I love making bangles and have so far just made them using copper wire. These, much to my surprise, have proved really popular and I must now be the copper bangle making expert of old Eastbourne town!
I had a recent commission for a cuff bangle which was to be a Father of the bride present. The theme of the wedding was amethyst so the customer wanted two small amethyst cabs set at each end of the copper cuff.
I used 1.5mm gauge copper sheet for the cuff which I textured with a hammer, shaped then set the 4mm amethyst cabs. Making the bezels was fiddly as the cabs are so small and I did keep my fingers crossed slightly when soldering the bezels to the bangle but it worked out fine and my customer was pleased. I now have plans to use more of the 1.5mm sheet to make more bangles.
So of course my mind eventually started wandering and thinking about using sterling silver. I have various gauges of silver wire and did think of using 1.6mm but when I tried it with copper the bangle was a bit too easy to bend out of shape even after work hardening and tumbling so I decided to go for 1.8mm which worked much better and forms a nice slim but sturdy bangle.
I think I will try 2mm wire next time as the weight should still come under 7.78g so I wouldn't need to hallmark the bangles. Strangely I found soldering the thinner gauges of wire much harder than the thicker 2.6mm and 3.25mm copper I'm used to using! There isn't much tension in the wire to hold the join together and I ended up holding the two ends together with my pliers to stop them moving as the wire heated up when I was soldering.
The silver bangles make a lovely jingling sound when you wear them and as it's my birthday soon I think I will treat myself with a set :D