Lately, I have discovered that I used the tools in my classroom more than I thought. I am taking a continuous course at the local adult school. I have learned so much, and loved having all of the resources available to me. But now class is out for the summer.
I usually like to work with sheet copper. I have been blessed that my grandmother has a copper roof, and due to a previous repair, has century old copper shingles available for me to use. I clean them, cut and shape them to make many of my favorite pieces of jewelry.
The problem I am having lately is that many of those pieces require an anvil and many of the forming stakes that I used in class. I was looking online for anvils and stakes for sale and found quickly that they were way out of my price range. See here and here. Sigh. I am going to have to be creative. I have spent a bit too much time online researching DIY jewelry forming ideas. I found this handmade jewelry blog, Create Recklessly, by Melissa Cable. She recommends using a trailer hitch ball as a forming stake. Genius! I can get a stainless steel ball for less than forty dollars! I haven’t had a chance to shop for one yet but updates coming soon! The other tricky part is going to be attaching it to something. Hmmm….
Another shape I have been trying to find is a simple cylinder. I have had some interest in one of my copper bracelets, but I need a round shape to hammer on. After talking to my grandfather, he was generous in offering a scrap end of one of his pieces of scrap metal.
I can’t use a steel hammer on it, but it works great with my (borrowed) rawhide mallet.
I tried to edit out my incredibly cluttered work space in those pictures, oh well. The last picture includes a peek at a current project. It is a different take on one of my other bracelets. Without a rolling mill in the classroom, I am stuck trying to find other ways to texture metal. For this bracelet I experimented with hammering a metal shape to make an indentation on the copper.
I hope to have pictures of the finished bracelet soon. I’ll keep you posted!