Maker Monday: Brass Cuffs

September through December is my busy season. I begin making pieces for my Holiday Open House in November. In order to make sure I'm ready,  my husband Luke carries the team on the weekends so I can work. In an ideal world at least some of the time I would get to work by myself, without interruption. However with 4 kids ages almost 9 months to 7, there's spillover.  I usually have "help" from one or two. And I do my very best to embrace that! :) Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I yell! :)

My kids: Leo (almost 9 months), Anthony (almost 5), Lucy (7-1/2), Kate (almost 3)

My kids: Leo (almost 9 months), Anthony (almost 5), Lucy (7-1/2), Kate (almost 3)

This weekend I had some "wide open" time (something that really doesn't exist right now) to begin making some brass cuffs. 

My process usually begins with at least 1 helper! Anthony lasted until he hammered his thumb. Occupational hazard :). 

My process usually begins with at least 1 helper! Anthony lasted until he hammered his thumb. Occupational hazard :). 

After tending to a hurt thumb, I was able to get started. All my tools, plus an incredible sound deadening set of headphones! This process is loud!!! 

After tending to a hurt thumb, I was able to get started. All my tools, plus an incredible sound deadening set of headphones! This process is loud!!! 

Shaping. 

Shaping. 

Result of Shaping & Hammering. 

Result of Shaping & Hammering. 

Texturing happens while shaping, with a different hammer. 

Texturing happens while shaping, with a different hammer. 

Kate & I taping. I haven't oxidized cuffs before. I remembered tape to be a part of my oxidation process for necklaces. I use it to mask off the area that I don't want to be oxidized. So Kate & I got busy taping. Note to self. Taping is an unnecessary, aggravating, work adding step that turns brass black!! Ugh! Failure is usually a part of my process :)

Kate & I taping. I haven't oxidized cuffs before. I remembered tape to be a part of my oxidation process for necklaces. I use it to mask off the area that I don't want to be oxidized. So Kate & I got busy taping. Note to self. Taping is an unnecessary, aggravating, work adding step that turns brass black!! Ugh! Failure is usually a part of my process :)

Oxidation. These cuffs were dipped in solution without tape, after my tedious tape fiasco (having to peel off one tiny piece of tape after another, for something that didn't even work out is not my idea of a good time!) Another learning moment: Do NOT leave cuffs in solution all night!! This batch had to be be scrubbed down and started again!

Oxidation. These cuffs were dipped in solution without tape, after my tedious tape fiasco (having to peel off one tiny piece of tape after another, for something that didn't even work out is not my idea of a good time!) Another learning moment: Do NOT leave cuffs in solution all night!! This batch had to be be scrubbed down and started again!

A cuff I'm not happy with after being oxidized.

A cuff I'm not happy with after being oxidized.

One I'm thrilled about after I got it right!!! What I love about oxidized brass is that it creates one-of-a-kind pieces. The colors are so beautiful. The pieces have this natural beautiful imperfect finish to them that I love. 

One I'm thrilled about after I got it right!!! What I love about oxidized brass is that it creates one-of-a-kind pieces. The colors are so beautiful. The pieces have this natural beautiful imperfect finish to them that I love. 

Below are some finished pieces. I am very excited about how they turned out! Imperfect, Full of character, makes me happy!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!