In the April 2011 issue of Bead&Button, Kimberly Berlin ("Can't-beat-copper earrings") demonstrated a clever way to decorate copper tube beads by using a hammer to strike in some texture. I decided to use my torch instead. I'd been wanting to experiment a bit with copper tubing, so this seemed like a great opportunity.
Materials and Tools
Tube cutter or coping saw
Liver of sulfur (optional)
1. Mark lengths with a pencil on your tubing and use a tube cutter to carefully twist off the pieces. Only tighten the cutter a little bit with each twist so that you don't collapse and distort your tubing.
2. Use an emery board or jeweler's file to clean up the edges and smooth them out.
3. Mix up liver of sulfur according to the package directions. I like to use a patination method that I learned to use with CopprClay.
4. For added zip and more colors, I used my lampworking torch to fire each bead, dipping them into ammonia before firing and quenching in water afterwards. Make sure you've got great ventilation to do this!
On Wednesday, I'm going to finish up this tutorial, showing you how I combined the copper beads with some surprising friends to make a finished necklace.
Copyright 2011 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.
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