This is a copper fold form cuff that I made yesterday. Hope you like it.
I've also been making some charms out of pennies. I posted some info about pennies at the beginning of August here, including the fact that midway through 1982 they began to make pennies out of copper-plated zinc. I use pre-1982 pennies for jewelry because they are made of copper. Until now, I didn't really think about how a zinc penny would behave under a torch. I suddenly got curious last night.
There are three pennies in this photo; an old one and two brand new 2011 pennies. The older penny was in the flame a lot longer than the others, but it is just fine. I didn't really expect the melt-down but it turns out zinc has a very low melting point. This only took about 15 seconds in the torch flame-- the zinc literally dripped out of the copper plating. It was cool as hell. However, don't try this at home... apparently zinc fumes are toxic (don't you love the way I do first and read later?)
Anyway, the next photo shows some of the pennies I made into charms. This type of stuff can only be made with the older pennies because they can take the heat.
What will next Wednesday's post bring...? You never know ;-)
There are still so many tricks to try out from my fold forming workshop in July. Today I used two of them on a fold form copper cuff, both finishing techniques. I had forgotten all about a trick that Dave, a fellow classmate, showed me about color. Color is usually pretty random when copper is hit with a torch; you never know what blacks, golds, blues, greens, reds, or golds might show up. But when you see the colors you're after, dunk the piece in water right away. It preserves the color nicely!
You'll have to trust me; this photo doesn't even come close to showing all the color nuance you'd see in person. There is so much depth the camera doesn't capture...but here you go:
As for preserving color long-term, there is a second tip -- spray with clear automotive paint. The idea of car paint comes straight from master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain. Just think about the temperature extremes and daily punishment your car's paint job is created to withstand. It's pure genius to use the same thing to protect the patina on your copper.
Should I be keeping my secrets? LOL.
And here are a couple of fun pendants from this week...
Finally, a quick appeal for help. My daughter Lindsay's volunteer group StandUp For Kids (mission: ending the cycle of youth homelessness in D.C.) is in the running for some much needed donations through Deals for Deeds. If they get the most votes, the group gets a percentage of the sales for deals similar to groupon. Please help Lindsay and the kids by going here and voting for StandUp For Kids. StandUp is totally run by volunteers in DC, so all of the money they make will go toward the kids.
I'm pretty excited about my line-up through the end of 2011. The events are all so different from each other, making them extra fun to plan. This is the schedule:
Yellow Springs Street Fair
Oct 8, 2011
Yellow Springs is a college town with a little hippie undercurrent. I'm having fun picking out the pieces to take there; definitely some cool pendants, adjustable sterling silver squiggle rings, and a lot of gemstone, wire-wrapped hair combs / clips. Fun stuff.
Pickerington Antique & Craft Show
Nov 5. 2011
This one will be fantastic because I can mix two of my interests, art and antiques. I used to decorate my home with antiques, and have some very cool pieces to offer along with my jewelry. These include a stereoscope and stereo cards from the mid 1800's, glassware, and some paper collectibles. Can't wait!
Dec 2-4, 2011
This is an intimidating event. Attendance is 18,000+ and artists compete from all over the U.S. for acceptance to the show. I'll be working really hard on new jewelry for this one-- hoping to deserve this chance to join so many wonderful artists at Winterfair. I'll include different styles / techniques of metal work, but will focus most on my fold form jewelry. I'll post my booth number on the blog when I have it. I'd love to see some friends in the crowd and will really appreciate your support if you stop by and say hi!
I've spent this last week planning my booth, working on displays, and making things like clasps and earring wires. Nothing quite photo worthy but I promise to have something next week.
Thanks for stopping by!
Sue Lacy Wired
This began as a hobbyist's blog.
Over time it became a quest to support & connect metalsmiths around the globe who use foldforming techniques in their work.
See how it all