Even novice jewellery makers can succeed at this simple, exotic piece of jewellery. Metal upper arm bracelets or armbands have been fashion accessories throughout history. They were common accessories for the ladies and men of Greece, Egypt and many other ancient societies. According to jewellery historian Elena Neva, "bracelets were the most popular adornment in the ancient world ... worn by the members of both sexes, alone or in pairs, and were subdivided into closed-ended and open-ended bracelets." Closed-ended bracelets were usually cast from molten metal, while open-ended bracelets were usually bent, wrapped and hammered to shape.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1/4- by 18-inch round stock of your desired metal
- 1 pair needle-nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Striking plate or anvil
- Jeweller's files
- 00 fine steel wool
- Polishing cloth and jeweller's rouge
- Optional ball-peen hammer
Check your hammer and anvil or striking plate to be sure that they are smooth before you begin.
Curl the ends of your chosen metal wire as shown in the diagram. Measure the circumference of your arm and leave enough room in between the curls for arm wrap.
Hammer the entire length of your wire flat.
Use your hands and pliers where necessary to bend the wire around your arm. Remove it and use your hammer to give the surfaces a comfortable curve.
Remove any burrs with a jeweller's file.
Polish your armband with 00 steel wool, followed by jeweller's rouge on a polishing cloth.
Tips and warnings
- Round copper stock can be found at your local hardware store. It is sold as electrical ground wire.
- You may choose to give the wire a textured finish with a 170gr. to 0.454kg. ball-peen hammer.
- Wear wraparound eye protection while hammering and deburring metal.
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