Bonus Copper Jewelry Making Tips

I’m all about copper these days! Here are some extra great copper jewelry making tips I got from a quick browse of Contemporary Copper Jewelry.

spiral fibula pin brooch

Spiral Fibula Pin

Be careful when forging the ends or curves of ear wires; overforging the wire too thin can create sharp razor-like edges that you definitely don’t want to slide into your ear! Forge gently with a chasing hammer or be safe and use a hard plastic mallet. This is a good reminder to always check ear wires (and other wire edges that will touch the skin) for sharpness.

Avoid over-forging wire because it can become brittle, especially on the edges. This one surprises me, every time I read it. I’ve never experienced metal becoming brittle, so perhaps I’m doing something right! But it’s good to know it can happen.

wire and bead chandelier earrings

Funky Chandelier Earrings

Many of the projects in Sharilyn’s book are accented with wire coils. Sharilyn recommends making a bunch of wire coils all at once and keeping them on hand, ready for whenever a project beckons. She creates long coils of fine-gauge wire (24-, 26-, or 28-gauge) on heavier 20-gauge wire and cuts them into smaller pieces as her wire designs require. Don’t forget to label your coiled wire pieces so you’ll know what you’re working with when the time comes!

I think making a stash of wire coils for future use is also a great way to get your fingers warmed up when beginning a project. Plus it always takes me a few minutes to get used to the feel of the gauge, hardness, and general workability of a new wire, especially if I’ve been working with a different one just before, and making coils is a great warm-up or practice for getting used to a new wire before actually beginning the project at hand.

wire-coils-peacock-wheels-necklaceThese are just a few of the dozens of great wire and copper jewelry making tips inĀ Sharilyn Miller’s Contemporary Copper Jewelry–plus it includes a bonus DVD packed full of great technique instruction. Watch and learn (or refresh) as many times as you like, wherever and whenever you like!

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