Thursday, 2 July 2015

A New Copper Loop Bangle And How I Made It

I started making copper bangles sort of by accident. I had some thick gauge copper wire and didn't know what to do one night at a jewellery class I was at so decided to experiment. And I haven't looked back. They have proved to be very popular especially with men buying gifts for their copper wedding anniversary -  usually leaving it to the last minute! 

So it makes sense to expand on the designs I make which is why I experimented with this loop bangle recently. I cut a length of 2.6mm {10g} round copper wire and annealed it so it would be easier to shape. I guessed the length I would need - I had no idea how long the wire would need to be at this point. I used a bezel mandrel to form the loops starting at the centre point of the wire.

I had enough wire to form six loops with some left for the straight section. I annealed the wire again and hammered the curved sections then used a texturing hammer to add some pattern to the loops and the straight wire.

The next step was to solder the loops at the point where they touched each other. This would give the bangle stability. Without thinking I bent the ends of the wire up then realized I'd bent them the wrong way! I wanted to solder on the back of the loops {what would become the inside of the bangle} to minimize the amount of solder getting onto the front textured side of the wire. * I've since realized I didn't need to bend the ends of the wire at all, I can still solder the loops with the straight bits sticking out at either end!* ** Edited {again!} to add the reason I bent the wires in the first place was so the bangle would fit in my pickle pot - I knew there was a reason :D

I overcame my slightly senile moment by building a mini mountain from broken bits of soldering block so the wire ends could hang over the edges.

After soldering. 
A bit of clean up to do but most of it's on the smooth side so not too difficult to do.

After cleaning up the solder joins I straightened the wire and cut the bangle the right length for a medium size.

Flux applied and ready for soldering the join.

The bangle cleaned up and shaped before oxidizing in LOS.

 It was the prototype after all and it would look better with another loop. I always think an odd number looks better than an even number with things decorative. I've worked out the length of wire I need to start with to allow for that plus next time I need the get the loops a bit more upright and graduated in size which will hopefully stop the bangle sitting at an angle as much.

But for a first attempt I'm happy with it and it's just been listed on Etsy. I can see a few decorative options for the design too - I'm thinking silver balls and possibly coils.... :D

A bit late but this is the hallmark for my sterling silver bangles! I was so excited to see it when my bangles arrived back from the London Assay Office. I asked for a 3D laser mark as big as they thought suitable as my stamp is quite small at 0.75mm. I'm pleased to say I've sold a few of the hallmarked bangles too!

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  1. When I see this bangle I am reminded of the armlets/bands that greeks/romans used to wear - for power and for protection

  2. Nice work with the copper! It is such a gorgeous metal that is easy to work with and very affordable. Your hallmark stamp is awesome! Congratulations. It must be an amazing feeling to have your stamp put on your work.

  3. Brava Tracy! Questo è bello, ma sono sicura che farai altre variante meravigliose. Belli anche i tuoi punzoni personaizzati!!!

    1. Grazie Monica! The design still needs tweaking but I will no doubt add some decoration to the copper loops at some point :D

  4. Lovely, bold bangle, sure it will prove popular :)

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you Kalaya! There is a new improved version too :D

  6. That is a stunning bangle, amazing colour.

    1. Thanks for your comment Michelle, I love that colour too :D

  7. Love your hallmark! I wish we had that over here, but at the same time it's nice to not have to worry about it too. But I love that your pieces are easily traced back to the maker that way!

    1. Thanks Em! Yes it is nice having a hallmark with my initials in there too but also a bit of a pain!

  8. I never thought it would be that easy! Thanks for the lovely piece of writing! I also like blog posts from Mishalam they are also quite informative.


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