Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My First Cuff

I should clarify that to say my first METAL cuff!  I've made several bead embroidered or freeform cuffs, but I've never made one from metal.   I've wanted to for a long time but I never had the materials I needed, or I didn't have the right tools, or I just plain didn't have the courage to try it!  Well, yesterday I decided that I had the copper sheet, and I had all the tools I would need, and as far as the courage, well, that was going to have to just show up!  I had seen a copper cuff in Bead and Button's June issue that I liked the shape of but not the details.  So, I decided to draw a similar shape and make my own details.  I have wanted to try an embellishment that Lisa Niven Kelly uses on one her projects in her book Stamped Metal Jewelry.  So, I thought I'd give it a go since everything seemed to come together, design idea, tools, and materials.  I love the results.  Anyone who knows me, knows this my style!

I had a large piece of 20 gauge copper sheet, so I drew an asymetrical shape on paper and traced it on the sheet.  It was an adventure cutting it out.  I've only used a jeweler's saw one other time and since metal shears weren't working too well, I decided to get my saw out.  Well, several blades later I had the piece cut out.  Of course it was very rough and sharp on the edges, so I filed, and filed, and filed, and ended up with sanding.  But, as I kept at I began to realize I was starting to get a rhythm going and it became enjoyable to watch the sharpness become smooth.  Once that was done I textured the surface and punched holes along both long sides.  Then I shaped it into a cuff.  I should say that I have a very small wrist and so I was never able to buy cuffs that fit me.  I've loved cuffs since I was a teenager and was always disappointed that I couldn't wear them.  Once I was able to bead my own cuffs, I loved it.  Now I'm able to shape a metal cuff to fit me! This morning I oxidized the metal and the wire for the embellishment and then gathered my tools and crystals and took them out onto our screened porch and sat in the glorious weather we're having today and started to embellish.  Anyone who has followed along with me on this blog knows that embellishing anything is my favorite thing to do.  The technique that Lisa shows in her book involves lacing wire along the edge of the project.  In the book the project is a beautiful silver pendant.  As you lace you string on a bead or crystal (I love crystals with metal!), and lace into the next hole.  After a few lacings you double back and go through the wire already there.  Most of the embellishment is the wire with just a few wire wrapped pieces I made and the crystals peeking out of the lacings.  It was fun to see where the wire and beads ended up.  The results you can see in the picture!  I'm so happy with it that I had to share it!  Here's another picture from a different angle.

I learned a lot about working with metal and I also learned that I need a lot more practise with a saw!  I also know that I want to use this lacing technique on other metal jewelry. It's fun and has a lot of possiblities for adding beads and color to metal. 

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you are all having a beautiful summer day like we are here in Maryland. 


  1. BEAUTIFUL Maryanne!!!!! I'm so impressed. If this is your first attempt at a metal cuff, I can't wait to see what the future holds!!
    I am wishing I was outside today, but duty calls! I have all the windows open though!

  2. Hi Maryanne,
    You cuff is beautiful! I am with Amy if this is your first one I can not wait to see what follows this one. Enjoy the weather there while you can. It is hot, hot, hot here in Alabama.

  3. That is one gorgeous cuff, I too love cuffs and having dabbled in silver smithing have several that I just love especially because they fit me perfectly. I love that yours is copper and the embellishments finish it off perfectly.

  4. Oh, wow! I love your cuff. The texture on the metal is awesome, and I'm in love with the wirework around the edges.

    I hope to see more of these! :)

  5. Oh. . .this turned out fabulously! I really like the texture to it and the 'lacy' edges. Super job!!


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