If you use sheet metal in your designs, you may be like me and have a difficult time getting rid of it. If you're using precious metals, you can always send it in to places like Rio Grande for credit or money. But what about base metals like copper and brass? Don't throw it out, because you can do some really interesting things with it.
For example, I enameled scrap copper to accent the focal in the necklace I made for the Kalmbach bead soup party:
So let's start with this copper piece snippet. It came from a much larger sheet that I cut discs from. For this one I thought it might be fun to not cut a straight line to remove the holes from the rest of the sheet. Because I live life on the edge.
File all edges, corners, etc. you don't want sharp bits.
Next, anneal your piece of copper. I usually use my lampworking torch (a Mini CC) to anneal, but for this tutorial, I used a butane torch. My favorite is the Lenk 500 LPT. And yes, I have several varieties...about 5 or 6. It may or may not be excessive.
You do not need to burn the crap out of the metal. Just heat it softly...the metal will change color.
Once your metal is annealed and quenched, use one of those multi-grit nail buffers to clean some of the fire scale off the piece.
Make a couple random folds. Using a chasing hammer, hammer along the fold. Unfold the metal. It will look like this:
Hammer the folds.
Repeat until you're happy with the results.
File any new sharp edges created by the folds.
You can also leave folds in place like in the final result below. And while torch-uring the metal is fun, now you get to start designing with the results. I'm thinking this one will make a great pendant and I will use some bronze wire (my new favorite wire...I LOVE that stuff) to trap the bead in the hole.
If you try this, please comment with a link to your results, or post it on the Art Jewelry Elements Facebook page.Have a great week and hoping your holiday season is stress free.