Friday, September 9, 2011

Free Project - Art Heart Bangle

 A recent collaboration with Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio allowed me the opportunity to play with some of her copper patina heart beads. I was delighted to find that large hole bead slides easily onto heavy gauge wire that I could then design a hammered bangle around! 

Tools & Materials
12" Ruler
Wood or steel bracelet mandrel
Flush cutter for 14 gauge wire
Jewelers file in medium rasp
Round nose pliers
Flat nose pliers
Steel bench block
Ball peen hammer
1 - 11" piece of pure copper wire in 14 gauge
1 - Copper Patina Heart Bead by Starry Road Studio
1 - 10" piece of 20 gauge copper wire

Optional for patina;
Ocean Blue Patina
Indigo Patina
Paint brush

 Step 1. Cut the 11" piece of 14 gauge pure copper wire and round the cut ends of wire with your jewelers file.

 Step 2. Push the 11" piece of wire around the bracelet mandrel, at the 2.5" diameter section. Hammer the wire into bangle shape with the ball peen hammer, turning the bangle as you hammer to create a neat and tidy circle. Expect to have an over lap of about 2" each side at the ends of the wire. Remove the 14 gauge copper from the bracelet mandrel and hammer it on the sides of the wire against your bench block. This will help flatten the bangle and create a clean line on the wearers wrist.

 Step 3. Start the bottom swirl of the bangle with the round nose pliers tip, forming the smallest loop you can at the right hand side, outwards, at end of the 14 gauge bangle. Switch to the flat nose pliers to add more swirl, clamping down on the tiny loop with the flat nose securely in your right hand while you push the wire down with your left hand, towards the side of the blades of the flat nose pliers.  Stop when your bottom swirl is approximately 1/2" across and hammer the front of your swirl with your ball peen hammer against the bracelet mandrel for texture and strength.

 Step 4. Slide the heart bead onto what is now the top wire of the bangle and push it back approximately 1.5" to give yourself room to form the top swirl embellishment. Once again, use the round nose pliers to form a tiny loop at the end of the wire, then switch to the flat nose pliers to continue the decorative swirl as described above.
Be careful with your flat nose pliers and ball peen hammer around the ceramic bead, keep it away from your metal working tools as you form your swirls and bangle. Once the swirl is to your liking, push the bead to other side of the bangle and hammer the front of it against the bracelet mandrel as you did the bottom swirl. 

 Step 5. Wire wrap the ceramic heart into its place with the 10" piece of 20 gauge copper wire. Push the heart bead up against the swirl embellishment.  Mark 3" into the 10" piece of copper wire and wrap this 3" around the 14 gauge bangle, 3 to 4 times, tightening the wire against the 14 gauge base to hold the heart bead, facing forward, tight against the swirl. Push the remianing length of the wire behind the heart bead and cross over to the opposite side to begin wrapping this side of the heart. Wrap 2 to 3 times and stop.

Step 6. Pull your wire through the bangles bottom swirl, right where the base of the swirl begins, pull tight with your flat nose pliers and press the wire down across the top of the bottom swirl. Continue wrapping, going behind the swirls, up into the top swirl and around to the back 2 to  3 more times, pressing into place with the flat nose pliers at each wrap. Keep this wrapping tight as it holds the 2 hammered swirls together.

Step 7. Wrap the 20 gauge wire around the base of the 14 gauge bangle base on the outside of the double swirl embellishment and trim away any excess wire. Press the cut end into the bangle with your flat nose pliers and file the end smooth. Reshape your bangle against the thinner area of the mandrel with light blows, careful not to break the heart bead.

Step 8. I added a patina treatment of traditional ocean blue with a paint brush and then washed over it with dye oxide indigo to add a better contrast between the blue green of the ceramic heart bead. But this is step is optional and the pure copper bangle is beautiful with antiquing and brush finishing.

Thank you for visiting us here at ABS and I hope you enjoyed your free project!
Shannon LeVart


Beadbug said...

This is beautiful, I am going to try making one. Thanks so much for sharing.

SueBeads said...

Oh no! Another new store I have to buy something from - her stuff is fantastic!

Jennifer Tennant said...

Beautiful pattern on the heart bead, compliments the metal work very well.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [10 Sep 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

Barbara Lewis said...

This is beautiful, Shannon. I just received my order from Karen and her beads are wonderful! So is her packaging and presentation. She's a pro in all ways!

Cathy said...

What a gorgeous bracelet, I can see the inspiration!

Hope to see more collaborations in your future :)