Monday, October 31, 2016

Rivets, Solder, Copper, Brass Up-Cycled Cuff Bracelet

My husband Rick's soldering skills are coming along a lot faster than mine!
I'm happy one of us is learning how to use the torch in this way and I know one day I will catch up.  There are just so many ideas that I have to try and if we were both working on the same things that wouldn't be any fun.

I really like the way his copper cuff bracelet turned out.  He's soldered pieces and parts as well as using rivets and eyelets mixing brass with the copper to come up with an eclectic piece.

Thanks for visiting my blog today & Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Kingman Turquoise - Boulder Turquoise Necklace & Earrings

I bought 3 big rectangular Boulder Turquoise Beads when we shopped at Colbaugh Processing back in September.  I love the look of them but they were too large for a necklace link in my opinion.  To me they looked like they should be a pendant so that's what I tried with them using wire weaving and wrapping.  

Of course they needed a necklace so I made up several Triple Loop Links and combined them with 8 mm Boulder Turquoise beads.  It's a big bold necklace with that size bead but I like it and I know there are other ladies out there who will too.  

I antiqued the copper then polished and shined it & added a protective finish using ProtectaClear to preserve the patina I gave it.  

I also made a pair of matching earrings using the 8 mm Boulder Turquoise Beads and the Triple Loop Links I created.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Copper Vertebrae Chain Maille Bracelet

How about a little Copper Chain Maille Today?

This Copper Chain Maille bracelet is made using 5/16" copper washers and copper jump rings that have been antiqued to match the ready made antiqued copper toggle clasp.

This one is the same yet different using 3/4" washers.  This Chain Maille Weave is called a Vertebrae and is one of my favorites whether I'm using copper washers or rings.

Available in our Etsy Shop here:  ArizonaCopperCraft

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Etched Copper Jewelry

I love texture so when I discovered etching I was excited!
 Then a little apprehensive...

In order to etch copper I was going to need chemicals that are a little hazardous.  
After doing my homework I concluded that if I could use Lye and make cold process soap I could certainly use Ferric Chloride and etch copper.

In the search to learn to do this I discovered that I had most of the stuff I was going to need already.  How cool is that when you undertake something new and have a lot of the stuff already?
Rubber Stamps, Stazon Ink & Cleaner, sheets of Copper -

This copper cuff bracelet was etched using an old Stampin' Up! background stamp, I chose a word in a line of words I liked and stamped it on the copper bracelet blank (3/4" X 6" copper sheet).  

These etched copper earrings started as a stamped sheet of copper with random rubber and acrylic stamps used.  I used our Swanstrom Round Disk Cutter to strategically cut out parts I wanted to use. 

The Butterfly pendant is a single rubber stamp cut from a sheet of already etched copper.

Some of these and others etched pieces are available for sale in our ArizonaCopperCraft Etsy shop.

Blog hoppin' with the Clever Chicks!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Gears - Washers - Cuff Bracelets

Check out this funky cuff bracelet my husband Rick made.  He started with a copper base for the cuff and added fun gears and washers made from copper and brass.  He's done some soldering, added  rivets as well as used eyelets in his creation.  It looks like he's had some fun with our Swanstrom Round Cutting tool as well.  

This bracelet is 1" wide and a little more on the large size for a man to wear.  It's slightly adjustable so it could be made a little smaller or larger.  He gave it a protective finish with ProtectaClear to preserve the patina he gave the bracelet.

It's also for sale in our Etsy shop here;  ArizonaCopperCraft

Thanks for visiting my blog today! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Swanstrom Round Disk Cutter Pendant

I have a couple of necklaces I made using our Swanstrom Round Disk Cutter that I thought I'd share with you today.  Both started as an etched sheet of copper.  I used the largest disk cutter for these pendants then domed them with a dapping set like the one pictured below.

This is a very cool set of tools for giving jewelry pieces shape and texture.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Swanstrom Round Disk Cutter Earrings

I've been working with our Swanstrom Disk Cutter again making earrings.  

These earrings were made using a 3/4" copper disks that I cut out and sanded the edges.  Then I added brass and copper rivets with silver washers under them.  To finish the earrings I used brass eyelets and small copper jump rings.  

For this pair of earrings I used the disk cutter to cut a sterling silver washer type disk to frame the copper Chain Maille Scales, added sterling silver and copper jump rings for a fun pair of mixed metal earrings.

These etched copper earrings have two different size disks that nest together.  I've added brass eyelets to hold the disks together then two different sized jump rings to fasten them to the ear wires.  

This pair of earrings is a great example of how I like to use my disk cutter on a sheet of copper I've already etched.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Kingman Turquoise - Boulder Turquoise Necklace

I have a few rectangular shaped Boulder Turquoise Beads that are quite large.  I purchased them to see if I could make pendants using them.  For this pendant I used wire weaving and wrapping.  I'm not sure I'm thrilled with my wire work but I love the piece of turquoise so I'm going to wear this one.  For the necklace I used 8 mm matching Boulder Turquoise beads and added a few Triple Loop Links that I learned how to make from "The Missing Link" book by Cindy Wimmer.  

All the copper has been antiqued and polished to bring out the warmth and beauty of the metal then sealed with ProtectaClear to preserve the patina I gave it.

Using the 8 mm beads gives this necklace a bit of weight, not too much but you know you have it on when you first start wearing it.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Chain Maille Scale Earrings

Have I mentioned I like making Chain Maille?

Today's project is Chain Maille Scale Earrings, I have an order for a pair of  these earrings and making earrings for me is like eating M & M's.  You can't just have/make one!

A better view of the earrings waiting to be put on cards.

Some of these are available in our ArizonaCopperCraft Etsy shop.

The Chicken Chick Link Party!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Montana Agate Copper Cuff Bracelet

I think this is one of my favorite cuff bracelets my husband Rick has made recently.  

The agate came from my personal stash and has a story behind it.  My grandmother collected small stones from along the Yellowstone River and many other places she visited.  She and my grandfather were avid hunters and fishermen.  One of her brothers would cut and polish the rocks for her.  After she'd passed on my dad brought me a wash basin filled with her polished stones.  I wasn't real impressed at the time, lol.  He told me he knew I was the person that should have them because I could do something cool with them...  Now that they both are no longer with us it looks like we are doing just what he said.  My grandma Hunnicutt lived from 1902 - 2001 and I'm happy to have her polished rock collection and I even remember picking up rocks with her when I was a little girl.

This cuff bracelet is made from pure copper and has been antiqued and polished to bring out the natural beauty of the metal.  It's then treated with ProtectaClear to preserve the patina my husband gave it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Learning New Jewelry Making Skills

I thought I'd share some photos today of a few things we made during a couple of jewelry making classes at Mohave Community College in Lake Havasu City, Az.   

I'd been looking for classes in our area that my husband and I might enjoy taking together for fun and to gain additional skills in jewelry making.

The Saturday after swap meet season ended I had us signed up for a Wire Wrap Class in Lake Havasu at the Community College.

My husband Rick is sitting in back while the teacher helps the other ladies in our class.

We were given a variety of cabochons to choose from and used square brass wire for wrapping.  These two are the finished pieces we made.  It was a 4 hour workshop and time flew by, it was fun!

After the Wire Wrap Workshop we took a beginners Silver Smith Class that lasted 6 weeks.  We learned how to solder silver and the pendants above are the first two pieces we made.  I enjoyed this class but felt like a fish out of water.  I didn't know anything about what we were doing and the class ended up being more of a place for jewelry artists to come and use the tools instead of learning how to make jewelry.  

With the help of the instructor and another class mate I was able to make this sterling silver cuff bracelet and another that I never took a picture of.  I'm happy with the way they turned out.  

As far as taking local Community College classes, we went, we did it & learned that we can learn as much and more online.  I don't mean to complain, I'm happy we took the classes.  We live in a small rural area, the classes we took were 35 miles away in the next town.  Our local Community College doesn't have any jewelry related classes.  We do live about 35 miles from Quartzsite Arizona so this winter maybe I can find us another interesting class or two!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Kingman Turquoise - Boulder Turquoise Necklace Set

For this necklace I used Boulder Turquoise from the Kingman Mine.  It's more green in color but has some blues mixed in there too.  

I've read that turquoise that is blue has more copper in it and turquoise that is green has more iron in it.  I thought that was interesting!  Also over time some turquoise will turn green as it ages due to effects of oxidation, dehydration and exposure to the elements and products we use (lotions etc.). So turquoise once blue will sometimes end up green – that’s why you see more green turquoise in vintage pieces.  There are many internet sources where you can read and learn about turquoise.

“Also, within the same mining operation, sometimes within the same vein, both greens and blues will be found. The blue is the copper, and greens are molecules of zinc or iron.  My information came from Native American Jewelry Tips.
I also made a pair of matching earrings to go with my necklace.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Swanstrom Round Disk Cutter

We have a fun tool for making circular shapes we've been playing with.  It's a Swanstrom Disk Cutter that we acquired this last summer.  It's great for making earrings, washers out of copper, brass or sterling silver sheets.  I think one of my favorite things to use it for is cutting disks from copper sheets I've etched.  I posted a photo of the tool below to help with the visual of maybe how it works?

The earrings on the top and bottom right of the photo were made using the disk cutter.

The necklace -

my husband Rick made using copper washers, brass wire and black agate semi precious gemstone beads.  This necklace didn't stay on the table long at our last jewelry party!

It's nice to know when we run out of copper washers or don't have quite the size we'd like we can make them now.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sudz n' Hunni Soaps - Purely Herbal Body Butter - The Packaging Process

I thought it might be fun to share the process of packaging my handmade body butters with you today.  Sometimes people look at me like they don't believe what they have in their hands was made by me right down to the packaging.  

One day when I think of it I'll share the making of the body butter process.

To start we have a double batch of Purely Herbal Body Butter.
I use two mixing containers for a double batch because it's easier for me to thoroughly mix in the last ingredients in smaller containers than one large one.  This gets pretty thick toward the end.

I have my scale set up and ready to use as well as my sanitized jars and a few extra bottles I like to use for testers.  I mostly use jars for the body butters I sell, they have nice wide mouths and are easy to fill and weigh as I go.

After filling and weighing each jar the caps go on.

The labeling process comes next.  I've designed all my labels using ONLINELABELS.COM labels and software.  Sometimes I need to make adjustments to my labels like adding or subtracting an ingredient or changing the weight.  Since I've been doing this for several years most of the "design process" has already been done for me.  

Now the jars and bottles have their labels and the jars will need to have shrink wrap added to them.  Shrink wrap helps keep people from opening your jars before they've purchased them.  It's kind of a "safety seal".

Here are the jars with the shrink wraps on them waiting for me to get my heat gun and let the shrinking begin.

Sometimes making body butters and other handmade products seems like a long process but the finished product is definitely worth it!  If you are interested in purchasing any of my body butter or soaps you can contact me on Facebook at Sudz n' Hunni Soaps and it's finally cool enough in Arizona to ship these again!

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Desert Landscape Copper Cuff Bracelet

Desert Landscape in Copper

I have a fun bracelet to share today that my husband Rick made. 
It's a copper cuff bracelet with a desert scene. He worked his magic on it soldering and riveting and came up with something really cool!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Copper & Quartz Wire Wrapped Pendant

Wire Wrapped Quartz Pendant

If you've been keeping up here with me you know I've been experimenting with wire wrapping techniques. This is a pendant I made not too long ago that I'm pretty happy with. It's one of my firsts so I'll probably be the person wearing it and enjoying it on a handmade black satin necklace cord.

My second attempt at a wire wrapped pendant is very similar, you know what they say about practicing!  For this pendant I added a 3mm 18" ready made mesh copper necklace chain that compliments it nicely.

A little closer view of the pendant, it has a small streak of Carnelian through the bottom left edge and is rather translucent.  

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Kingman Turquoise - Mohave Purple Turquoise & Copper Earrings

I've made a few Mohave Purple Turquoise necklaces and bracelets and thought they needed some earrings to go with them. For this pair I made a couple of matching fancy coiled links to suspend from my Mohave Purple Turquoise beads, assembled everything then antiqued and polished them.

Mohave Purple Turquoise is a byproduct of turquoise mining. It's produced by taking the turquoise scraps from stone cutting, grinding some into powder and leaving some in small chunks. It sometimes has metals like bronze added into the mix, its then dyed. The harder turquoise stone doesn't accept the dye & the softer stone takes the dye so you have a beautiful multicolored stone and virtually no waste in the process. I think it's a neat way to up-cycle what would be wasted and a great use of resources. This process also gives consumers unusual semi precious gemstones.

My second pair of earrings uses the same Mohave Purple Turquoise beads with a different fancy link that matched a bracelet I'd made.  Both sold very quickly so I'd better get to work on making a few more!

This Mohave Purple Turquoise came from Colbaugh Processing, the miners and producers of Kingman Turquoise just outside of Kingman Arizona.  We are fortunate enough to live a couple of hours away from Kingman so we can go directly to the mine when we want to shop for Turquoise.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Wire Wrapped Copper & Rhodonite Necklace

Do you like pink? I think pink in a natural semi precious gemstone is really cool. A lot of the ladies that buy our jewelry are looking for color and this stone definitely has that!

Rhodonite has a very distinct pink or rose red color base, stones that contain a black or colored matrix (veining) are more popular than the more uniform pink stones. 

Rhodonite is similar to Rose Quartz being a silicate/quartz composite. But manganese is what brings out the rosy color that Rhodonite is known for. This semi precious gemstone is found in several areas in the USA.

Rhodonite is believed by some to reduce stress and calm one's mind bringing a sense of well being to the person who wears it.

This was a fun necklace to make!  Using copper wire I made a wire wrapped bail and finished it with some curls.  Then made a matching necklace using Rhodonite gemstone beads and more copper wire.  For the links I mirrored the curly design to bring it all together.  

The necklace has a hook and eye hand forged closure you can see in this photo if you look closely on the left side down in the shells.   The copper has been antiqued and polished to bring out the natural beauty of the metal then treated with ProtectaClear to preserve the finish.  

A close up of just the pendant.

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