Copper’s got some great qualities that make it perfect for both jewellery you make and jewellery you wear.
A soft metal to work
Textures are a big part of my work because the patterns keep your eyes busy. I like the flat look too, but I often have to go that step further and forge the patterns with the peen (ball) side of my hammer.
The dips of the patterns grow dark over time (exposure to oxygen) and they’re hard to polish out entirely, so the piece takes on a properly 3-D look.
Copper is said to be able to heal arthritis and other joint ills. I have tested out the tale as I have arthritic fingers and many copper rings! My results are as yet inconclusive and wholly unscientific, but I hope the myth is true!
One of the things I love about copper is its relationship with myth and legend. Said to be the metal of the fae, it is supposed to be as good at conducting spiritual vibes as it is at conducting heat. Feel the power of the crystal easily when it is set in copper!
Low-cost materials can make high-value products
Because copper is beautifully pliable, it can be made into intricate designs by a skilled artisan. The skill and the time taken boost the item’s value. I don’t mean this in a money sense only; the reason it becomes worth more money is because it’s unusual. Intricate, or special in some way. Those things take skill and time but ultimately it’s got to be something that people want to wear. It only has the value of its materials – the metal and stones – if nobody wants to wear it.
Not exactly hypoallergenic, but still …
Copper allergies are out there, but they’re not common like nickel. I tarnish only some of my pieces with liver of sulphur, so that people who don’t like the idea of chemical residue on their skin can still wear jewellery that hasn’t been treated.