Discover Fun Facts About Hand-Crafted Copper Jewelry at Woodland Metalsmith
My creations include hammered copper pendants, hammered copper cuff bracelets, and copper gemstone rings. I also offer featured items during seasonal times of the year.
You’re gonna LOVE my rustic copper jewelry collection. It features a variety of sustainably sourced raw and tumbled gemstones that complement the natural luster of copper.
Each piece is unique, hand-crafted, and made to last.
I choose gemstones with care and intention then set them into copper pendants, copper rings, and more. Your jewelry is wrapped with love in eco-friendly and sustainable gift wrap and shipping materials.
As if that wasn’t cool enough and good for the environment! I also donate 5% of sales to local animal shelters. Pretty cool huh?
Welcome to my hand-crafted copper jewelry blog. And thanks for being here, you rock!
My goal with this blog is to give you an eye into my world of metalsmithing and to inspire you to feel loved, take time for yourself, and to know your worth.
I share the processes and materials that go into making the one-of-a-kind copper jewelry you can buy from Woodland Metalsmith.
If you want to learn more about when and why I founded Woodland Metalsmith then tap this link, it’s a pretty rad story.
Otherwise - stick around and enjoy the blog. You’ll discover some pretty neat things about my hand-crafted copper jewelry that you probably didn’t know.
5 Things You’ll Love About Rustic Hammered Copper Jewelry:
#1 Copper is extremely durable.
#2 Copper jewelry is proven to be long-lasting.
#3 Archeologists have discovered copper tools and jewelry made by ancient Egyptians over 5000 years ago!
#4 Hammered copper pendants, copper cuff bracelets, and copper gemstone rings are easy to clean, maintain, and restore.
#5 Over 80% of the copper mined from the earth over thousands of years ago has been recycled back into use.
My process for hand-crafting and metalsmithing copper jewelry is one of Pure Love.
Spoiler alert! I love what I do. Crafting handmade copper jewelry is my jam and I love making my customers happy, it brings joy to my heart.
You might think that the materials I use or my metalsmithing tools are the key to making copper jewelry – well, you’d be half right! They’re definitely necessary ingredients, there's no doubt about that.
But the most important aspect of my craft is the LOVE that I pour into every piece that I design and create.
I follow a 3-phase process for every piece of hand-crafted copper jewelry. Here’s a birds eye view of that process at Woodland Metalsmith.
- I carefully choose a gemstone to work with.
- For hammered copper pendants and cuff bracelets, I start with just a sheet of copper, a gemstone, and a vision.
- I design the jewelry piece on paper with mindfulness and intention. I design the shape, the overall theme, and the accents that add finesse to the finished piece.
Metal Work, and Soldering Copper Jewelry.
- First, I cut and file my bezel wire to fit snug around the gemstone.
- Then, I solder the bezel closed. And put the bezel in a pickling solution to clean off any fire scale. Sounds fun? – It is!
- I sand off excess solder from the solder joint of the bezel. (Don’t worry– if you’re not familiar with these terms and names, I’ve included a guide below this section to help you learn them).
- Once the stone is prepared, I cut the pendant from a sheet of copper. This piece of copper is used for the backplate of the bezel, I make sure it’s nice and flat for a clean solder.
- I solder the bezel onto the backplate and pickle it again.
- I then outline the pendant shape onto the backplate and saw it with my jewelers saw. #badass I know 😎😁 Depending on the piece, sometimes I wait to saw the backplate.
- If the design includes additional accents like evergreens trees or the moon phases for example, then I draw and saw out those shapes in this step.
- Later, I solder the accent pieces onto the backplate using a contrasting metal like copper, brass, or sterling silver. Then I pickle at this stage again to seal the pieces together.
- During the finishing stages, I file and sand the edges until they’re silky smooth.
- Texturing - this stage is fun! During texturing, I add the hammered effect. I often use a technique known as ‘chasing’, this is where I hammer the piece on the front side, and if it’s in the design, I add my stamped patterns during this stage too.
- Finally, I solder the handmade bail or drill a hole onto the backplate for the necklace to hang from the chain, then I pickle the piece one last time.
Setting the Stone, and Adding Finishing Touches.
- I heat up my Thermolock, then set the backplate in for the Thermolock to harden. This makes setting the gemstone into the bezel much easier. A bezel cup is the metal seat that the gemstone sits in on the pendant. It’s basically what holds the stone in place.
- The gemstone is set carefully into the bezel cup and I use my bezel pusher to push the copper bezel flush around the stone to secure the gemstone in place.
- Then I use what’s called a burnisher to create a nice smooth edge around the bezel.
- I buff the surface of the copper by hand or with my Dremel tool to really smooth out the surface.
- I measure the chain out and make clasps to get the necklace ready to hold the pendant.
- Then I age all components in a liver of sulfur solution to create an antique look. This look is what’s known as a dark patina. In this step, the copper develops a nice light to golden-dark brown color.
- I use fine steel wool on the surface to take off any excess black from the aging process. After the steel wool, I clean the piece using a soft cloth.
- Once the jewelry is ready, I apply a coat of non-toxic Protectaclear to the entire piece. The finish prevents premature aging and avoids any reaction to elements such as perfumes, chemicals, water, air, sweat, and more.
- And voila – another one-of-a-kind, rustic copper jewelry piece is ready to find a new home. I gift wrap the piece until it finds a new loving owner.
You’ll love my designs. I pour my heart into each creation.
The materials I use are sustainable and hard-wearing. Every piece I create is long-lasting and backed by a 30-day guarantee.
I protect every piece of copper jewelry with a non-toxic sealant so your skin won’t turn green from wearing the copper pendant, cuff bracelets, or gemstone rings.
A concern people tend to have in general is that wearing copper jewelry can make your skin green. But that rarely, if ever happens with my jewelry. That’s because I treat and protect all my copper jewelry with a non-toxic finish that prevents oxidization.
Here’s a small guide to metalsmithing terms and tools you might not have heard of before.
I know– it’s pretty much metalwork jargon. But knowing the terms can be helpful when you appreciate the craft.
What is a bezel in metalwork?
A bezel is a cup in which the gemstone is set. At Woodland Metalsmith, you see this most often on hammered copper pendants where the gemstone has been set into the pendant using a cup or bezel.
What is a thermolock in metalsmithing jewelry?
Thermo-Loc can be used to navigate small items when setting jewelry and delicate pieces. Thermo-Loc is a material that is firm at room temperature but becomes flexible when heated, it helps me to hold and set very small, awkward, or delicate pieces.
What is a Burnisher?
A burnisher in metalwork is a must-have tool for me and most other jewelry makers. A burnisher helps me set stones into the bezel. It also helps smooth the metal used for pendants and cuff bracelets. My burnisher helps remove any excess solder from the finished jewelry piece, leaving a silky smooth piece of jewelry for you to wear.
What is a Dremel in metal jewelry?
The Dremel is a hand-held rotating power tool with a ton of attachments. Dremels are another must-have tool for high-quality jewelry making. The Dremel can be used to cut, smooth, sand, polish, and carve. It’s the jack of all trades. I love my Dremel!
What is it to solder? Or what does soldering metal mean?
Soldering is the process in which a metal alloy that’s known as ‘solder’ is heated to melting point. I use my blowtorch to heat the metals I use in my designs. The metals are heated so they can be bonded together in various designs.
What can I use to protect my copper jewelry? ...And stop my skin turning green?
When you buy copper jewelry from Woodland Metalsmith every design is protected with a non-toxic finish. The finish enhances the natural color and luster of the copper jewelry. The finish also protects the jewelry from oxidization (becoming exposed to elements such as air/ water/ sweat). The finish makes the jewelry last longer and prevents the jewelry from turning your skin green.
**You can restore and re-seal your copper jewelry at any time. It's super easy to do and breathes life into old pieces.
Find tips and tricks in the next blog on caring for your hand-made copper jewelry.
Come see for yourself, shop the latest arrivals, or choose your personal favorite.
As always, thank you for stopping by and I cannot wait to bless your jewelry collection with a piece from Woodland Metalsmith Collections!
Peace and Love, Kahlia ✌️
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