Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Tie-Dyed Copper Cuff

There is a brand spanking, shiny, new copper cuff in my Etsy shop this morning.

It started as sheet copper.

I cut a narrow strip, and deeply acid-etched it to achieve the texture, and then colored it with alcohol inks. Then I gently sanded the surface of the strip to take all the color off my texture ridges, so that my lovely etched texture, and the beautiful copper,  showed.

This picture shows the strip before I shellacked it to achieve the permanent, colorfast, shiny finish shown in the picture above. See my beautiful texture?

Alcohol inks are wondrous (yep, alcohol inks from the scrapbooking section!) While their color selection is quite narrow, there are so many different ways they can be used to color metal!

I loved the look of this "tie-dyed" strip of metal, and just wanted it to be shiny. Is that asking so much?? I already knew from previous experimenting with the alcohol inks that if I used embossing powder to seal the finish and give it shine, all the colors would bleed together, and I would end up with the hippie version of my "Spinach Omelet" pendant:

Alcohol inks LOVE to bleed, and blend, and comingle.

And that was not what I wanted. I pondered for several days before figuring out how to achieve my shiny, colorfast finish while preventing color bleed. The method I finally hit on still allowed a small amount of bleeding where the color blocks meet, and unfortunately it was just enough to partially obscure the beautiful texturing I worked so hard to achieve, but if you look closely, the texture is still there.

So anyway, I cut and prepped a much wider piece of copper, and deeply etched it again with the same texture as the color strip, attached the color strip to the cuff with decorative grommets, shaped the cuff, and then folded the corners up to provide a more comfortable fit. No rough edges!!

I tumbled it for hours and hours to achieve this brilliant polished shine, and here are lots more pictures of the cuff:

It is 2 inches wide, and approximately a size 7. It is malleable enough to be shaped to conform to your individual wrist comfortably, and can be shaped down to a size 6, or up to a 7.5 (not repeatedly, mind you - but if you aren't a size 7, it can be adjusted by its new owner for perfect fit!)

And while I was waiting for the acid to etch, and the inks to dry, I made a lovely, whimsical pair of unicorn earrings for the Regretsy fans out there.

I haven't listed these in my Etsy shop, but will, upon serious inquiry. I have pics from multiple angles available!


A Beaded Affair said...

That bracelet is really brilliant. I can see you making and selling lots of them. Lots of luck with the shop!

Sweet Freedom said...

Lois - thanks for your kind words. I love working with metal!

Miri Agassi said...

I love your designs!! You are a real artist. I see that the name SWEET FREEDOM suits the way you approach the designs.:-)