Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Beware the Brass June 26, 2014

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 3:53 pm

Have you worked with brass wire before?

If you have, then you know what a bugger it can be.

 Stiff and hard to work with…even the thinner gauges.

Seed Bead Bunch

Sometimes when I look at my hands, I realize just how strong they have become

since I start making jewelry, especially working with wire and metals.

Fighting with the brass wire made the time spent

on these five pair of earrings way too long.

“And my finger tips are sore, too,” she whined.

Of course I had to redo one, because I realized I had miscounted the beads.

Grrr…

seed bead 2

 

seed bead 5

 

seed bead 1

 

seed bead 4

 

seed bead 3

 

These are all just fun and flirty earrings for a craft fair this Saturday.

 

Also made these two front closure sterling necklaces.

What joy to switch to sterling silver !!

amethyst heart drop

 

chalcedonypearl drop

 The craft fair is part of an early Fourth of July celebration for families…

with music, used book sale, games, and a parade.

                   All at the local library!  I’ve said it before, and it’s worth repeating…

I LOVE my library!

 

NOTE…please come back this Sunday to enjoy

the Pearls, Pearls, Pearls Blog Hop,

hosted by MiShel Designs,

and see what I’ve been cooking up for it!

 

 

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12 Responses to “Beware the Brass”

  1. Kathy Zee Says:

    You are always so clever with your designs. Love the earrings. Would you share how much you charge for them at a craft faire?

  2. Cute earrings! I agree…brass wire sometimes takes strength I just do not have! What I have noticed most in my jewelry making journey is that my tools have become an extension of my hands. I remember the first time I opened a jump ring, with two pliers…it was comical! Best of luck at your Library!

    • Morning, Patti! Ha! I remember using the two pliers as well for the jump rings (now I just use my fingers). I do admit that the two plier method is needed to finish off wrapping a loop with the brass though.

  3. You could anneal the brass to soften it… but then you would have to polish it, and harden it — and you couldn’t possibly harden it with all those pearls on… so there you are: where you started! . It IS really good workout for your hands and arms. At the metal class in March I noticed I was much more well-trained than the complete newbies…
    So cute earrings! I recognize some Toho beads, I think 🙂 ! And really yummy sterling chains!
    Good luck with your fair! You’re so lucky, seeming to havie so many good events to sell at — but then I might find more here if i tried, but no way I’d have the time!

    • Wow, never knew about annealing brass! May need to try that on some heavier gauges and different pieces.
      Thanks for stopping by, Monica, with your good wishes, too.

      • Monica Österblad Says:

        Have to elaborate on that a bit; I’ve been reading a book about metals — handicraft and archaeology! There I learned that to soften bronze — which is the hardest copper alloy — you should heat it until red, then dunk it in water (or pickle) immediately. That should keep the grain nice and rounded. Iron works the opposite way, hardening when snap cooled.
        About brass it only says that it is easy to work harden, and to soften, heat until cherry red. But I suspect that they are quite similar, both being copper alloys with up to 80-90 % copper. But my silver class teacher warned me of dunking hot metal in pickle if you have soldered seams — they could crack.
        I also suspect that you will see varying color changes in the alloys depending on at what speed they cool: the different metals in it set at different temperatures, and will wander.
        But I’m still a newbie, and will have to do some experimenting, I guess!

        All that said, you could try to find a softer brass! The one I use, a golden red tombag quality containing only copper and 15 % Zn, is dead soft until work hardened! 1 mm wire of that is softer than my 0,8 mm sterling silver! Did some earwires of those both the other day, after reading your blog — and marveled at the softness of the brass! I buy it locally, and she doesn’t sell abroad, although she has a web shop. Finding decent brass and bronze seems to be more difficult than finding silver. Maybe I could just stop by SilverStudio (http://shop.silverstudio.fi/product/84/tompakkilanka), and send you a parcel, if you pay the expenses…? 🙂 (Well, seriously, maybe, if you think it is worth the hassle!)

      • Oh, I so appreciate your time and info in this reply, Monica. I’ll definite be doing some more research on the brass. Thanks!!

  4. Monique U Says:

    Lovely and colourful, Lynda 🙂 Thanks for the reminder about Sunday’s Pearl Do… I’m hoping my computer will be playing nice LOL.

  5. Oh, these are just too darling!! Love those red ones, especially – and usually I’m a blue girl – but those are super! It is so nice to switch back to sterling silver after working with brass or even with the annealed steel wire, isn’t it? It’s like butter in your hands! 🙂 Best wishes for a successful craft show – have fun!


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