New Experiments: Fold Forming and Flame Coloring Copper

Despite my best intentions show season swept down upon me and kept me so busy I wasn’t able to keep up with posting on the blog. I have been very busy trying to keep up with custom orders and refreshing stock for shows. It’s absolutely necessary for me, however busy I become, to give myself time to ‘play’ in the studio, meaning to follow my creative whims, to try new things, etc. My interest in chasing and repousse led me to a new interest: fold forming. I have enjoyed pursuing this new interest. I also stumbled across flame patinas, or using flame to pull amazing color from copper. This is a tricky mistress, difficult to control and while I’ve far from mastered it I am certainly happy with my results. I thought I’d post a brag and show you some of my latest creations utilizing these techniques.

Here are the three most recent cuffs. Two are done with an asymmetrical cross with one featuring the rise of the fold (the natural copper) and the other featuring the crease of the fold (the colorful one). The third was a total surprise. I was working with a 1″ x 6″ copper plate and placed a single fold in the center. I intended to do a more exaggerated curl at the top and the bottom as shown on the large colorful cuff but as I was working it the curl became a tad more exaggerated than I intended and before I knew it, it was taking a whole new direction – and I liked it. I just kept curling them until the turned in on the fold. I intend to experiment more with this kind of curling.

across trio

Below are two unoxidized copper cuffs. One has a satin finish and one has a high polish. Which one do you like better?


Here are some smaller cuffs made with 1×6 copper plates. I experimented with texturing the edges on one of these. It held the color well but the color seems less obvious with the textured metal.



I also (some time back) tried my hand at a technique called ‘air chasing’ with some pretty cool results.


There will be plenty more of these lovelies to come, and lots of experiments yet to unfold. πŸ™‚ Comments are welcomed and appreciated.


12 thoughts on “New Experiments: Fold Forming and Flame Coloring Copper

  1. Well they are certainly inspiring! I am anxious to learn fold forming. I have so much to learn. Been concentrating on making enamel penny earrings and hand knotted bracelets. After Christmas will be learning new techniques.

    Sent from my iPad


    • Shari,
      You will love it when you finally get to experiment. It’s not as difficult as you’d think and all that hammering is very therapeutic! lol I’ve made so many of these bracelets that now it’s time for me to play with other things for a while. Perhaps some fold formed leaves? πŸ™‚ That’s a happy thought.

    • Hi Delia, I find all of them to be wonderful. I think they are definitely attention getters. I like the more polished ones best. Your “experiments” appear to me to be a real success!! Keep up the great work! I love what you are doing. I have some questions for you at some point whenever you have time. It has to do with wrapping a small stone and whether or not it would be possible to do it. I know you are busy so if you don’t have time then I can check elsewhere and that would be fine.

      • Hi Jacquie,
        Thanks for the kind comment. Feel free to email me or catch me on facebook to ask your questions. I don’t know if I can help or not but I’d be glad to try if I can.

  2. I’m new to your blog, and I must say, I am completely enamored. I’m self-taught (for the most part) and have also discovered the joy form folding recently. I truly love the discovery of what the folds can do for a piece of unassuming copper sheet. It’s like having Christmas and my birthday rolled into one when I open a fold, or manipulate the metal in a new way. I simply can’t describe the feeling any better than that.
    I love the flame coloring you did on the non-textured cuff. And I’m not real fond of shiny copper. If I need to keep the copper “new” looking, I at least have to give a matte finish. Just my personal taste.
    Not familiar with air chasing (will be investigating that) but I really like the results. Can’t wait for more updates!


    • Hi Mary,
      Thanks for following me first of all. πŸ™‚ I always appreciate all of the great comments and support that I get here. I know what you mean about each piece being a ‘gift’ to unfold. Manipulating metals is delightful fun!

      Air chasing is fun too, though a little more labor intensive the results are equally delightful. Air chasing is basically a method that’s very much like repousse but with no pitch for backing, it is ‘chased on air’ hence the name. Usually achieved by folding your metal over without actually creasing it. From the end the fold may resemble a tear drop shape with the two cut ends meeting at the peak of the teardrop. This is then put in a vice and the tip of the tear drop is captured in a vice and the chasing/repousse/forming begins. It’s great fun and the results are so organic even YOU don’t know how it’s going to come out. I know you’d love that as much, it not even more than the fold forming.

  3. I love All your work. I am interested in learning how to work with wire. Hammering burning and whatever needs to be done to make cuffs and earrings as you do. What do i look for in a class to learn these techniques?
    Thank you

    • Thanks Jacquie. πŸ™‚ As to what to look for in a class, just look for ME! Okay, so I’m being silly. Truth is that I think your question requires a little more thought to offer a helpful answer. I can’t say there’s any single class that exists that will leave you well rounded, but take every class you can and when you find a good, patient instructor who really loves to teach – stick with them. Take every class from them that you can that will get you closer to your goals. Books and tutorials are always helpful as well. Keep in mind that I have a number of tutorials available on my website ( and in my etsy shop ( ). P.S. if you use the coupon code Happy2014 in your shopping cart on etsy right now it will take 50% off of all the tutorials in your cart! <—shameless plug. πŸ™‚ The 50% off sale ends on January 17th!

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