Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Working with Copper

May 22, 2013

A few weeks ago, I attended a workshop on how to patina copper and brass. One of the squares was done by putting the metal into a coffee can full of dry leaves and pine needles, then setting them on fire and closing the can. That piece turned out with some lovely colors and I wanted to do something with it. Decided to cut long strips for a pair of earrings.

Challenge: how to attach a post. Can't solder it on because the heat would destroy the patina. I thought I could solder the post to a "clean" copper square and connect the two with a ring. Seemed a workable solution.

Here are the elements. A copper ring would have been better but I lacked copper wire. So I took a couple of silver jump rings and treated them with liver of sulpher to blacken them.

Here are the finished earrings. I like the way the squares took on some color from the soldering heat.

Once the pieces were assembled, I treated the earrings with a special wax to stabilize the colors.

I quite like the effect. I plan to do some more work with copper soon. Lots of people like it and it is way cheaper than silver. Expect to see some in my etsy shop later this summer!