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Stunning sapphire bracelet

Celebrate September by using stunning patinas to create the illusion of sapphire on beads and base metal charms.

I first saw both the Clay River Designs “reptilian green” glazed beads and Christi Friesen’s Swellegant metal coatings and patinas in Tucson. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized they were destined to come together. The speckled finish of the ceramic glaze combines with the earthy verdigris coating on the metal beads to give a monochromatic color palette a fascinating complexity. After experimenting with the Swellegant metal coating and patinas, I decided to see if adding dye to patinated charms and stampings would create a rich enough blue to use for the September birthstone. I like the results.

SUPPLIES

Bracelet

  • 8–12 10–25 mm assorted charms and stampings
  • 9–13 10 mm rondelle crystals
  • 6–7 in. (15–18 cm) cable chain, 12 mm links
  • 8–12 17 mm jump rings
  • 9–13 2-in. (5 cm) head pins
  • 22 mm lobster claw clasp
  • Swellegant Dye-Oxide, indigo
  • Swellegant metal coating, copper
  • Swellegant patinas, Tiffany green/rust and darkening
  • Swellegant sealant, clear

 Tools

  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • steel wool (optional)
  • hole-punch pliers
  • paintbrushes with soft bristles

Metal beads and findings from Beadaholique, beadaholique.com. Patina supplies from CForiginals, cforiginals.com. Check your local bead store for supplies.

INSTRUCTIONS

PATINATING COMPONENTS

Component01_BDSS0912_P01
1. With a paintbrush, dab the brass metal coating on a clean jump ring. I used both antiqued brass and brass findings, but since I covered them with the metal coating, the original metal was unimportant. Let the first layer dry for five or 10 minutes and apply a second layer.
Component01_BDSS0912_P02
2.  Apply a third layer of metal coating. While it’s still wet, liberally brush on the verdigris patina. Set aside to let the color develop. The time it takes for the color to “bloom” will vary, but allow at least an hour to get the full effect. Allow the patinated components to dry for 72 hours. Apply the sealant with a brush. 
PATINATING CHARMS
Charms_BDSBS0912_P03
1. Select your charms. Some suppliers sell “potluck” grab bags of stamps and charms. Sort through to find a selection that might work, then patinate and dye more than you intend to use. The coloring process is not exact, so you’ll want to make sure you have plenty to choose from.
Charm01_BDSBS0912_P03
2. If you’re using stampings, use hole-punch pliers to punch a hole at the top of each stamping.
Charm02_BDSBS0912_P04
3. Following the patinating instructions, patinate the charms and stampings with copper metal coating and Tiffany green/rust patina. Immediately after applying the patina, add a touch of indigo dye. Allow the patina to develop for at least an hour. Add more patina and dye if necessary to achieve desired color.
Charm03_BDSBS0912_P08
4. To save time and materials, I used dye alone on the backs of the charms. The dyes are a patina in the sense that they soak into the metal rather than just coating the metal.

 

CONSTRUCTING THE BRACELET

beadunit_BDSBS0912_P07
photo a

1. Make a bead unit (PHOTO A). On a head pin, string a rondelle. Make the first half of a wrapped loop. Make nine to 11 bead units.

2. Cut a 6–7 in. (15–18 cm) piece of chain. Attach a bead unit to every other link, completing the wraps as you go.

3. Use jump rings to attach the patinated charms to the remaining empty links. 

4. Open an end link and attach a clasp. Close the link. On the other end, use a jump ring to attach a charm. 

For complete project instructions and for instructions on making two different matching pair of earrings, click here to download the pdf. 

FIND MORE: bracelets , patinas , earrings , stringing

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