Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Buttoned Up May 19, 2016

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 11:11 am

Remember this little guy from a couple of weeks ago?  My practice attempt with aspirations of becoming a bangle bracelet that ended up being a ring?


buckle ring


This week in jewelry class…round two…this time I engaged the services of the rolling mill.

First, forging the thick copper wire into the basic shape…aiming to get the two tails of wire as close and straight as possible.  Then, after three or four passes through the rolling mill, I tweaked the flattened wire together some more with a hammer and bench block. (annealing a few times in-between wire wrangling to keep the wire pliable helped with this process )

Next, silver soldered the wires together.  More passes through the rolling mill until I was happy with the thickness. After annealing again, I forged a bangle shape with the use of an oval bracelet mandrel…and this is why I’m thrilled to have such a class and lab in my community with access to all these tools.

Then, came the shaping of the ‘buckle’ clasp…more fiddling.  Stamping some details added some interest. After filing and smoothing the ends, it was time for the silver button.  I was able to finish up the piece at home using a heap of silver scrap wire to make the button and solder it to the copper wire.

Last step…oxidizing, polishing, and tumbling for that patina we all love!


silver button bangle 5



silver button bangle 4



silver button bangle 3



silver button bangle 2

Now my chunky little ring has a big sister!  It still needs some clean up working on the inside to remove the extra silver solder.  I’m feeling more confident about moving on to the prize…this bangle in all sterling silver!




4 Responses to “Buttoned Up”

  1. This is just gorgeous!!! You did a fabulous job!!!! I was excited for you as I read your post! 🙂 My whole world opened up the first time I picked up a torch – and I have never looked back! The best part is the pleasure I get from creating something from raw materials! Enjoy!

    • I’m right there with you, Patti! Salvaged copper wire and scrap sterling silver became this thing of wearable beauty. Of course, I’m not counting the VERY expensive rolling mill, texture hammers, bench block, and three soldering torches I own. 😄

  2. Mary Says:

    You get better with everything you do! Great job!

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