Jewelry makers absolutely love working with bronze, and not only for its versatility and flexibility as a metal, but for its aesthetically pleasing look as well. Combined with the right techniques and designs, bronze is a jewelry maker’s dream.
If you’re just about to foray into this venture, do yourself a favor by knowing how to best handle the material so you can reap the most benefit from it.
Bronze is largely considered to be a great substitute for gold, particularly the 10 or 14 carat type, and mostly because of its similarity in tones. An alloy composed of copper and tin, bronze is very easy to shape and mold, given proper exposure to the right temperature or force.
That said, for the sake of your project you must be prepared for the tendency of bronze to patina, or change its hue, especially once it’s exposed to oxidation. In certain instances, the patina actually works to the benefit of your end product, adding a definite rustic appeal to the piece.
Bronze in Jewelry
Fortunately, there are ready made bronze forms, such as bronze tube, sheets, wires, or even bronze bars. These pre-cut forms make it easier for the designer to create projects in accordance to their specific needs and preferences.
Working with bronze sometimes requires welding. If this is the case, the first thing you must do is to clean the surface of the metal. Use a degreasing solution if you must to expel the grease and oil on the metal. This is important to keeping any debris out of the way of your weld. You can also use a special puncher, or scissors, designed especially to handle sheets of metal like bronze.
To avoid wasting a substantial amount of materials, you can use a pencil to sketch the outline of the piece you will be shaping. This way, you can easily erase any marks should you make a mistake.
Another great tip to employ when using bronze is to first and foremost obtain your supply from a trusted source. Especially if working on a collection, you need a steady supply of bronze materials. Companies like Rotax Metals maintain a robust selection of different kinds of metals, suitable for arts and crafts projects or large-scale construction jobs.
Bronze and Brass, 2 Base Metals. wirejewelry.com
What Do I Need to Know About Bronze? minouxjewelry.com