Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Enameled Bar for Copper Toggle

Reminder: This is the copper toggle I sent my BSBP partner, Kate.

Yesterday, I ran down the steps that went into the creation of the toggle ring.

To make the bar for the toggle I used some of the same steps, so I'll just be listing these, rather than describing them again - please refer to yesterday's tutorial if you need more detailed info!

1) Create a paper template for the toggle bar. I draw what I have in mind on some scrap paper, cut it out, and then see if it works the way I want it to - Right size, shape, etc. My paper templates have saved me from wasting a lot of metal!

2) Draw the desired bar shape on 24g sheet copper (with a fine-tipped Sharpie). Cut the shape out with metal shears or a jeweler's saw.

3) Punch or drill a hole where you want to attach the ring. I chose the center for this bar. 

4) File/sand all the rough edges

5)  Tumble the bar to harden and polish it (the polishing won't be visible after enameling, but the surfaces will be much more smooth than you could achieve by filing and sanding! Tumbling is your friend!

6) I knew I wanted to enamel the bar in the same brown as the enameled beads I sent Kate, but I decided to add a little blue embellishment in the form of a copper flower. I set up my enamel immersion torch-firing station, used brown enamel for the bar, then enameled the flower. Then I drew a bead on a piece of 20g copper wire, and enameled the resulting head pin in a darker shade of blue.

7) Assemble the bar - I put the headpin through the flower and the bar, and made a wrapped loop on the back.

I'd love some opinions on this toggle ring and bar combo - I wanted to make the toggle match the beads I sent Kate, but I wanted the gorgeous details and texture from the etching process to show, so I decided to leave the ring etched, and enamel the bar to achieve the matching colors. So the bar and ring don't really match each other, but I often will make a beadwoven toggle bar and use it with a Swarovski crystal, or use unusual found objects as toggle bars, so my toggle components frequently don't match each other. As long as they complement the overall design, that's what it's all about for me!

How do you feel about the components not matching? What kind of "unmatchy" clasp components have you used?


Karin Slaton said...

The strength of a design is in the details, and you've given your fabulous partner a great start! I'm sure your pieces (and the thought that went into them) will inspire great artistry. You've inspired me to invest the same level of care in my own finishing steps! BTW, I plan to head your way on Thursday. Can't wait to see the iolite!

Sweet Freedom said...

Yay! Karen's on the way!

Maggie said...

I love the clasp as is, especially since it was made to go with coordinating beads. On it's own, it would depend on whether it went with a project/beads I had in mind. That's true of any clasp/component though. Thinking these would sell well. Really love the flower touch!