1/4″ Soft Copper Refrigeration Coil/Tube
10g Copper wire
14g Copper wire
I selected this tutorial because I was fascinated when I found out the main cuff material is copper refrigerator tubing. Amy Haftkowycz (the designer/author) wrote, “It’s just the right width and thickness to hold a great shape when it’s flattened, it accepts texture well, and it looks great as a cuff”. I decided to make my cuff in all copper rather than use the mixed metals in the tutorial. I’m into monochrome designs lately. Blame rewatching the first season of Project Runway. Remember Jay McCarroll’s mostly monochrome finale collection? Still love it. But back to this cuff.
I apologize for not including any “in progress” photos. I jumped right into making and forgot to take them. Things were going well initially until I tried to put my 8″ piece of annealed copper tubing into a mini pickle pot. I should have known better. The pot was not wide enough to lay the piece down inside. I didn’t want to bend the tube because I wasn’t sure if that would impact the design. I dropped one end in and pickle sputtered and spurted out the top of the tube. I quickly flipped it to dip the other end in but it had already made a mess. Next time, I’ll let the copper cool before putting it in the pickle. Yes, it will take longer to clean the metal. But given the choice between patience and washing away pickle spatter, patience wins.
I followed the instructions to flatten the tube. Time to texture! I used the “checkered” end of the hammer below to create the pattern on the cuff base. On the 10g wire, I used the round end of a chasing hammer.
When attaching the textured wire to the base of the cuff, I found that my drilled rivet hole was slightly too small for the 14g wire. You want a tight fit but it has to be open enough to thread the wire rivet through. I used a bead reamer to carefully increase the diameter of the hole. It worked perfectly.
After the rivets were in, it was time to curl the ends of the cuff and shape it. I’ll be honest, I was not sure about the look of those curled ends. But I tried it and they make the cuff incredibly comfortable to take on and off. Is always a pleasure to learn that a design element is both functional and decorative.
After shaping the cuff on a bracelet mandrel, I tumbled it and applied a Liver of Sulfur patina. I didn’t want a shiny finish so I used some #0000 steel wool to buff the raised areas. It gave the cuff a buffed but softer finish.
This is a fairly quick project to complete. I love that there are endless ways to personalize it. Highly recommend giving this tutorial a try. Consider making a stack of them to wear or giving them as gifts. I know I’ll be making more.