Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pennies - Again!

I am always thinking of ways to use pennies - especially since I have been able to quickly drill holes in my 2 quart jar full of pennies - thanks to my fabulous BIL and his machine shop (DMI).  I had been drilling them by hand - marking each penny with a pilot hole, then drilling and filing each one - which took a few minutes for each penny.  He suggested one day that I come into his shop (after picking my brain about the hole size and orientation) and use one of his "manual" machines - and being the tool junkie that I am, I immediately accepted. One of his machine gurus set up the machine for me - with a place for a single penny to be drilled, and after a quick consultation on where I wanted the hole, I was up and running.  To say the machine made the work easier is such an understatement - (as is to say that I would "like" to work in the machine shop - no seriously, I would LOVE to work in the machine shop)........I was able to drill the jar of pennies in mere hours rather than the days it would have taken if I were to do them one by one.

After a day or two of drilling just the one hole I decided I wanted two holes in each penny ( for links or whatever) and with a quick flip of the penny was able to do just that.  Then with a single adjustment, I drilled some center holes........and came up with this idea:
I drilled a center hole in each penny, then a hole at the top to hang; domed each penny so the date shows on the back side of the drop; wired (using one of my hand torched copper head pins) a turquoise disc to the penny and added a jump ring.  I am thinking of adding a patina to them so they have a more "worn" look. 

I also enameled a bunch of pennies:

I used some new color combinations - like the gold base with the red over top and the white base with the gold over top:

For the light green ones I mixed some white enamel and some deep green enamel together, sifted it on to the pennies and fired:

Some are domed and some are flat:

And some are colored perfectly for an autumn piece:


Miss Woodcutter said...

Hi! When I found your blog, I stayed up waaaay too late, finally went to bed, and then resumed reading in the morning! You are awesome, and I love your dedication and persistance in your work and everything :D
I, also, have a love for all things copper, and find myself in the plumbing and electrical sections of hardware stores.
I wanted to offer some information you may or may not use: a heat gun is also a great way to get the bright pinks and purples on copper (it's slower than a torch, so you have more control over the end color) and the other thing, www.contenti.com has an economical rolling mill (great for squishing pennies lol) for about $200.00, BUT you can get patterned rollers for making patterned wire for about $50/roll. That, plus 7 strand ground wire from Home Depot (approx gauge 12-14) makes great patterned wires.
I love your work, keep it up!

mrs beadsley said...

Melody- thanks so much for taking the time to peruse the blog - I always love hearing that people actually do! It's also nice to "meet" another copper lover - there really is something about the warmth of it, isn't there? (do you belong to the Copper Wire Jewelers ning site? http://copperwirejewelers.ning.com - a treasure trove of informationa nd eye candy).
Thanks for the heads up on the rolling mill and rollers - as for the ground wire - how is that labeled at Home Depot? I am a frequent buyer of THHN#2 and THHN#4, but I LOVE the larger gauge wires.
Thanks again for your comments! (and your jewelery is gorgeous!!!!)

Miss Woodcutter said...

Hi again! Sorry I didn't reply sooner. I hadn't heard about that website, I'm totally going to right away :D
The ground wire I get from Home Depot is both 12 and 14 gauge, and it doesn't have any insulation on it. Here is a link to one of the wires: http://www.homedepot.ca/product/6-7-sd-cu-bare-convcsa-150m/908391 I am not sure if the wire is called something different there, I'm in Canada.
Hope that's helpful!

Miss Woodcutter said...

I forgot to mention, the link I gave you was for a whole roll of wire, you can also buy it by the foot. :D