Monday, December 15, 2008

Further Copper Explorations

My newest pendant - I am having such a good time working with metal - I love being able to hammer it into shapes - in this case, I domed it, then drilled a hole into it and wire wrapped a Swarovski pearl which nestles right into the cup of the disc - kind of like a pearl in an oyster! I love the texture I got from the hammer - it was a little tricky to get that though. Why? you ask.........well, here's the rest of the story.............

The copper "disc" started its life as a 1957 wheat penny. Yup, serious. There has been a discussion going on in one of the groups I belong to about how much time it takes to pound a penny flat enough to be able to use it as one would a blank copper disc. I decided to give it a shot and see how hard it really is - but doing it my way. When I first started experimenting with doming pennies and making jewelry with them, my dear SO handed me a stainless steel bowl half filled with some sand and said "put your pennies in this and set it on top of the woodstove; it will keep the pennies warm and make it easier to work with them". Huh.......OK. I did.

We have a big wood stove (it's called an "All-Nighter) and the top of the stove has two levels, so I put the pennies on the top level toward the back of the stove and there they sit, day in and day out. I took a penny out (using a pair of pliers because they are HOT)and just started whaling on it with my hammer. (I used my steel block to hammer on) The hammer I used this time is a BIG one (the XXL version of this one ), so I flattened all evidence of the mint imprint out of the penny in about 6 minutes. I used the flat face of the hammer and made sure to turn the penny every 5 whacks or so to keep it flat. I turned the hammer over and started hitting it with the domed head and was tickled when the disc started curving and doming without having to use the doming block. I hammered it until it was as even as I could get it - keeping the thickness as uniform as I could, and once I was finished hammering it I filed the edges so they were round and uniform - drilled a hole in it, added the wrapped pearl and Voila - my version of a copper disc. Real, just a penny!!!!


A Beaded Affair said...

So much fun Mrs. Beadsley. Think I might give that a try and see what happens. I like the cost too.

Sherry said...

WOW what a great shape you got with just a hammer (and lots of banging!) That's just gorgeous, hun. Thanks for sharing.