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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! 


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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 beaducation.com 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!



Comments

  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

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

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

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

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

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  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!

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  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!

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