Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hydraulic Press Bracelet Class

I traveled to the scorching-hot city of Mesa, Arizona to take a 2-day bracelet workshop using the rolling mill to pattern my metal and use the synclastic and anticlastic bracelet formers on the hydraulic press. The Mesa Arts Center (MAC) is a tropical-desert-themed campus where my class was held in the Studios North building. Besides there being a Jewelry studio, I noticed a Lapidary studio, a Sculpture studio, a dark room and a work terrace.

My bracelets started out as flat, 18 gauge sheet copper metal that I bought for $6.25. Other metals would have worked too, such as brass, bronze, nickel, sterling silver or Argentium sterling silver. I cut my sheet to a width of about 1.5 to 2 inches for a nice wide cuff and a length of about 6 to 6.5 inches long. I made 4 bracelets total, which you will see pictured below. The one not pictured was made from red brass (a bright gold color) imprinted with a decorative metal screen that produced little rounded crosses on it.

The rolling mill is one of my favorite tools because one can imprint all kinds of flat textures like cardboard, pieces of lace/fabric, sandpaper and other paper or metal cutouts (after annealing it first). One gal in the glass had pre-formed patterned brass strips that she used to get a really solid imprint reminding me of an exotic upholstery. As a final touch, we used a solution of liver of sulfur to darken the recessed areas. I filed and polished the corners and edges of my bracelets repeatedly to get them smooth to the touch. Overall a fantastic class and teacher. Thanks, Polly! Enjoy ~Sharon Marzonie

Palm trees on my way to class...
My first anticlastic bracelet with a paper cutout imprint:
My first synclastic bracelet with lace imprint and hammered edges:
Classmate using the hydraulic press. Note the press is run by an electric switch.
Another bracelet I made texturing it with a flat, mummy-like palm tree husk:
Another classmate hammering her bracelet. She really got into hand-forging and planishing her pieces:


Baicai WA said...

Nice work

Tara said...

Oh no all your image links are broken!

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