The bracelet got a more permanent shape on an oval bracelet mandrel with a rawhide hammer. The soft surface of the hammer doesn’t damage the pattern but can pack enough punch to shape the metal in a few solid taps. I used a ring mandrel to give final shape to the earrings, and then soldered the sterling silver posts onto the earrings.
Ouch. When I slipped the bracelet onto my arm in order to admire my work, I quickly found out that the sawed edges were still as sharp as razor blades. Back to filing. Now with the edges as smooth as silk, all three pieces went into the tumbler for a few hours. The tumbler’s stainless steel shot did its job and buffed the bracelet and earrings to be super shiny. I checked the shape and made adjustments by hand and hammer.
To emphasize the sculpted pattern, I applied a black matte patina on the outside of the bracelet and earrings. I wanted to leave the inside of each piece shiny for a bit of an edgy contrast. When dry, I hand-buffed each piece with a soft grade sandpaper. Buffing removed the patina from the high ground and left the matte black in all the crevices.
Wow! The pattern really pops! This cuff bracelet and its matching earrings turned out dramatically better than I expected.
When I put the copper in its 3 phases (raw, shiny, patinaed) side by side, its path from beautiful to striking is much more obvious.
Hey Mom, I sure hope you enjoy the handmade bracelet and earrings. They are beautiful and striking, just like you. Happy Birthday!