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Fun with a Copper Cuff

We had a fun time at the Bouncing Bead last Saturday making a copper cuff bracelet. Even though copper is a little harder to work with than silver, you can still get stunning results. This cuff is a copper overlay band sweat soldered, with a lace agate cabochon set on a roller print base plate. All this is then soldered on a ¼” x ¼” tube and soldered onto the cuff to lift the stone off the cuff and give the impression of floating over the cuff.

After final soldering and brass brushing to clean the copper, I plated the cuff in pickle with an iron rod in it, then brushed it again, and added patina with Liver of Sulfur gel. I then sanded the cuff overlay with 300 grit sandpaper to highlight the texture. All in all, a very satisfying project.

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Don’t Fear the Flame

“I want to learn how to solder but I’m SO afraid of the torch!” I hear this all the time. Many artists that create beautiful, beaded creations want to go to the next level and learn to solder so that they can add pendants to their pieces. What’s holding them back? Fear of fire! So, how do you take the leap from stringing beads together, to actually constructing metal jewelry? Take a class! I’ll be teaching classes this month both on learning how to join metal using cold connections and riveting, as well as teaching how to solder silver and copper. It will open up a whole new world of jewelry making just in time for the holidays and holiday gift making. I’ll walk you through the fire – every step of the way. Go to the classes page to sign up for an upcoming class. After all, you don’t have to fear the flame!

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Baubles, Bangles and More Bangles

I love to make bangles. There are a lot of reasons for that. Each one is an individual piece of art yet they all work so well together. Bangles seem to be timeless. How many to wear or the thickness of each one changes with the whims of the fashion community. However, they never really go out of style. We’ve posted a host of new bangles on the AJD site for you to choose from. Continue to add copper, silver, and/or be-jeweled bangles or whatever else meets your fancy and you will have an arsenal of accessories to choose from – the combinations are endless. My video “One Hour Bracelets” was recently released through Lapidary Journals/ Jewelry Artist Magazine. If you are a jewelry artist or aspire to be, check it out. I start with the easiest possible bangle and add techniques to give you many options to get started on your way to making your own bangles. So, pile ‘em on and create your own look. And most of all have fun!

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Trip to Loveland, Colorado

Here I am, joining the 21st century. Apparently, I’m the only person in the United States that doesn’t blog, so here we go.

Mostly, what I intend to talk about will be related to jewelry and jewelry making. To get the ball rolling, I’ll tell you about my recent (last week) trip to Loveland, CO to film a “How-To” video on making some bangle bracelets.

In the video, I focused on three very simple to make bangles, and then two more that were a little more complicated. (You’ll have to wait until the video comes out to see them.) Everything went very well, except I didn’t have a brass brush to finish a couple of pieces the way I wanted, so I had to improvise. That’s the thing about long-distance; if you forgot something, forget it! At one point I dropped the bracelet I was working on and had to sheepishly stoop down to pick it up. It will be interesting to see if they edit that out. Any-hoo, everyone seemed to like it. Thanks again to Merle, Garret, Caroline, and Lexi.

Loveland was beautiful, and special thanks to Lexi Erickson for A) Saving the day and getting a friend to bring missing supplies and B) For her incredible knowledge of jewelry making (she has a Master’s, don’t you know) and C) Most of all, for taking me around and showing me the town. (She’s my new BFF)

Speaking of seeing the town, the town we saw was Boulder. Our first stop was at her friend, jeweler Todd Reed’s shop. He wasn’t in, but his staff was very friendly and let us snoop around the studio and watch some of his bench jewelers working their magic. He does some incredible designs with rough diamonds, so now I’m dying to get my hands on some and start adding them to my jewelry.

From there, we strolled down the mall, which is a couple of streets that are blocked off with shops and restaurants and street musicians. It was fun. Then she and her husband Mark took me to the airport inDenver, where my flight was delayed for 1½ hours, so I got home at 1:00am.

Knowing that brevity is the soul of wit, I’ll stop now. Let me know if you have questions or would like me to address some issue or topic. Thanks for listening (reading.)