I've always been a thrifty girl. I save interesting things to reuse in all kinds of projects, such as beautiful packaging that can be turned into paper art or snippets of ribbon that have a million uses. I also enjoy finding multiple uses for household items, and I often find myself looking for ways to use regular everyday items instead of buying a specific tool that only has one purpose.
Texturing Copper with Household Items
I love all the special hammers that add unique textures to metal, and I really enjoy using a rolling mill on metal to imprint it with a gorgeous pattern–but I've recently found that there are great textures to be had using items that are just sitting around the house. Here are some examples of textures I created on copper sheet, just by walking around my house (the kitchen, mostly) with a creative eye. Many of them I just rubbed in place with my finger–until I sliced my thumb on the edge of the copper–so then I wore gloves and/or used a large mother-of-pearl button as a burnisher.
I think this is my favorite; I rolled a fairly sharp-edged screw over the metal strip while it was laying in my hand (gloved) lengthwise and then again slightly at an angle. It didn't cut through the metal but it almost did, and it fluted it in a very neat way. The result is a sort of harlequin pattern with interesting pleat-like ridges.
For more great ways to add interest and depth to your metal jewelry designs with textures and patinas, order our new two-DVD set Metalsmith Essentials: Textures and Patinas with Helen Driggs. After I'd done my little experiment, I watched Helen's video and learned that she also shares tips for creating texture and patina on metal with common household items. She shows how to use a rolling mill to transfer textures onto metal, how to use hammers and simple hand tools to texture metal, and foolproof techniques for laying out text and designs when you're stamping metal.
Helen shares how to create patinas on metal using simple household chemicals and how to prep your metal pieces beforehand so they'll accept patinas well. She also covers the safety basics you need when texturing or patinating metals in your studio, and more. Grab Helen's info-filled two-DVD set Metalsmith Essentials: Textures and Patinas–via instant download, instant HD download, or order a traditional DVD set. Your metal jewelry designs will never be the same again!