Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hydraulic press earrings

I finally did it: I got a hydraulic press.  I've been saving and waiting and putting it off for a long, long time.  So long that I wondered if the hype would live up to the reality; I had made it a pretty amazing thing in my head.

I haven't been disappointed.  I'm in love with the texture I can get and can't wait to get to the workbench to do more.  This is my first pair of earrings using the press - copper with a heat patina and sterling rivets:

I'll admit, when the boxes arrived and I unpacked everything I wasn't too excited about putting it together.  I hate reading through material to find that stuff out and generally wing it (that often ends badly).  But Melissa Muir did a series of YouTube videos that made everything so much easier. In fact, while I was putting together my list of materials to order I sent Melissa a message through Facebook asking what she thought were the essential pieces to start with and she wrote a blog post outlining the basics. (Thanks, Melissa!!!)

Here are links to Melissa's YouTube videos:
Assembling the hydraulic press:

Using the hydraulic press to emboss metal:

Using the hydraulic press to "puff" metal:

It only took about 20 minutes for me to put it together.  Then I annealed some copper for a test run and got amazing results on the first try.

So my test run quickly turned into a real project.

I considered keeping these myself because I can't stop looking at them.  But hopefully there will be a lot more like them to come...I've listed these in my Etsy shop.

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