I quite enjoyed using a jewelry saw to pierce the 44 in last week's offering, so I decided to continue the exercise with a little football in honor of the Super Bowl. The piece of metal I chose to use was 17 gauge copper that had the most beautiful naturally aged patina, which reminded me of a mottled pigskin ball. I snapped 7 saw blades piercing out the roman numerals, and then broke two drill bits when making the holes for the laces. I wanted to use very thin wire, which required small drill bits, which were probably not hefty enough to survive the trip through 17 gauge metal. Drat! To remove the bits from the holes, I needed to dissolve the steel with an Alum/water solution. Which I also use as a pickle. Which means that it removed my beautiful patina. But it also removed the broken drill tip - so bonus! (The recipe is 2 parts Alum - which you find in the grocery store, spice aisle - to one part water. I had to do it twice. The process is faster if you heat the water. Much like pickle.)
My design included using a single piece of copper wire (which I knew to begin with is NOT a hard enough metal for a pin stem) to act both as the ball's seam and the pin mechanism. Then 22g fine silver wire was used to replicate the lacings. Which look an absolute mess on the back of the brooch. I don't know how wire weavers create such tight, straight, beautiful looking weaves!
|You can see that the turns in my piercing still need a lot|
of practice. Too many round cut out dots where there should
be sharp corners.
But the front looks almost exactly how I first imagined it. I forgot to texture the football portion of the brass (it turns out, after pickling, that the beautiful patina was actually on a piece of brass, not copper), but I'm still pleased with my learning experience and the final brooch.