Thursday, May 12, 2011

Copper Jewelry Components

If you've purchased silver lately, I know there was some wincing on your part at that the price.  With silver prices staying at over $30 per troy ounce, copper is looking pretty attractive as an alternative metal for jewelry designers. 

Here are a few artisan made pendants using copper.  A pendant using recycled copper by KDemARTe.  A copper metal clay pendant from Andrew Thornton.  And two etched metal pendants, the flight-inspired piece by Higher Chakra and an etched flower by FlapYourWing.

Along with using copper pendants from artists, you can alter commercial copper findings by texturing them with hammers, texturing plates or etching them yourself.  With some wire and practice you can make your own clasps, jump rings and earwires.  The copper wire sold at hardware stores is the same copper wire used for jewelry, you can pick up a spool for a few dollars.  You can find sheets of copper at Hobby Lobby in varying thickness for different projects.  You want raw copper wire, beware of copper colored wire sold at craft stores, it has a coating that prevents you from using patinas or a torch with them.

You can also easily antique copper with a beautiful dark finish using liver of sulphur or try your hand at the color patina techniques written about by our own Shannon LeVart in her ebook Color Drenched Metal.

"From Mark Nelson of Rio Grande: Patinas in general can be very sensitive and delicate. Sealing them with a lacquer such as Finish Seal lacquer #335-123 or a wax such as Renaissance wax can help prolong the life of the color and help keep the copper from turning your skin green. Applying a sealer however can alter the color of the patina (usually making it darker)."

Great Links to Check Out:

How to patina with Cool Tools patina gel, part 1 & 2

(Copper wire photo altered from: Wormwould via Flickr's creative commons.)


Luthien Thye said...

thank you for this post :) this has been really helpful as i have just started to appreciate copper. one question ... is copper preferable to brass as jewelry? if so, why?

luthien :)

Andrew Thornton said...

Thank you for featuring my little owl friend! He was a pure delight to make! I really love copper. It has a warmth and great versatility to it.

KristiBowmanDesign said...

Blogger hiccoughed when I tried to comment a minute ago so I'll try again. I love copper, I have a few things that would look nice in this line-up! :)

Bohemian Chick said...

I have always liked copper just for the "unique" factor. I'm glad others are starting to experiment with it, too. Maybe if we stop buying silver for awhile, the price will go down (fingers crossed).
Donna from 405 Creations

roseworksjewelry said...

I LOVE the dragonfly!