I cut some “flowers” out of 24 ga sheet copper – 2 smaller ones for earrings and a larger flower for a pendant. I smoothed the edges of all of the pieces with files and sandpaper and drilled holes for wires that will carry beads and attach to the ear wires. Then I did some texturing of the metal with a hammer followed by shaping each of the flowers over miniature stakes. I wanted drooping petals so the flower would hang bell-like from the ear wire. Next, I turned the “petal tips” so they are rounded upwards. It’s best to do all of the texturing, curving and shaping of the petals before the tips are turned up because it’s more difficult to work afterwards. These pieces are prototypes for similar sets done in silver.
It was apparent right away that I would need a better work surface for texturing (and also for forming). Also my texturing did not go deep enough and you can barely see any of it after the forming process. Also, I think I should cut the petals in closer to the center hole so the flower will form more smoothly when the “petals” are curved down over the stakes. Before assembling the earrings and pendant I wiped on a thin coat of Renaissance Wax to preserve the bright copper color.
I’m using 10mm unakite beads inside the little flowers – one inside each earring and two inside the pendant. I used fine silver head pins. The ear wires are niobium that looks nice with copper. I will create a copper bale or make a jump ring for the pendant.
I’m living and working in an RV. It’s not a new experience – I do this a lot when we were traveling, but now that I’ve changed my designs to include more texturing, forming, and soldering and much less wire, I’m discovering that my work area is not as simple as it once was. I’m going to have to develop new approaches to allow for hammering, etc. An interesting aspect of where we happen to be staying right now – no picnic tables! I planned to work outside on a sturdy surface and there is none! Now I need to come up with a sturdy portable work surface. These photos are taken with an iPad2 camera – I don’t have access to a real camera at the moment.