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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Beaten copper bracelet

The raw materials for this project are a sheet of copper,some square wire and for tools we will use planishing and texturing hammers,plus a torch and vises. The wire is used to make a shape in the metal. It is placed under the sheet and struck with the hammer repeatedly. Then we bend the first fold.

The bends will be raised with a hammer after flattening along the seam.

The edge of the fold is clamped in the vise and the pieces separated and hammered flat.

Then another fold is added.

Again the seam is pounded flat and placed in the vise.

I continue until the folds cover 3/4 of the length. Alternating direction each time.

A planishing hammer is used to flatten the metal and the ribs.

I chose to flatten the ribs in a twist..each end goes a different direction .

After flattening the ribs the metal is heated to anneal and quenched in cold water. The heat has begun the decoration of the metal.

Next the whole is folds down the length. It is flattened again placed in the vise and opened leaving a central ridge.

The ridge is then hammered flat locking in the center of the folds and creating a wonderful texture.

Next the edge is textured with the linear pattern hammer which gives a ruffled look. To me it seems like the edge of an orchid or iris petal.

Pounding continues on the round mandrel and the final shape emerges. To smooth the edges of the metal it is first sanded then buffed on a 6 inch wheel with Tripoli. It is then cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner and wiped dry.

It looks ancient and a bit abused.

I think the texture makes it look like a medieval armor cuff. Total time was about 1/2 hour. It could be further polished or textured or colored...from here its all good.


  1. This is really gorgeous, Harry! An extraordinary piece of jewelry! Greetings, Manu

  2. Beautiful but I didn't see where you used the square wire?

  3. It was used in the prelim project, but left out in this, I made several bracelets. One used the wire to form a line in the copper by hammering the wire into the metal. Sorry for the confusion. I liked this bracelet better for the photos and forgot to change the first paragraph.

  4. I'm in love ! What gage copper is best for something like this? Never having worked with it before I would love to try my hand at it. I know I could never make something so beautiful so I have to ask where I may find one of your bracelets.

  5. https://www.etsy.com/shop/oscarcrow?
    26 gauge copper was used Anneal frequently and occasionally pickle the copper.You can easily make something like this.