Thursday, June 12, 2008

Today the girls played in the sun while I finished a custom order

It was a beautiful day to play in the sun, splash in the water and relax on the deck. I love this warm weather. I get to enjoy the laughter of my children and watch while they play and do my work all at the same time. And take the time to play and enjoy my girls too.

Today I received a custom order for my hand forged copper ear wires with tiny heat forged buds. The order included matching headpins and copper disc. I thought I'd share the process with a few photos, although I forgot to photograph making the ear wires.

The copper disc are made using a disc cutter and copper sheet. Very simple to make as long as you have a good hammer and a bit of muscle to put behind it. You just simply insert your copper sheet in the given slot, line it up so your edges are not showing inside the circle, put in your punch and on a solid surface hit it with the hammer and hit it hard so you don't get a ring effect on the outer edge of your disc.

The next step was to file the outer edge of each disk lightly to remove any burs that may have been left on the copper. Be careful when doing this I cut my thumb. ouch!!!!

After they were filed I had to make center holes for half the order and top drilled holes for the other half. This was done using my two hole punch purchased at Firemountain Gems. I've seen these listed in several places but this is where I was able to find the best price. After making the center drilled disc I discovered these would be perfect bead caps for my husbands lamp work beads. I have some new metal stamps coming so I can't wait to make these again with stamped spiral or what nots on the outer edge and adding them to our beads. I sure this will become another entry in the near future.

The next step was to dome the disc using a doming block and dapping punches. The one I used for this is brass and and the holes I guess you would call them are made in a variety of sizes, approx. 1" down to 1/4" maybe a bit smaller than that even. I've never measured, I just use what fits my project on any given day.

The final steps were to give all the edges a final sanding using a wet/dry sanding pad. Then dip them in my liver of sulfur solution for a deep dark patina. And I finished them all with a polishing cloth for shine. So pretty they turned out.

While all of this was being done, my girls played and sat at the table with me on the deck. They always seem to have a need to get there little hands busy when Mommy is busy. Katelyn worked on making more earrings using her own ear wires. She's been practicing, she currently is using an enamel coated copper wire in bright shiny green. It must be left over from last Christmas crafts and Hannah put her little hands to work as well. She decided hers would just be ornaments to hang around the house. I'm sure we will enjoy her little creations for a time, and then they will be dismantled and added back to our stash of little girl beads. As will Katie's if I can get them away from her. Katie is insistent upon selling everything she makes and gets really upset when I don't just take pictures and post them with my listings in my etsy shop. So I'm hoping by adding her photos to our blog space she will be appeased for a time and we will just let her skill's continue to grow as she does and who know's maybe someday....

I have added a photo as well of a new desing I made yesterday afternoon. I was able to get my hands on some nice 14 gauge copper wire, It's been hammer hardend into this nice bangle shaped bracelet and wire wrapped with one of my own tiny fused dichroic rainbow cabachon. I was really happy with the outcome. Also included is a photo of my 5 year old Hannah learning to hammer copper, WATCH OUT FOR THOSE TINY FINGERS!!!! and my 8 year old Katies handcrafed earrings. She just LOVES them....

Well I guess that's all for today. It's late, my children are asleep and my bed is calling my name. So peace be with you all and have a good night!

1 comment:

Barbara said...

I was so happy when copperwork came back "in" again -- it makes it so much better to see real artisans working with it! Your craftsmanship is so clean.

Katie's earrings are adorable. She already has a good eye for seasonal color.