Hammered Copper Wire Hookmark with Polymer Clay Beads and Ribbon

Hammered Copper Hookmark by Arlene Harrison

Spotlight: “My daughter is a definite bookworm and I wanted to make her something special.” ~Arlene-H

Arlene Harrison is our Spotlight Feature Guest today. She sent in photos of her beautiful hammered copper bookmark, inspired by lessons and tutorials presented here at the blog. The blog article reference links include: (1) Hammered Copper Findings; (2) Hookmark; (3) Beaded Bookmark; and (4) Hammered Copper Jewelry

This is Arlene’s story…

I think this is an excellent way for people to thank you for the great instruction and inspiration you are providing.  I’ve always liked the look of hammered copper so your video on the hammered copper jewelry findings was just down my alley.  My daughter is a definite bookworm and I wanted to make her something special for her birthday, so I used your inspiration plus some goldtone alphabet beads, square floral beads and a bit of bling to make a personalized bookmark. She loved it!  I plan to make more of these for my Etsy store and for a sale our Guild is participating in this fall. Thanks again! ~Arlene Harrison

Hammered Copper Hookmark by Arlene Harrison Hammered Copper Hookmark by Arlene Harrison

What I love about Arlene’s bookmark is the way she used ribbon to tie her beads onto the copper. And how she used alphabet beads to personalize it by spelling out her daughter’s name.

I also like her use of the cube flower beads to compliment the alphabet beads. Another bead that could be used here is the square beads shown in this post: Faux Raku Polymer Clay Tutorial

Arlene you did a very nice job of hammering and aging the copper wire. One thing I noticed in the higher resolution photo was a bit of a nib at the end of the wire. Your wire cutters may have caused that. If it’s sharp, you may want to use a small metal file or wire rounder to smooth it off.

Thank you Arlene for sending in these great photos! Please everyone, give her some love in the comments sections below. Ask her questions and share any new ideas that come to mind.

The social interaction that happens here in the community is what makes this blog such a great place to hang out and meet new polymer clay friends. So please do chat away in the comments section below.

** If you have been inspired by my teachings and would like to be featured in an upcoming Spotlight Article, then please do write up something creative and email it to me along with a selection of your project photos. If you don’t already have my email address, simply leave a comment below and I will get it to you right away.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Anna Sabina, 18 July, 2009

    Very pretty. I really like the colors you chose. Using the ribbon to string the beads and attach to the wire hook is was cool. This is such a nice project because a bookmark is something anyone can use. It was also be a nice thank you gift. I love the alphabet beads too.
    Thanks for sending it to Cindy.

  2. Joyce, 18 July, 2009

    Arlene this is so lovely. The colors beg for more. No doubt they will fly out of your Esty store. Adding the alphabet just makes for a message for all occasions. I love this idea and will get to work on some holiday gifts. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Maureen, 18 July, 2009

    Love this!! My own daughter is a bookworm. She’s in her late 30’s now and has been a reader all her life. I didn’t think to make her one of these when I saw the lesson but seeing yours has made a lightbulb go off in my head. Thanks! It is such a great idea with her name in beads. I am really getting into PM now with all the ideas I am seeing come to life. I love it!! Great job Arlene!

  4. Maureen, 18 July, 2009

    I meant to say I am really getting into PC now!! lol The AM has just started!

  5. Lisa Whitham, 18 July, 2009

    Absolutely gorgeous Arlene! I loooove the colors of the beads. Hmmmm, my Mom is a bookworm…I think now I could do this. I see a trip to the hardware store for copper wire in my near future. :)

  6. Elizabeth, 18 July, 2009

    So so Lovely, Arlene. Thanks for sharing. My hammered copper wire attempts have to date been only marginally successful. After seeing this I’m gonna fire up the tutorial and try again until I get it. Congratulations on this inspirational piece.

    Cindy, you must be so proud when you see your lessons applied so beautifully. Elizabeth

  7. Melinda, 18 July, 2009

    Wow!!! I love the colors, the flower canes are exquisite and the ribbon is fabulous!! It is a fabulous little piece!! Love to see other peoples finished projects. Indeed an inspiration.

  8. Carrie, 18 July, 2009

    Way to go Arlene! That is gorgeous! I love the flower beads. Did you buy the canes or make them yourself? I’m not very good at making flower canes yet!

  9. Jocelyn, 18 July, 2009

    Fantastic site, Arlene. Love your canework! Your daughter is a lucky girl, what a beautiful way to show her your love, your talent, and your art.

  10. Arlene Harrison, 18 July, 2009

    I’m feeling the love! I had my local guild meeting today and took one of them for show and tell.

    Cindy – thanks for the suggestion – actually what I did was buy better heavy-duty wire cutters. Makes all the difference in the world! But I do have a file handy, just in case.

    Carrie – I do make my own canes and those are two of the first ones I made using the play-dough packing that one of our polymer clay arts from Israel came up with. Love it! I’ve long had a love for canes but had trouble slicing them thin enough to avoid a “halo”. This technique solves that problem!!! Now I just need to find some blue tack stuff to keep the bottom from crushing. I will have some without the translucent packing available on my Etsy site as soon as I can get pictures made. I LOVE canes!

    Lisa – I did make a trip to the hardware store – well actually Home Depot, couldn’t find anything bigger than 18 gauge copper wire on a spool. I did finally find some in the electrical department. I was so proud of myself. I got a short piece (darn stuff was expensive!) so I could make sure it works before I invested in more. Got home, stripped the wire, shaped and hammered. Then my brother came by and laughed at me! LAUGHED at me! He proceeded to walk me over to MY workshop and show me where I have a partial spool of this stuff that was left over from when we built the house! I have the motherload of copper!!! He also showed me how to strip the plastic coating off easier. Brothers are so nice to have around — even if they do laugh at you!

  11. Jocelyn, 18 July, 2009


    Brother laughed at all three of us constantly as kids. I swear it motivated us to leave him in the dust, lol. And make him the source of relentless humor later on.

    Did learn a lot from him. And I love him.

  12. Catalina, 18 July, 2009

    Excellent beads! I love the contrast between the square bead and the organic shape of the flowers. Very original! About the brother…ya gotta love ’em! At least he told you he could have kept it to himself and you heard it from the grapevine!

  13. Arlene Harrison, 18 July, 2009

    The good thing about my brother is that even if he does laugh at me, when I need something fixed, he’s good about helping. I’m a widow and my son-in-law (husband of daughter who got the bookmark), much as I love him – don’t know ditz about fixing things. Except lawn mowers – does a great job on my yard! My brother is the one who suggested that I needed better wire cutters to cut the copper wire! I guess after 50 some odd years he’s a keeper! (Besides which, he and his wife call me with computer problems, so it all works out. I get to laugh at him too!)

  14. Ken H., 18 July, 2009

    That bookmark is fantastic. I just brought a 15ft package 12g romex wire for a non-PC project (no, I’m not that brave to do electrical work) for a little under $10 at Lowes , so after I’m done with my other project, I should have about 40ft of stripped copper wire to play with.

  15. Silverleaf, 19 July, 2009

    It’s lovely Arlene, how lucky is your daughter? ;)

    I love the purple colours against the gold, and the ribbon.

    It’s given me ideas to make alphabet beads, I have a nice set of mini alphabet stamps that would would work well.

    I’m learning IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) at the moment, I wish there were IPA stamps! I love the idea of a “coded” message in a piece of jewellery.

    Silverleaf written in IPA would be something like s?lv?’lif (in my accent anyway). My real name, Anna, is æn?.

  16. Silverleaf, 19 July, 2009

    Okay, so some of the characters didn’t come out properly there. You get the idea anyway.

  17. Anna Sabina, 19 July, 2009

    Arleen, I went to your blog and you do beautiful work. While at the IPCA retreat there was a clayer form Isreal, her name is Yonat. She did a mini demo on how to use Playdough to keep flower cane shape. It sounds ridiculous but it so so slick and works great. Yonat was doing rose canes, she used a ran the playdough through the thickest setting of he pasta machine and then added scrap clay on top of that.

    Your blog is so cool. I loved all the postings about things you use in your studio, especially recycling the white board.

  18. Maureen, 19 July, 2009

    Anna, I have also seen the canes made with the paydoh. One of the ladies in our guild gave a demo and it worked great! She did a flower cane with the playdoh between the leaves and then wrapped with scrap clay around it, as you said. After it was reduced, she just peeled off the outer wrap and the playdoh. What was left she rinsed off under water. The playdoh washes right off. Beautiful flowers standing on their own with no background. Very cool!!

  19. nancy reddick, 19 July, 2009

    Arlene, what beautiful canes, I am always in awe of the detail some artist can instill in a cane. I am just a novice with canes, so mine still lack any detail. Thanks for sharing your beautiful gift…

  20. Arlene Harrison, 19 July, 2009

    Re: Ken’s comment – just brought a 15ft package 12g romex wire for a non-PC project (no, I’m not that brave to do electrical work) for a little under $10…

    I only bought 1 foot of the kind that I found. The man in the line behind me told me that wasn’t even long enough to go from the switch box to something… he looked at me just a little strangly when I told him it was for a craft project!

    One thing that I did discover is that the piece that I bought only had one usable piece of copper, the rest were smaller wires twisted together. The roll that was in my workshop had three so the only waste was the plastic coating on the wire. Love it!

  21. Arlene Harrison, 19 July, 2009

    Anna wrote: Arleen, I went to your blog and you do beautiful work. While at the IPCA retreat there was a clayer form Isreal, her name is Yonat.
    That’s the name I couldn’t remember! There has been a fair amount of chatter on several groups about this process but it didn’t make sense until I saw the video that she did. Totally cool! A couple of things I did learn the hard way… after you wrap the play dough around your flower cane, use a needle tool or small knitting needle to push it down into the valleys between the petals. Then pack as you normally would but use scrap clay. I use extruded snakes to pack mine. I fill in with the snakes and pack tightly enough to maintain the shape of the petals. Then wrap all of it with a nice THICK sheet of scrap clay. Reduce to the size you want, cut into smaller sections, then use a craft knife to cut down one side, then just peel it off. The thick clay peels off much easier than thin does (ask me how I know this!!!) I also find it works best – particularly in Mississippi in the summer – to let the flower cane “rest” for a while before you pack it. That cane that was so pretty before you started reducing it is just as pretty – not distorted – just smaller!!! LOVE IT!

  22. Jocelyn, 19 July, 2009

    Yonat’s tut “No Background Cane”

    Wow! Thanks for the heads up….

  23. Cindy Lietz, 20 July, 2009

    You guys are all doing a fantastic job of supporting Arlene and her great beaded bookmark! It sure is nice to see the community growing and developing this way. Very satisfying to see. Keep up the great work everyone!

  24. Brenda Anthony, 10 March, 2011

    Hi everyone! Haven’t posted in a while, but just HAD TO remind you all about free wire. Yes, the wire Arlene and Ken paid $$ for. Get friendly with a home builder or electrician and pick up their scraps from job sites. You’ll have a whole variety of wires to pick from!

    I also finally found the “equal” to Future Floor Finish. For our American crafters, if there is a Family Dollar store in your town, they carry their own brand of this acrylic floor finish over by the mops and brooms and dish detergents, etc. I paid $1.25 for a 24 ounch bottle and it worked great!

    Arlene: These book marks are soooooooo pretty! Thank you for sharing!

  25. Cindy Lietz, 14 March, 2011

    @Brenda Anthony: Hi Brenda, welcome back! It is nice to see you around these parts again! Your find sounds like it could be a good one. But make sure you do a “time test” with it. In other words, put some on a test clay piece and let it sit for awhile. If after a few months there is no reaction, the product will likely be pretty safe to use with your polymer clay. Just because a product appears to be the same, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an added ingredients that could react badly with the clay over time. Sometimes, a piece will seem fine when first coated with a finish, only to become sticky weeks down the road. Just thought I would mention that, so you don’t have unhappy surprises down the road. Do let us know what kind of results you get with your test. I am sure everyone would appreciate the information. Thanks!

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