The popularity of brass jewellery is rising as the cost of gold and silver rises. Many important art jewellery designers work in brass since brass has colour similar to gold without the expense of gold. Brass sheet is an important component for making contemporary brass jewellery. Whether you want to make a pendant, earrings, a bracelet, a necklace or a pin, most brass jewellery begins as a simple sheet of brass.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Rolling mill (optional)
- Sketch paper
- Rubber cement
- Jewellery saw and saw blades
- Center hole punch (optional)
- Drill and bits (optional)
- Wet/dry sand paper (220, 300, 400, 600 and 800 grits)
Sketch out your project design and decide what size brass sheet you need. The type of jewellery you create will determine the gauge brass sheet you require. For example, earrings require lighter weight brass sheet to be comfortable. Bracelets require thicker, heavier brass sheet to withstand wear.
Purchase or roll out the brass sheet in the gauge you need for your project. Measure the brass sheet to be sure it is the correct size and weight for your project. If the brass sheet is heavy, then roll the brass sheet through a rolling mill until it is the correct thickness for your design.
Prepare the brass sheet for your project. Sand the brass sheet with (220 grit) wet/dry sandpaper to remove all scratches from the brass sheet caused when the brass sheet was made or damaged during transit. Clean the brass sheet with acetone to remove dirt and grease. Rinse the brass sheet with distilled water to remove the acetone.
Paste your project design onto the brass sheet using rubber cement.
Assemble your jewellery saw and blade. Use your jewellery saw and blade to cut out the jewellery design from your brass sheet.
Mark the brass sheet with a centre hole punch where you would like any holes needed to accommodate findings. Use a drill and a small jewellery sized drill bit to drill the holes needed to accommodate findings, if any.
Use your files to file away any saw marks left when sawing out the design from the brass sheet.
Use wet/dry 220 grit sandpaper to sand away all file and drill marks. Switch to 300, 400, 600 and then 800 grit sand paper and continue to sand until the brass sheet is highly polished.
Repeat as needed to complete your brass jewellery design. For example, if you are making earrings from your brass sheet, then repeat to create a mate for your earring. If you are making charms to link as a bracelet, repeat until you have the needed number of charms. If you are making a pendant, then you will not need to make any more components from the brass sheet.
Add handmade or commercial findings to complete your jewellery design.
Tips and warnings
- Always wear eye protection when working with jewellery making and other tools.