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Tips for Working with Copper By Oksana Truhan
by Judy Ellis, Wirejewelry.com
Wire Jewelry Tip for August 1st, 2017
Tips for Working with Copper
by Oksana Truhan
Raw copper wire is my favorite metal to work with. I prefer copper because I can so easily vary its flexibility or temper. That is, I can easily make it soft when I need to, when I want to weave a complex pattern.
I use a flame for softening the wire, which is called annealing. It’s necessary to heat the wire to a red color.
After heating, the copper darkens. To remove this oxidization, add about a spoonful of citric acid to a glass of water).
Heat the solution with the wire for a few minutes on the stove.
The copper will come out perfectly clean.
However, sometimes we need to make the copper hard again for things such as earring wires or clasps.
To work harden the wire, pull it through a cloth, or twist it. Or, you can hammer it with a nylon hammer to keep from marring it. Or flatten it with a regular hammer.