Monday, May 7, 2012

Metal Work Monday: Riveted Bird Cuff

So, another admission: I love Portlandia. Maybe a little too much...but when I was planning a theme for one of the busiest weeks of my year, they inspired me: birds. Yay! Bring on those chirpers and put a bird on it!

I had a challenging time with this first project. Initially, I was just going to connect separate pieces of metal with jump rings but that can be insecure. Then, I was going to re-purpose one of the straps of an old leather backpack. Nope-too thick for the snap or rivets. Okay, then I will try some thinner faux leather. The snap went on fine, but the rivets ripped right out. I had already done a cuff with pieces riveted to it, but thought that if I swapped the materials and did a few different techniques than the lace cuff that it would be okay. I have to say that I am pretty pleased. 

The embossing die that I used on several smallish pieces of aluminum.
I decided to use half with the embossing face up and half with
it face down. I then painted over all the pieces with an alcohol
dye for metals. I sanded over all with the sanding wheel
of my dremel. Not only did is strip off some dye, I gave the
pieces yet another texture.
I cut a six-inch long strip of 20 gauge copper.
After rounding the corners and sanding the edges, I decided
to texture the entire piece with my chasing hammer.
This was the longest, most tiring part of the process.
I applied a thin layer of liver of sulfur patina gel to it
 (after hammering) with a flux brush.

I am super-pleased with the base.

I added the aluminum bird plaques with rivets.
I used a combo of silver and copper.
I added four--two of each type to the center plaque and
then alternated in both color and layout.
I like the combination of both substantial and dainty.

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