metal glows red, it's nearly at it's flash point, which is the point at which it melts into a pile of goo.  

Copper is fantastic because there's quite a bit of time between it starting to glow and reaching it's flash point (relatively speaking, I'm talking seconds).  Silver is much less fluid in this way.  

I learned about silver flash points the hard way.  A piece I was working on glowed red as I was heating it.  In my head I said "Ooooh, pretty", thinking that silver was like copper with a long flash point.  Then I instantly found myself looking at a beautiful, bobbly pile of silver goo.

Oops.

That's not actually what I said at the time.  Through my sobs.  But I prefer not to write rude words.

So there you have it.  A hand-forged copper upper-arm bangle for my sister.

I'm linking up with Tea Rose Home with this post today...






I hope you have a wonderful week.

Much love,





P.S. Thank you for joining in with Favourite Thing On a Friday.  I'm really enjoying visiting your blogs and seeing what your favourite things have been each week. Yep, I'm loving it! Em xx

10 comments

  1. I love it! Isn't copper good for sore joints?

    I completely understand the frustrating process of learning about & working with a new material. I feel like I am always learning & next time I will know what to do (example, never wear open toed shoes while arranging flowers - even if it's 102 outside).

    best,
    e

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  2. The last time I tried to alter my blog I ended up in all kinds of trouble, its put me off trying again.
    But then I am still finding computers completely baffling. lol
    Gorgeous bangles, do you varnish them so that the arm doesn't go green?
    Briony
    x

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  3. Hi Elizabeth, copper is good for sore joints! No open toed shoes when soldering either, in case you inadvertantly set fire to your toes. It could happen. Em x
    Hi Briony, I give the inside of the bangles a lick of clear nail varnish just to make sure, but don't touch the outer surface. I love the look of oxidised copper so leave it to go dark.Em x

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  4. That is stunning. I used to have a similar one (but cheapo silver coloured, not as nice), but I no longer want to draw attention to my upper arms *sob*

    Was really interesting to find out a bit more about the process, I'm fascinated.

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  5. I adore it! I'm a huge fan of armlets and that copper one would look wonderful with a tan. x

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  6. Lovely bangle, I've always been a fan of upper-arm ones. I for one would be most interested in hearing about the process of your work.xx.

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  7. What a gorgeous creation! I love your explanation of the whole process too. You do gorgeous work. x

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  10. wow this is really pretty stunning :)

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