There are so many aspects of making jewelry that I love and one of my favorites is Copper! I love the feel of copper in my hands, I love the smell of copper, and I love the look of copper. Copper wire is really easy to work with; its malleability makes it nice to form and it is very forgiving. I do a lot with free form copper wire in earrings and necklaces. Those I polish to that beautiful high copper shine and recently started coating them with a lacquer finish so they will remain in that state. I now have a series of copper wire rings which are really fun. They are open spirals making the rings adjustable, and they do not have any finish on them so they will age in a similar way as a penny would.
Copper Cuffs are also another favorite of mine, and they sell very well for me. With the cuffs I begin with 18 gauge copper sheet and saw out the bracelet form with a jewelers saw. Some cuffs have a stone anchored on them with copper wire, and others I saw a relief into for a really unique finished look. Once the cuffs are sanded, I anneal then by heating them with a map gas torch and then form them using a steel bracelet mandrel and raw hide mallet. The patina which I use on all my copper cuffs is one part salt and three parts lemon juice. The salt dissolves in the lemon juice, and you wipe it on with a cloth and dry with another. As the piece oxidizes, it changes in color from yellow to pinks and reds. I think it is very beautiful.
The rings and the cuffs do not have a coating on them to prevent tarnishing. I do not coat them because so many people buy them for the benefits of copper, so they will turn you green or black or blue depending on your chemistry. The benefits of copper are, once the copper enters your blood stream, the copper broadens the arteries so you are getting more blood flow. This is why so many people swear by copper in assisting with arthritis relief. And I am here to tell you that it does work! When I am working with copper cuffs, I am sawing, sanding and forming for many hours. While keeping my hands on copper for extended periods of time, I am receiving so much blood flow that my palms turn blue, and the veins on my arms pop up. As a healing arts practitioner for most of my adult life, I am really glad to bring that aspect into my jewelry business with the healing properties of copper! Happy Healthy Day to you!