Thursday, September 30, 2010

Copper Pipe Pendants



A while back I picked up a book by Stephanie Lee called Semi-precious salvage. I just love her designs, as I'm quite enamored with the vintage-y, rough, dug out of the dirt look. Mixed media jewellery is quite intriguing to me - and I plan to explore it more over the next little while. I'm really just scratching the surface.

In Stephanie Lee's book, she used copper pipes and copper sheet to create bezels, she further roughens up the look by covering the whole thing in solder. I was excited to see if I could take the little resin/glass pendants that are so popular, and kick it up a notch.  Of course, having an open back allows you to create a double sided pendant!  The process is crazy time consuming, but as I've discovered - If you make a whole bunch at a time, it's not so bad :-)

First step is to cut the tubing into little slices - for this, you'll need a tube cutter from the hardware store. You could use a jewelers saw, but that would take even longer!

I then used our handy hole punch pliers to create 2 holes on opposite sides.  A handmade balled copper headpin was inserted, and wired up into a wrapped loop.


To create a flat surface to stick my paper on, I used some transparent polymer clay, and then baked it in place. I suppose you don't really need to bake it, since you're encasing the whole thing in resin - but I did, as I felt I should for some reason...

Once my images were in place, I then filled each side with resin, letting each side dry for 2 days before filling the other side.

Once the pendants were fully cured, I used some renaissance wax to seal the copper to help prevent tarnishing.

28 comments:

Canadian Rockies Art - Nathalie Girard said...

These are gorgeous! Very clever!

Gail Bryant said...

What a fabulous idea... so many other possibilities for filling them with polymer clay designs, as well. Can you give details please on what the resin is and the sealing wax for the copper pipe?
Thanks so much. Gail

The BeadFX Buyer said...

Very Steam-punky! Wait till you see the teeny gears and watch parts that I just got. They will be perfect for those pendants.

jen said...

Thank you everyone!

Gail, I'll edit the post a bit later to give more details on the materials used.
The resin is Ice Resin which we carry at beadFX - and I also used renaissance wax to seal the copper.

Marg - yes, I'll need those I think :-)

MitziMakes said...

These are stunning - I love the idea so much!

Christy Grant said...

I really do like these and your instructions are good.

Theresa said...

What a great idea! I just hopped over from pinterest to see your tutorial for myself. Thanks for the inspiration! t.xoox

Its All About Creating said...

If you didn't bake the translucent, it would have leeched into your paper, giving it a spotty, oily appearance. Your copper pendants are gorgeous!

clarityofpurplesage said...

I just LOVE this Idea!! I have copper pipe just waiting for this inspiration...I am big into Polymer Clay, I have just discovered my new found love for Polymer in the past few months and this is going to open all sorts of visits from my muse!!! I am a mixed media jewelry designer and I have all sorts of fun going through my mind right nowthank you so much for sharing :D-

Robyn said...

What is renaissance wax?

dragonjools said...

Renaissance Wax is a very fine, high quality wax developed by museums for preservation work.
--
Renaissance Wax Polish was originally formulated in the British Museum research laboratories in the early 50's as a response to a need by museum technicians and restorers for a wax polish that did not contain acids and would not yellow with time, would not cause future conservation problems, and would not detract from the intrinsic value of the items being preserved. Renaissance wax has a micro-crystalline structure - much finer than regular waxes. It is highly efficient at moisture resistance, excellent for protection against weather and corrosion. Apply thin and rub to a lustre and it is glass-clear. You can even use it to protect photos, and it does not stain - not even white paper. Accumulated dust or dirt on top of the wax can be washed off with warm water and a little soap. It can be removed with White Spirit, if required. Comes with an information sheet.

Tools - Renaissance - Micro-Crystalline Wax Polish (1)

~THE OPTIMISTIC PESSIMIST ~ said...

Such a cool idea!~!!

Anonymous said...

I think these are awsome, I think im going to try and make some for my wife and daughter...

-Dusty B.

Tin Barn Market said...

If anyone is making these, we are a shop that wants to buy some! Please email us at found@tinbarnmarket.com

Thanks! Errin & Vicki.
www.tinbarnmarket.com

Charmingdesigns said...

Love what you did. I take Stephanies classes to. I couldn't find the punch that you use, I probably would have drilled it, but I'd rather punch it. Did you take Pipe Dreams?

jen said...

We must be temporarily out of those particular ones. Similar pliers can be found here: http://www.beadfx.com/catalogue/toolshand.php#s32143

I would love to take one of her classes -, but haven't yet had the opportunity. I do have her book though.

Jerri Rivers said...

Love these! So pretty!

Anonymous said...

This is lovely - and as you put a bar right through anyway, why don't you put something in there that can flip round? So you can choose which side you want facing forward each day... or something...

Alison Scott said...

I was inspired to make these myself, and they have turned out pretty well, but are very time consuming! I have had the problem of the resin leaking through when I fill the first side. Any tips?

jen said...

There must be a small area of the polymer that did not seal to the side of the pendant. Try putting a bit of glue around the edge of the pipe on the inside. Hopefully, that will seal up any possible leaks.

emma99 said...

Excellent blog !!Thank you very much to share with us,such a wonderful information you provide in your blog articles.

metal supplier

pink pig cottage antiques said...

fantastic blog.. many thanks for all the inspiration!

xoxo
Pink Pig!

Leaping Frog Design's said...

Very cool thanks for the tutorial..can not wait to make some. Off to find the pipe cutter in my hubby's tool box.

Kathy G said...

Super Fun and cute. Can't wait to try this!

: )

Anonymous said...

I dont understand how/what the polymer clay is used for

Jennifer Tough said...

The polymer clay was used to fill the inside of the pipe. I needed a flat surface to adhere my paper to.

hope that helps!

jennifer

Kelly Crouse said...

Ok thank you

Anonymous said...

your work is great. I too work with odd copper items and just love how they come out. enjoy your art.