Polymer Clay Tutorial | Hammered Copper Findings | Jewelry Clasps

Hammered Copper Wire Jewelry Clasp

Vid #107: Making Your Own Jewelry Findings Using Very Basic Tools and Supplies:

Lately I’ve been talking a lot about hammered copper wire and jewelry projects such as this Copper Wire + Disc Bead Bracelet. And judging by the comments that are coming in, it seems I’m not the only one who is interested in this topic:

Cindy, I love it! I am currently getting into the whole concept of decorative wire jewelry making for my beads and hope to learn as much as I can. ~Maria

I’ve seen something similar in the craft stores and thought it was a great idea, but didn’t even think of making them myself. ~Sue

The “hammering” process has me intrigued, sounds like it might be an excellent outlet for some frustration. Cannot wait for you to share the process. ~Jocelyn

Love to see more copper work! I got a tiny (1 lb) anvil at Harbor Freight. I haven’t done alot with it, but it is fun to hammer wire flat. ~Sarah

Well this week’s library video project to be released on Friday May 22nd, is all about creating your own custom designed, hammered copper jewelry clasps for bracelets and necklaces. Techniques for antiquing the copper will also be demonstrated, along with verdigris finishes.

If you make polymer clay beads, at some point you will likely want to use these beads to also make some jewelry creations (if you are not already doing so). That means you will need findings such as hooks and eye clasps.

Very often the selection of available findings is either limited or pricey or both. So why not learn to make them yourself!?

One neat thing about the copper clasps in this week’s library video, is how inexpensive and quick they are to make. The tools are very basic and the supplies are cheap, cheap, cheap!

These copper clasps are comparable to ones selling on Etsy for anywhere between $2 and $8 a set… depending on the gauge of wire, the size of the clasp and the finish (oxidized, verdigris, hammered, plain, etc.). So not only will this technique save you some money, but it may also become a source of income if you decide to sell the clasps to other jewelry artisans.

The full version of the video will be available in the library on Friday (May 22). But further down on this page is a little sneak peak clip for you to watch right now if you like.

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Here’s That “Link Below” Referred To at End of the Video
>> Polymer Clay Tutorials <<

The full version of the “Hammered Copper” preview video shown above, is available for purchase at my Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-012 Back Issue Package.

The following topics are covered in this “Hammered Copper Wire” video:

  • Basic tools and supplies needed for making copper wire clasps.
  • Optional items you can use if you don’t yet have all of the proper tools.
  • Discussion about various design options for making a variety of findings styles.
  • How to work harden your copper wire for maximum strength and durability.
  • Safety tips so you don’t hurt yourself (FYI this is a very safe project).
  • Close up videography that won’t leave you guessing about any of the steps.
  • Special antiquing procedures and verdigris aging techniques.

  1. Ken H., 20 May, 2009

    Cool, looking forward to this one just as much as last weeks!!!!!!!

  2. aims, 20 May, 2009

    I need to do my beginners videos before I start this – but I can hardly wait!

  3. aims, 20 May, 2009

    I wanted to add that I got interested in working with copper because of the price of working with silver.

    Recently I bought 3 different gauges of silver from a supplier in Calgary. When they took it out of a vault! – I shuddered at what my bill was going to be.

    Working with copper will be so much more affordable and I really like the looks of it.

    Here’s a question though Cindy. First – I went and looked at your necklace for your mother and you talked about earrings as well and the bracelet – all gorgeous btw.

    My question is – does the jewelry still turn the wearers skin green with wear? And if so – is there a way to prevent this?

  4. Arlene Harrison, 20 May, 2009

    I LOVE the hammered copper! I actually have some of the wire at home that I ran across in a recent clean-up of my late husband’s workshop! I can wait to see how to do this – up close and personal – in this week’s video. Got family reunion Saturday but I know what I’ll be doing Sunday afternoon!!!

  5. Jocelyn, 20 May, 2009

    @ aimes

    Allergic to everything on my skin. Found for me, that if I coat the skin touching metal with clear fingernail polish, it prevents my skin from erupting or turning green.

    Sure hope this works for you, too.

  6. Cindy Lietz, 20 May, 2009

    @Ken: I’m glad you are so excited! Do make sure to come back again after you’ve seen the video and let us know how the technique works for you.

    @aims: Jocelyn has a similar idea to what I was going to suggest. People who have a higher acidity to their skin will turn copper green. This used to happen to me, but doesn’t seem to anymore. You can prevent this by sealing the wire with spray lacquer, Varathane, nail polish, future floor finish and a neat one I just read about, Beeswax.

    @Arlene: I bet your husband would be thrilled knowing you were using some of the wire from his shop! Have fun at your reunion!

    @Jocelyn: Thanks for answering aims question! Sorry to hear you are allergic. Bet you would love Niobium wire. It is an inert metal, which means your body can not react to it. It can be charged with electricity (anodized) to become almost any color of the rainbow. It’s gorgeous! I would love to get a whole bunch of it in different colors to make ear wires with it.

  7. Jocelyn, 20 May, 2009

    @ Cindy

    Yep, that niobium sounds like the ticket, thank you ma’m. Love jewelry and stopped wearing it because of the pia factor. Once of the reasons I fell in love with polymer clay.

  8. Ken H., 20 May, 2009


    Have you checked out Rio Grande for your wire, I recently ordered silver wire from them and I think the price was very reasonable. I ordered a troy oz. of wire and I think it’s aprox. 19ft. of wire. I really think their prices are quite good. Check them out, you may be surprised > riogrande.com

  9. Ken H., 21 May, 2009

    Sorry, I just realised that I didn’t say what size wire I brought it was 20ga and it was 19 ft to the troy oz.

  10. aims, 21 May, 2009

    Thanks Cindy, Ken and Jocelyn. I’m looking forward to getting into it all.

    Cindy – I’m just finishing my beginners package. I’ve learned a ton of things already! I’m so excited!

  11. Cindy Lietz, 21 May, 2009

    That is very excellent to hear aims! :-)

  12. cara letho, 22 May, 2009

    thank you- I have always thought it would be too difficult to achieve so I have avoided doing wire work. You have made it look achievable and i know that I will be making these clasps for my jewellery now. financially this is an amazing bonus- thank you again- cara

  13. Linda Knight, 22 May, 2009

    I’m a newbie to polymer clay, I’ve been a beader for a couple of years – taken several wire/beading classes… I love this copper wire technique! It is SO much fun getting the email each week… it’s like opening a present EVERY WEEK! Thank you Cindy for sharing your creativity in such an easy to understand manner!

  14. Charlene P, 22 May, 2009

    Great Video! Didn’t think I could ever do anything with wire and now you have made it look so easy that I am excited to try it! Thanks for the informative and very different video. Was most interesting.

  15. Jocelyn, 22 May, 2009

    LOL!! This looks like fun! Back to storage for the tool collection. My Dad inherited his godmother’s home contents, and when I divorced, he set me up with an excellent tool collection…haven’t even explored it all yet but I recognize most of them in the video. Blessings to Uncle Mart! And you Cindy!

  16. Jamie, 22 May, 2009

    Ok Cindy, fess up! Where is the hidden camera? How did you know I just dug out all my wire? I needed it for a special birthday present, and I even bought a new set of pliers at Michaels!(while I was taking advantage of the excellent Premo sale this week)You always seem to know what Im thinking, or about to work on. Its uncanny! Thanks for the neat patina trick for copper. I know the one about aging silver and brass with a hard boiled egg. But I could never figure out how to age copper other than hanging it outside for a while. This will save me a ton of time! I just love copper. It’s my favorite metal after silver. I dont have the turning green issue like some thankfully. But any I make to sell, I coat with satin Varithane. So far I’ve had no complaints. It seems to stand up to being worn quite well. But I use the spar varnish made for boat hulls. It takes anything you can throw at it! XOXO Jamie

  17. Jamie, 22 May, 2009

    Oops! Forgot to mention. I only use the spar varnish on the metal bits because they get so much wear rubbing and unclasping etc. But I dont think it would be compatible with polymer clay. On that I use the regular indoor Varithane type. XOXO Jamie

  18. Ken H., 22 May, 2009

    If you don’t have Ammonia, can you use vinegar, it’s a mild acid, and if so which one the clear white or the amber apple cider vinegar.

  19. Ken H., 22 May, 2009



    Would you please enlighten me on the silver and the hard boiled egg, I’ve never heard of that, if you think it’ll take up too much space here on Cindy’s site, send it to me on facebook, but I think there may be others who also would be interested in this.

  20. Cindy Lietz, 22 May, 2009

    @Jamie: Myself, Ken and I’m sure everyone else too would love to hear the whole egg story here if you are willing to share it, even if it’s long!

  21. Ken H., 22 May, 2009

    Thanks Cindy, I didn’t want a novel taking up space on YOUR blog site.

  22. Cindy Lietz, 22 May, 2009

    @cara: You have no idea how much that pleases me! It has always been a goal of mine to take things that appear hard and make them easy for anyone to do. That fact that this happened for you is wonderful!

    @Linda: That is fantastic! I love it that I can send you video presents each week. Makes me feel like Santa! :-)

    @Miss Charlene: I thought it would be a fun thing for all you beaders to add to your skill sets since it is such a useful thing to use in your polymer clay bead jewelry projects. Glad you are excited about it!

    @Jocelyn: Before you know it I have you pulling everything out of the storage locker of yours! LOL You’ll have to start storing it under your bed!

    @Jamie: Didn’t you know I was an operative for the PC-CIA? I’ve got cameras everywhere! LOL Fantastic tips as usual! I love having you around here!

    @Ken: I don’t think vinegar will work. Though as you know around here, anything and everything deserves a chance, so why not try it? Let us know if it works. And hopefully Jamie will share her egg technique. Long comments are great to have on my blog btw. Makes it so that everyone gets lots of cool and helpful information. So bring on the novels, I love them!

  23. Jamie, 22 May, 2009

    Hi. Sorry took me a while to get back. I was babysitting my grandson for a bit. About the silver and egg. Its really simple actually, and a lot less toxic to the environment than liver of sulfur. All you do is get a tupperware, rubbermaid, etc. container, with a flat bottom and a tight fitting lid. Then you put your jewelry in the center of it. Hard boil an egg. (And this is important: you have to do it while it is still as hot as possible) Cut it into quarters, shell and all, and place them in the corners of the container and then put on the lid. The steam and the sulfur from the hot egg will do the same as liver of sulfur, just a bit slower. If the egg cools and you want more patina? Remove your jewelry and microwave the egg until hot again, and repeat the process. Thats all there is to it. And so there is no waste? I always take the egg, again with shell and all, and scatter it outside for the birds. It is especially good for them now when they are laying eggs. XOXO Jamie

  24. kay, 04 October, 2011

    @Jamie Thanks for this tip, however, if I were you, I wouldn’t let birds or other animals eat the egg that had been used for this process. It is quite likely to be contaminated with the silver or other metals in this chemical exchange progess. Thanks!

  25. Ken H., 22 May, 2009

    Thank you. That this process is “green” is a plus also.

  26. Ken H., 22 May, 2009

    Well, I’m trying the vinegar right now on older pennies, since recent pennies (here in the US) have a lower copper content that the older, but no penny is/was pure copper, they have always been an alloy. So this is just an initial experiment. As soon as I can get my hands on some scrap Romex cable I’ll try again.

    BTW- I cleaned the older pennies with Tarnex first so as to shine them up, so any change would be more evident.

  27. Jocelyn, 24 May, 2009

    Cindy, you have no idea…but was able to set up all the storage stuff in a sight line under the bed with pull out drawers a friend salvaged for me from an old dresser. Gorgeous white and green crackled paint finish happened to match some big mokume gane draw pulls I had made years ago and matched the new colors…so stuck them on the end of all the drawers. Works great! Looks pretty under the bed, too.

  28. Cindy Lietz, 25 May, 2009

    @Jamie: Cool! I need to get some silver wire so I can try that! Love the look of oxidized silver!

    @Ken: Let us know how your experiment goes. (It’s turning into a bit of a Science Lab around here, isn’t it!) Love it!! :-)

    @Jocelyn: Sounds much nicer than the plastic bins under my bed!

  29. Jamie H, 26 May, 2009

    Hi all. Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I know we did. Yay summer! Anyhoo, I hope everyone can use this little tip. But I cant claim mad scientist rights to it. I saw it posted on another blog some time ago, just cant remember now which one it was, and have been using it since then on the rare occasions I have real silver to work with. I love that its green too, and no more stinky fumes from Liver of Sulfur. When you have breathing issues like I do with COPD, fumes are the enemy. Even perfume can cause me grief. So this is a definite winner in my book, and Im just glad I could share it. XOXO Jamie

  30. Ken H., 26 May, 2009

    Well not much happened with the pennies, I am writting it off to the fact that pennies aren’t pure copper but an alloy of copper and zinc. only got a slight rainbow effect on the face of the coin with the cider vinegar, nothing from the clear. What I did is place a drop on the surface and let it sit overnight. When I get the chance I’m off the the hardware store to get two small copper elbow joints, and will repeat the tests with them, they should be of a purer copper content than the coins.

  31. Sherry Westeen, 28 May, 2009

    You never stop amazing me! I just watched the Hammered Copper Findings. I was making a necklace last night and I did not have the right findings. So, I was going to use what I had but I was not happy with that. I was going to go to the craft store to get some but now, thanks to you, I will be at the hardware store instead. Thanks so much Cindy. Oh, I cannot say enough nice things about you so this will have to cover it all: Cindy, you so ROCK!

  32. Sherry, 29 May, 2009

    I loved this video and went running out to the hardware store immediately to get some 14 gauge copper wiring. Then I went to the second hardware store, and then to the third. At all three places, the salesmen looked at me like I was crazy and completely dismissed me once I said I wanted the copper wire for a jewelry project. So, I took a longer drive to the local Home Depot and was very disappointed to get the same puzzled look from the salesman who said Home Depot stocks no uncovered copper wire between the gauges of 20 and 8. This experience reminded me of my attempts to find unpolished river rocks at craft stores and dollar stores.

    Any other ideas on where to get that gauge copper wire? Also, what gauge wire is usually used for ear wires?


  33. Sherry Westeen, 29 May, 2009

    Sherry@: I had the same problem yesturday. Then i stopped at my trusty True Value Hardware store and picked up some 14 guage copper wire but it was coated with black plastic. It was only $0.14 per ft. I don’t mind stripping it. My husband is also an electrician and has wire strippers. With just a little stroke to the “husband ego”, my wire was all stripped and I was making clasps! My hubby is awesome. Ya just gotta know how to talk to him. The big strong, handsome fella! See what I mean? Works every time!

  34. Sherry, 29 May, 2009

    Thanks, KlayKisses. Now, may I borrow your big, strong handsome fella so he can strip some wire for me, too? Isn’t it funny how everyone always says that you don’t need much in the way of materials and tools for polymer clay work and then, when you get further and further into it, you end up “needing” all kinds of stuff? I guess I’m off to the hardware store to buy some covered wire and a pair of wire strippers.

  35. Sherry Westeen, 29 May, 2009

    Sherry, yes you can borrow him. But you have to give him back. I only purchased 10′ and I will be needing more. Lol. At least most of the items are inexpensive. I like that. Now that I think of it, hubby has all kinds of electrical stuff in the garage and probably has tons of wire too. Hmmmmmm….maybe I should shop there? Of course, when he is not home. Shhh. It’s a secret.

  36. Sherry, 29 May, 2009

    Thanks, KlayKisses. And your secret’s safe with me.

    Cindy — Thanks so much for the article on how to strip wire without a wire stripper. Sounds pretty easy. And, believe me, I do appreciate your cost-cutting tips. I agree that the supplies one needs for polymer clay projects probably cost a lot less than supplies for other crafts. My problem is that your videos are so great that I want to start on the latest technique right away, and I get frustrated if I can’t find locate what I need as soon as I would like.

    Can you tell me what gauge wire is used for ear wires?

    Thanks for everything.

  37. Cindy Lietz, 29 May, 2009

    @Klaykisses: Great advice! Sometimes all the stores don’t carry everything, so it’s great when you can find a way to adapt. I have stripped many a wire in the past. I’ve done it with a knife myself which isn’t too hard at all. That is sweet that your husband stripped the wire for you. I’m sure your compliments helped a lot!

    @Sherry: Sometimes I have found the bare wire on a huge spool in the electrical department. It is used for grounding. But when I haven’t been able to find it I’ve stripped it like Klaykisses suggested. I’ve embedded a neat little tutorial below, for doing that without having to buy a wire stripper.

    As far as always needing more things… That is the way with new techniques and crafting in general. What I have found is that compared to many art and crafting materials, polymer clay is quite inexpensive. Glass bead making is extremely expensive with torches, kilns, specialty tools and even just the glass. Even scrapbooking can be very costly with die cutters, punches, stamps and embellishments.

    Polymer clay, for all you can achieve with it is actually fairly cheap. I do try to offer inexpensive alternatives such as wire from the hardware store and river rock from the dollar store. That’s becasue I realize it can get pretty expensive if you always have to buy from specialty jewelry supply outlets. Part of getting a good deal is the hunt.

  38. Jamie, 29 May, 2009

    Hi Sherry. I have always used 20 or 21 gauge wire for ear wires. But I dont know if I would use copper wire for them unless you can coat it with something afterward because of the reaction issues some people might have. I usually try to stick to sterling for my ear wires when possible, or use plated at least to keep down the reaction problems. If you know the person will not react to the copper as I dont, then feel free to use it. I use it a lot to make earwires for myself, but I would hesitate to sell them to someone I didnt know. If you are planning to make many earwires you also might want to invest in a cup burring tool. You use it on the end of the wire that will pass through the ear to remove any roughness and make them nice and rounded. I got mine for around 6$ online. XOXO Jamie

  39. Ken H., 29 May, 2009

    Actually, I did some research online (should have thought of that first) and vinegar can be used to age the copper but it might take a little longer but again it uses no chemicals. The recipe is quite simple, 1/4 cup of white vinegar and mix in one teaspoon (little t) of salt. Drop the copper object into the mixture and let it sit for five mins.( the copper will look like it is getting cleaner, which it is) remove the object (do not rinse) and put it on something that won’t absorb the solution (I put the pennies on paper towel and had half patina half not)and leave out in the air. One of the pennies got a fantastic patina in the collums of the lincoln memorial on the back. It was also said this works with lemon juice as well (and smells better).

  40. Jamie, 29 May, 2009

    Hey great job Ken. I was also going to suggest lemon juice or maybe ketchup. Because I seem to remember my gramma using those and some salt to clean her copper pots a lo-o-ong time ago. Might try using some wax paper or cling wrap to lay them on and put the solution of choice in a spray bottle? That way you could reapply more as it dries. Might speed it up a bit. Thanks for the great info too. Im all for using things that dont smell as bad as the chemicals do. I was toying with the idea of using heat to try and color the copper. Not quite the same as a patina. But I know copper turns fantastic colors when heated. If I get a chance I will let you know what happens. XOXO Jamie

  41. Sherry Westeen, 29 May, 2009

    Ok. I just got a great tip from my hubby. He said to share with all of you that if you go to Menards or Home Depot or something similar, you should ask for 14/2 Romex Interior Wiring. It is for electrical wiring. Inside the big piece of white plastic on the outside(not so hard to cut through) are (3) 14 guage copper wires. One is already stripped and two have a smaller plastic coating. He said you could get a 25′ roll for cheaper than the individual coil of wire. That’s like having 75′ of wire. They also sell it by the foot. I am lucky to have asked him and found he has rolls of it in the garage. See, sometimes it pays to ask him a craft question. KlayKisses

  42. Tante Sherry, 13 July, 2013

    Hi Klaykisses
    I just knew I’d read this GREAT bit of copper wire information (about the 14/2 Romax interior wiring) somewhere here at PcT years ago

    And with our nifty search box I now have it written down and in a minute it will be in my word pad

    I do thank you so much and hope you are still enjoying playing with your clay -Sherry

  43. Ken H., 29 May, 2009

    And if you’ve got children after you patina your artwork, drop some silver colored paperclips or small nails into the solution and they’ll be “plated” in copper. I tried it with paperclips and it does work (don’t know how long it took, I did it overnight but it works).

    Muhahahahaha!!!!(evil scientist laugh)

  44. Sherry, 29 May, 2009

    Thanks so much, Jamie. I was not planning to use the copper wire for ear wires — just a separate question. Actually, I’m thinking of buying some of the Niobium wire Cindy wrote about. That sounds really cool. And thanks for the suggestion about the cup burring tool — I do plan to start trying my hand at making my own ear wires, and when I get up enough nerve, I do want to try selling my pieces to others, so I’m glad you told me about the cup burring tool.


  45. Sherry, 29 May, 2009

    Great! I’m off to the hardware store right now with all of your wonderfully helpful comments to guide my way.

  46. Jamie, 29 May, 2009

    Ken, I dont have any “little” kids anymore. But I know a few big ones that still might be impressed at what a crazy craft lady can do,LOL.

    KlayKisses. I just found out the same thing when my hubby put in a new 220 line and installed the air conditioner in my almost done studio. I snapped up the leftover pieces of wire and made him laugh when I made him promise to save me any more he might have. He laughed that is, until I explained what I wanted it for and showed him some things I could make with it. Now he says he will keep his eyes open for wire for me. And he even brought me some cool aluminum wire from a house renovation across the street just this morning, hee hee hee. Now all I gotta do is figure out how to strip the aluminum. Unlike romex, this is a much thicker gauge, maybe 8? Its bundled in a grouping of 7 inside, but it has a hard plastic coating. Nice thing is though, once the hard outside is off, all the wire inside is bare. And its a soft wire to work with even though it is thick. XOXO Jamie

  47. Cindy Lietz, 29 May, 2009

    Jamie, Sherry, Klaykisses, Ken, Jocelyn and everyone who has been commenting on this blog:

    First of all I want to THANK YOU ALL from the bottom of my heart! The feedback, interaction and help you have been giving each other is very special!

    As you all may have noticed, I am getting so busy that I am not able to keep up the way I would like to. Sometimes it takes me several days to get to someone’s question. The way you guys have been popping in with the answers is incredible!

    When that happens I feel like you guys are taking care of things. Like you are taking pride in the resource and giving back what you know.

    This frees me up tremendously and gives me more time to get to the things you all have been begging me to get to, like filming more videos.

    So, from me and all of the people here… Keep it up! We love it!

    BTW Ken you aren’t the only Mad Scientist… click the link by my name and you will meet my little Mad Scientist! :-)

  48. Jamie, 29 May, 2009

    Not to worry sister, see? We got your back. As long as you keep the videos and fun stuff coming, nobody gets hurt, see? Ok, bad Cagney imitation over. Hahaha! We understand and appreciate all the time you spend on us. So if we can pick up a little of the slack for you? I personally dont mind. XOXO Jamie

    Just a note to Sherry. I dont think you will find a cup burr at the hardware store because it is mostly a jewelers tool. But I found my cup burring tool at Jewelry Supply.com and they call it a wire rounder. And I think the niobium would be a great idea for earwires, and it comes in a bunch of cool colors. Good luck with whatever you use. Im sure you’ll sell a lot. XO J.

    And to Ken. I wonder what cola drinks might do to copper? I know it will eat the paint off of most things sooo…. Do you think its worth a try? XO J.

  49. Jocelyn, 29 May, 2009

    LOL! Thanks Cindy, glad we all can help you out. At heart, I am a tinkerer and researcher. And I love the “Mad Scientist” aspect of the craft! If I can post resources for folks online, I am a happy camper. Love links. Love Google. Love clay. Love this site.

  50. Ken H., 29 May, 2009

    Why not try it, I don’t think it will hurt anything. I mean your not going to blow anything up. When I did the research on the vinegar, I would never have thought of using salt in the mixture. I think any mild acid would patina copper, it’s just how long it takes and what do you need to add to the mixture for it to work. Kinda makes you wonder what the Salt & Vinegar potato chips are doing to the stomach (besides making it bulge). :)

  51. Sherry, 30 May, 2009

    Jamie — Thanks again. I figured I would have to buy the cup burr online. But I did get the 14/2 Romex wire you and your husband suggested. Now, I just wish I did not have to go to a party today — I would much rather strip and hammer some wire. Oh well. Another day.


  52. Silverleaf, 02 June, 2009

    @Ken – your stomach’s full of a really strong hydrochloric acid (pH 1 or 2, which is about as acid-y as you can get) so I don’t think salt and vinegar snacks will bother it much. ;)

    @Jamie – Cola could work. Why not experiment, and let us know how it works? The combination of phosphoric acid and sugar in cola is pretty bad for your teeth – I remember experiments at school where we actually dissolved a tooth in cola, which took about 2 weeks.

    And while I’m on cola (not literally because I’m probably the only person in the world that never touches caffeine), did you know it’s great for cleaning stained toilet bowls? You just pour in a couple of litres of cheap cola, leave it for a few hours then flush. It gets rid of the limescale and the stains. Cool, huh?

  53. Cindy Lietz, 02 June, 2009

    Very cool info Silverleaf! Love to see you all working like little Mad Scientists!

    Should start a section on this blog called ‘The Polymer Clay Lab’ with all the fun experiments you guys are trying!

  54. Jamie, 02 June, 2009

    Hi Silverleaf. Thanks for the green potty cleaning tip. I cant think of a better use for the toxic brew in most cola’s, especially diet. My brother used to use it to clean greasy car parts hahaha!! I never drink the stuff. But I cant claim to be caffiene free however. I do consume my fair share of english teas, and columbian and african coffees are my life! I will do the cola experiment tonight though, and let you all know how it comes out tomorrow.

    As for the vinegar chips Ken? I prefer Kay and Ray’s dark chips to the flavored kind. All they do is cook them a bit longer until they are a nice yummy brown. I could eat a ton of them! The heck with trans fats I say!! LOL

    And Cindy? If we do get a mad clay lab going? All I have to say is I wont do any experiments with frogs! I love the little critters. I wouldnt even dissect them in biology class! Ughhh!!! Hahaha! Now a days they get off easy with virtual dissections and stuff. We could have used that back then right? Now, bring on the lightning Muahahaha!!! XOXO Jamie

  55. Silverleaf, 03 June, 2009

    @Jamie being English I do love my tea, but I stick to the decaff. I also like herbal tea a lot (but strangely, not fruit tea).

    Now I’ve found decaff Earl Grey I’m really happy.

    Tea leaves look great in translucent clay, btw. :)

  56. Jamie, 03 June, 2009

    You’re English? Jolly good! Im Irish,Dutch and German. Translation? Im a mutt! hahaha! But I need my caffeine. Its funny though because it doesnt make me jittery like most people. It actually calms me down. I even take a cup to drink before bed and never miss a wink of sleep. Guess my mom was right when she said I was contrary, LOL. But I do agree about the fruit tea. Other than raspberry ice tea which I love, I dont care for most of them, especially citruses. But I do like a nice chai tea. Its yummy spice goes well with cream and sugar. Especially good in the winters here. Plus I grow a lot of herbs, so I drink all kinds of my own herbal teas. I am particularly fond of the mints. Herbs also look nice mixed into clay by the way. (I think Cindy wrote about that recently too) Lots of colors and textures to be found there. And the leaves and seeds of some make nice impressions in clay. XOXO

    Now, for the results of my cola experiment with the copper. It was a bust as far as I can see. I cut 2 pieces of about 14 gauge wire, so I was sure it was as pure a copper as I could get. Then I flattened them with my hammer so I had a better surface to see any results on. After that I dipped one into the cola for just a few minutes and laid it out on celophane overnight. The other piece I left in the cola all night. As far as I can see, neither piece was affected by it at all. So unless someone can suggest anything else to try with it, I would say we can scratch that one off the list. Back to you Ken. XOXO Jamie

  57. Ken H., 04 June, 2009

    Tag I’m it!

    Well I’ll start thinking, right now I can’t think of any other thing that could react with the copper to age it other that to try the Cider vinegar instead of the white, but that’s not something new.

  58. Ken H., 04 June, 2009

    Wait a minute, what about TEA (Tannic acid)

  59. Silverleaf, 04 June, 2009

    @Jamie Yup, I live right next to the first English National Park, the beautiful Peak District. I was born here and will probably never move. :)

    I can feel a proper experiment coming on when I have time, leaving bits of copper in various chemicals all at the same time and comparing them. I’m a real scientist underneath all the scatty artistyness! Now I have to get some copper, lol.

    Apparently Miracle-Grow plant food will age copper and so will urine.

    And the egg trick should work too.

    The patina of copper will be various copper sulphides and carbonates (green) along with copper oxide (brown) – so something like hydrogen peroxide might work if you wanted a brown effect.

    It’s worth making sure the copper is free from grease (e.g. from your fingers) before you age it, because the grease will act as a barrier and protect the copper from the ageing process.

  60. Cindy Lietz, 04 June, 2009

    Great comments everyone!

    Urine works because of the natural ammonia and salts in it. In fact I heard that is what they dumped on those copper roofs hundreds of years ago to get the green patina!

    Because of this, some people put their pieces to age in a used Kitty Litter box. Although we do have a cat, I have been squeemish to give that one a try. Besides I think Candy the cat would start wearing my jewelry!!

  61. Ken H., 04 June, 2009

    Well maybe Candy feels naked without a little “bling” for her collar she is an internet star now. She’d be saying hey mom, look what I found. :)

  62. Jamie, 04 June, 2009

    Ok, I cant even begin to describe the EEWWW-yness of using the kitty box. Especially since I have 4 cats! I even hate changing it. And although Im sure Lucy and Wart, my 2 females, would love the bling? I cant see me using that method. (Although I must admit that when I was tossing around ideas it did cross my mind, but I “tossed” it just as quickly.) The tea idea however is do-able for an experiment, and the egg too although I dont know what the sulfur will do to it. And I have tons of miracle grow for my garden. Has anyone tried bleach?(rubs hands together gleefully!!)I am still toying with the idea of having hubby break out his torches too, so I can try a couple heat related experiments as well. Like what colors it will turn at what temps, and also balling headpins to use. Maybe I’ll get my own mini torch, who knows? This is so much fun! I always loved science class!!

    Silverleaf, you are lucky to live in such a lovely area. I can understand how you feel about moving away from it. I have lived on the shore of Lake Erie most of my life and couldnt imagine living anywhere else. I would miss the beaches waaay too much! And also the never ending free supply of shells, pebbles, sand, beach glass and other flotsam I find here and use in my creations. Hee hee hee. XOXO Jamie

  63. Silverleaf, 04 June, 2009

    @Jamie – Lake Erie looks gorgeous! The one thing I’d change about where I live is the fact that we’re nowhere near the ocean or a proper lake. I love water and shells and all that but have to travel a good way to get to the sea.

    @Cindy – Jewellery for pets! What a great idea! I can just see my Lab with a cute polymer pendant on her collar.

  64. Jocelyn, 05 June, 2009

    For all you “toolaholics” out there, Sears.com is having a two day sale today and tomorrow on Craftsmans and lots of power stuff. Also, a treat in the rain is a trip through micromart.com. And firemountaingems.com. Time for a cuppa……enjoy.

  65. Cindy Lietz, 08 June, 2009

    @Ken: LOL!

    @Jamie: I know… EWWW!! Cool about the Miracle Grow, actually have some of that. Must get it out of the shed next time I go outside!

    @Silverleaf: Even though I know lots of people make pet jewelry, hadn’t thought of making something for Candy. Maybe a little Fish Charm would be cute!

    @Jocelyn: Thanks for the links! I am definitely a toolaholic. Will buy them, over new clothes, any day! (Which probably explains my wardrobe!)

  66. Ken H., 08 June, 2009

    I love animals, have been raised around them since forever, that is a fantastic shot of Candy, I wish my Daschund would stay still long enough to get a good photo of him. He see’s the camera and proceeds to stick his nose right up to the lens, all I get are photos like the greeting cards with the big nose and a stretched face.

  67. Cindy Lietz, 10 June, 2009

    Awww that sounds cute Ken!

  68. Jamie, 10 June, 2009

    Hey Ken, maybe you can make some polymer pendants with your cute “big head” poochy on them! They seem to be all the rage these past couple years. I bet you could even sell some. XOXO Jamie

  69. Ken H., 11 June, 2009

    It could work, use the toner image transfer technique with a color photocopy, then use the ultra thin translucent clay technique to protect the image, yeah this could work!

  70. Jamie, 11 June, 2009

    There ya go, now youre cookin’! We wanna see ’em when you get some finished! XOXO Jamie

  71. Olga Cernea, 18 June, 2009

    I propose to my customers that have allergies…surgical steel ear wire..and it works fine with them…

  72. Cindy Lietz, 18 July, 2009

    **PHOTOS ADDED: Hammered Copper Project Photos have just been added in a Spotlight Feature Showcasing Arlene Harrison. Click on the “Hammered Copper Wire Hookmark” link by my name above to see them now.

  73. Jocelyn, 21 July, 2009


    Need to find some niobium metal earring findings for pierced ears so I can transfer over my collection and start wearing them again. Could anyone share some links?

    Or, if anyone knows of an online tut showing how to bend purchased niobium wire into earring findings using a jig, that would be great.

    Many thanks!

  74. Ken H., 21 July, 2009

    Try either Firemountaingem.com or Riogrande.com they might have what you’re looking for, and if you find the wire check out wigjig.com for written instructions on wire work.

  75. Jocelyn, 21 July, 2009


    Bingo! Thanks so much!!! Fire Mountain has them already made…..a nice selection of colors too!


  76. Ken H., 21 July, 2009

    Well if you ever get inspired and want to make your own, check out wigjig.com

  77. Cindy Lietz, 09 November, 2009

    **PHOTOS ADDED: Some project pictures of hammered copper jewelry have just been added to a Spotlight Feature showcasing Melinda Herron. She is a member who is very much appreciated here at this supportive polymer clay community. Click on the “Wire Work and Polymer Clay” link by my name to have a look.

  78. Jennifer, 16 November, 2009

    I am a little confused by which file(s) to buy. I went to the home depot and they had a couple of different grades of files. Can someone point me in the right direction?

    Thank You :)

  79. Cindy Lietz, 16 November, 2009

    When you’re at Home Depot, ask someone to find you a fine toothed file, for filing the edges of wire and metal. A wood file will not do.

  80. Cherie, 09 November, 2010

    I’ve been making my own copper findings; copper headpins and clasps. I used 14 guage like Cindy said in her video. I managed to do the whole hook but when I came to the last loopon the hook I had a really hard time. I have problems with my wrists and holding the little hook in my left hand and trying to form the loop as near to the edge – I was sore. I wanted my hook a bit smaller to match the copper chain i’m using.

  81. Phaedrakat, 11 November, 2010

    @Cherie: Sorry about your poor hands! You could always go smaller on the wire gauge you’re using (higher number.) It will be easier to manipulate and nicer to your hands. It will match your chain better, too. You might not want to go too small…18 gauge should give your wrists an easier time & still provide the look you want, while still providing enough strength for the clasp. Just be sure to work harden it by pounding, as in the video. Or you could tumble harden if you have a tumbler and medium…

  82. Cherie, 11 November, 2010

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’m thinking the 16 guague might not be too bad on my hands and a bit stronger than 18. however, I have some 10 guage and I hope im going to be able to work it; I have some beads I made and i’d like to try out the dangle bangle. It’s the small loops that trouble me not the large ones.

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