Anneal and texture the panels. Anneal the copper panels with a torch. Then, texture them. Some texturing options include stamping, hammering, sanding, or passing the panel through a rolling mill with a textured material. I used the ball end of my chasing hammer to create a dimpled effect on my clasp panel [PHOTO 3].
NOTE: The texturing process may distort the shape of your panels. If necessary, file the edges to return them to their rounded rectangular form.
Mark drill holes. Use a permanent marker to mark where you’ll drill holes for the jump rings that will connect the panels and clasp parts. The holes should be at least 1⁄8 in. (3 mm) in from the edge of the panels so that the border remains strong [PHOTO 4].
Mark one end panel with only three holes: two on the side where it will connect to the adjacent panel, and one in the center of the side where it will connect to the toggle bar.
Draw diagonal lines from the corners of each panel to find its center point.
Drill the holes. Use a center punch or an awl to make a dimple at each of the drill marks and at the center point on each panel. Using a 2.38 mm drill bit, drill through all the dimples. Use sandpaper to smooth any burs from the edges of the holes. Sand and file all edges and corners [PHOTO 5].
Pierce the clasp panel. Make a dimple inside the rectangle you marked for the hole in the clasp panel. Drill a hole through the dimple, and then pierce the inside of the panel.
Patinate the panels. If you want some of your panels to be darker, patinate them with liver of sulfur [PHOTO 6]. Use steel wool to remove some of the patina and enhance the metal’s texture.
TIP: I prefer to use liver of sulfur gel rather than lump form. The gel creates minimal waste when you’re patinating a small number of pieces.
I made black polymer components for five of the seven panels because it provided texture and contrast against the copper and gave the whole piece visual continuity.
Make a polymer clay sheet. Condition 28 g of black polymer clay, then run it through a pasta machine set to medium. Place the clay sheet on a rigid, nonstick work surface.
Texture the clay sheet. Lightly mist a texture plate with water [PHOTO 7] to prevent the clay from sticking to the plate.
TIP: If you use natural materials, such as bark or coarse paper, to texture the clay, dust them with cornstarch to prevent the clay from sticking.
Place the texture sheet on top of the clay. Using an acrylic roller, roll over the texture sheet once using firm pressure [PHOTO 8].
NOTE: Your pattern may distort if you roll back and forth over the clay. If your texture isn’t satisfactory, pass the clay through the pasta machine again and start over.
Cut out clay components. Using circle cutters, cut disks of clay to fit your design. Transfer the clay disks to a baking sheet or small ceramic tile, and bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the clay disks to cool.
Drill the clay components. Mark the centers of the clay disks, and use a 2.38 mm drill bit to drill a hole through the center of each disk.