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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Making Bangle Bracelets From Reclaimed Copper Tubing

The other day, my husband, Joe, came into the house.  He had been out in the garage and I had heard some banging, but you know how old guys do when they are semi-retired.  The sounds of banging are not an unusual sound around my house.
He held out something at me and said, "Look what I made out of that old copper pipe we had."  I must say I was stunned.  I was looking at a beautiful bangle bracelet.  He had polished it and buffed it and it was gorgeous and I told him so.
 He asked me if I thought I could put it in my Etsy shop.  Now, he has asked me this before and the answer has always been a resounding "NO".  But this time, I said yes. 
I really like the simple design of this bracelet and I told him so.
 I had seen a recent tutorial on making bracelets from copper piping but he hadn't seen it.  
 I think I like this one better.

 He went back out to make another one, but this one was a bit lopsided.  
I pointed out that it wasn't round enough and he tried to pass it off as being handmade.  Being the perfectionist that I am I told him he would have to go try again, but we were both concerned that the copper might be too brittle at this point for much more manipulation.

So, I used it as an opportunity to talk to him about heat annealing.  He doesn't like me showing him how to do anything - he takes it as criticism.  I guess 32 years together can do that to a couple.  But, he listened and watched while I played with it over the burner on our gas stove.  I knew that if I was careful, it could become a beautiful rainbow of color and he watched as it became the beautiful bracelet you see above.  
It didn't take much for him to maneuver it into a beautiful bangle shape.  After a bit of hardening and polishing in the tumbler, it was ready to go.  
I also loaned him my steel bracelet mandrel that I have had about two years and had never taken out of the box.

He is working on some different textures and having a ball.  Nothing makes him happier than a big hammer and being able to pound on things.
 What do you think about these new bracelets?


Rebekah said...


Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Wonderful, Jean! Lately I am reading everywhere about Hubbies "discovering" their wives' crafts. What's up with that??

Handcrafted earrings said...

Beautiful and awesome.

KayzKreationz said...

These are both beautiful. I love copper. He did a great job.

Erika said...

Gorgeous! He did a great job!