Rose in the Ditch Bracelet

Rose in the Ditch Bracelet

“Rose in the Ditch” bracelet. Patinated sterling, patinated copper, and a freshwater pearl. At least 6 years ago I commissioned an anticlastic stake from Frank Turley, my blacksmithing sensei. I’d seen ones in the tool catalogues for $150 or so, and if I had to spend that kind of dough I figured I’d rather have one made by Frank. He took an old spanner wrench (a large, tapered wrench used to line up holes in I beams and for tightening up the bolts) and made a series of bending jigs so no hammer marks would mar the surface. It looks like a snakes tail and is the bloody coolest sinusoidal stake ever! And he charged me much less, too.

When I tap it it makes a beautiful ringing sound like a tuning fork. Well, for years I’d just take it out and look at it. Now that I have my very own home and studio I figured I’d better do some anticlastic raising. This past winter I did 3 bracelets in copper and 3 in silver. This bracelet was part of a set that won a blue ribbon at the 2015 Heard Show. A woman bought the necklace and a pair of matching earrings but this bracelet didn’t fit her. I used 16 gauge, which is very thick for anticlastic work, so I didn’t try to open it up. The flower is from units I pressed on a 20 ton jack that was mounted in a welded frame. I made the molds out of plastic steel. The flower is riveted on in three places and I added silver stamens and a lovely freshwater pearl. I adore pink and lavender pearls, but only if they’re the natural color. They may give the oysters vitamins to make them that color, but I still like it. I guess it’s like taking tanning pills. The black and brown patina is from hydrochloric acid for the silver and liver of sulfur for the copper. I coated it all with wax to preserve it. I like taking walks by ditches and streams, since there’s surprising things growing there.

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