Skip to main content

Foldform Copper Heart Earrings - My First Attempt!

I'm slowly teaching myself some more basic metalwork techniques. I love making wirework jewellery and torch enamelling but I think I'm at my happiest when I'm hammering bits of metal and playing with my torch!
I recently bought a new metalwork jewellery book - Mixed Metal Mania by Kim St. Jean. It's a very good book with an informative tool section and easy to follow instructions and covers some basic techniques including soldering, riveting, forging, foldforming and reticulating. Her jewellery style is quite rustic - something I find hard to do being a bit of a shiny neat freak but I'm sure I'll learn to "let go" eventually! 


I've seen foldforming before and did have a quick go at it a while ago but the copper sheet I had was too thick and I also tried to do it without annealing the metal (stoopid!) so talk about making life difficult!
The book has several projects which use foldforming including a brass foldformed heart pendant which inspired my copper heart earrings. I already had the copper heart blanks - sent to me by mistake from when I ordered flower blanks (!) but as they are 24g they are perfect for foldforming.

I started off by annealing the hearts to soften the copper then after quenching and drying folded them diagonally and hammered the fold flat. After annealing again I used an old kitchen knife to open up the hearts then flattened them using a mallet. After pickling to remove the firescale and a bit of a scrub with wire wool I used a center punch to add some texture to the fold then added a bit of detail ( I like my little details!)with a couple of fine silver ball rivets. This is something else I've just worked out how to do - use a nail punch with a concave end to support the silver balls as you hammer the rivets on the other side. You need something to hold the nail punch upright - I use one of the holes in the block my dapping punches live in. The nail punch is actually stuck in there now from the hammering but at least I'll know where it is!

I finished and photographed another foldform pair of earrings yesterday. The discs had been sat on my table waiting for inspiration and it finally came in the form of antique copper flower beadcaps and pale green chrysotine rondels. Now I know how to rivet beads and things onto metal there will be no stopping me. These are still quite shiny shiny so I'd better get working on my rustic side!


  1. These pieces are both gorgeous! It does not look like you just learned the technique. I have never tried this. It looks like fun! ~Val

  2. How beautiful you have a very special talent, very unique and creative ttfn L:)

  3. Great stuff! Much much much better than my first attempts lol. x

  4. Great earrings! You're a natural at this technique.

  5. Really cool! I wish I could learn this technique! :)

  6. Blue Cottage Handcrafted Jewellery said .....
    These are lovely work. I have been fold forming and learning to rivet last term at college. You have done well to learn these on your own. Beautiful work! Well done!

  7. I am trying to find out how to rivet a bead on to metal. I have seen a number of examples, but when I want to know the specifics I can't find anything! Except YOU, oh wise one :) This blog entry mentions it, but now how to do it. Would you be willing to share how you learned? Or what you learned? I know this is a 3 year old post but I hope you still get notification of a comment. I have been following your blog for a while now - beautiful stuff!


Post a Comment

Your comments and questions are very welcome!
If you would prefer to contact me directly please use the contact form on my "get in touch" page.

Popular posts from this blog

Etching Silver Using Nail Art Stamps

So my love/hate relationship with etching sterling silver continues. I've tried a few times now and always end up with different results most of them not that great to be honest. I've tried connecting the silver and a piece of copper to a 9v battery and also heating the ferric nitrate. Sometimes the results are good sometimes not so good. I currently have an etched piece of silver sheet waiting to be reticulated and rid it of the mess that is the etched "pattern". 
I now know that using stamps and Stayz On ink just doesn't work with silver - the time needed to etch using ferric nitrate is much longer than etching copper and the ink starts to wear away after about an hour. This results in the pattern being patchy as the resist is eaten away and the silver ends up quite lumpy and course looking. I have yet to try using pnp paper. I don't know why but it all seems a bit of a faff to do. I don't have a laser printer so would need to find somewhere or someone…

Embossing Metal With My Sizzix Bigshot

I must admit up until a few weeks ago I was vaguely familiar with the name Sizzix but as to what you actually did with a "Sizzix" I was completely in the dark! That was until I stumbled across a video from Vintaj showing how you could use their embossing folders with a Bigshot to create designs on metal ("metal" - my favourite word after chocolate!)
I was really impressed and itching to have a go, I just needed a Bigshot........ I waited a few weeks then when the urge to possess one overcame me I went out debit card at the ready..............and the shop had sold out! So I trundled off to The Range on the off chance and came home clutching my own surprisingly heavy pink and black wonder machine. It sat on the dining room table for a couple of days while I waited for the embossing folders I'd ordered online to arrive then the time came to start playing!

I started with some pre-cut 24g copper hearts and the Wildflower Vines and the Butterfly Swirls Deco Embossin…

Rolling Mill Textures On Metal

I had another play with my rolling mill last week using some of the texture sheets from Etsy shop Rolling Mill Resource. I used some sterling silver and copper sheet and soon discovered it's best to get organized before you start!

I cut the sheet to size and worked out which design was going on which piece of metal. I also tried a feather but more on that later. Most of the sheet I used was 20g/0.8mm with one piece of 18g/1.0mm and one of 22g/0.6mm.
I've read that you should do a dead pass of the metal through the rolling mill with the gap the same size as the metal and texturing item. I'm not sure what this is supposed to achieve but I don't bother doing it. Judging the correct size of gap between the rollers is a trial and error thing that you discover by setting the gap then starting to roll the metal through. If there's too much resistance you make the gap bigger until there's just enough resistance to roll the metal through without giving yourself a herni…