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Using sheet copper like silver


#1
 The copper was really polished nicely and had a very nice (lovely)
look. I know I have seen copper bracelets but usually not polished
to a bright finish. Is there much jewelry that uses copper today?
If not (other than the material may not be expensive to buy) why
not? 

I love the look of copper and wholesale trends predict copper in
jewelry in the next year or two as well as mixed metals (now’s the
time for mokume gane!) Remember in the 50’s or so when all the
enamelled copper was in style? There’s a great book about Frank
Rebajes (The Kiss) and Jerry Fels (of Renoir jewelry fame) that I
don’t recall the name of right off the top of my head… but, very
inspiring and some of the jewelry very attractive. I use sheet
copper as a setting for fused glass to make “wall jewels”… love
working with it.

Cheers,
Dani Greer
Greer Studios
http://artistsregister.com/artists/CO468


#2

Hi everyone, The copper thread has me intrigued. My mind is picturing
rings & things.

What it is not picturing is a hard solder which matches the colour
of the metal. But then I imagine with the copper having so many
different shades of colour depending upon its degree of tarnish at
any given moment, a truly invisible solder might simply be a
technical impossibility. This in turn would make the solder joints an
overt, unhidden, element in the design.

Any thoughts & recommendations on hard solder for copper?

Cheers,
Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada


#3

Copper solder: It was mentioned long ago that you can use an old
penny, pre-1980 at least.This probably holds true for all copper
coins, that they used to be mostly copper. I’ve not tried it.

In the past, I’ve intentionally copper plated a solder splash by
contaminating a saturated pickle. I’d done some overlay and there
was a splash in a tight spot that I couldn’t get into to clean up.
This probably works well enough if you don’t have a lot of seams to
cover and if the piece won’t be subject to wear at the plated
surface.

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts, USA


#4

Hi Hans, About “soldering” copper. I use either one of two materials
(1) a snip from a brazing rod which I then beat down to a paillon or
(2) brass wire of about 22 guage which I hammer out. I use a
commercial flux formulated for brazing. I do this because I
subsequently enamel the surface. (And for fuel I use MAP gas
available at your local Home Hardware store).

David
in Victoria


#5
    In the past, I've intentionally copper plated a solder splash
by contaminating a saturated pickle. I'd done some overlay and
there was a splash in a tight spot that I couldn't get into to
clean up. This probably works well enough if you don't have a lot
of seams to cover and if the piece won't be subject to wear at the
plated surface. 

Christine: I was taught to bevel the edges of the overlay piece -
that way solder doesn’t seep out from under it. If done right it
works (providing of course that you don’t use excess solder.)
Admittedly it is a pain in the you know what to do, but if you are
overlaying copper on silver, it is worth it to keep the edges clean.

K


#6

If you would want to use “copper” US one cent pieces the years to
use would be 1962 thru 1981. This period used a low brass alloy 95%
copper 5% Zinc. This alloy is commonly called guilding metal. It is
available in sheet form as Alloy C2100. It melts between 1920 F and
1950 F. Pure copper melts at 1981 F. This is the common metal used
for bullet jackets etc and it seems to look pretty “coppery” to me I
haven’t chased down a source for wire since it is definitely not a
common wire alloy.

Thompson Enamels sells this alloy as a substrate for transparent
enamels.

http://www.thompsonenamel.com/products/metals/gildingmetal.htm

This will be easier to work with than pennies.

So don’t try to use one cent pieces or this grade stuff with this
grade enameling stock.

Jesse