I made my first ever proper brooch fitting today :) and yes I am very proud of myself *smug face*
And now I’m gonna teach you how to make it!
Firstly you will need your brooch piece (for me it is just a plain piece of sheet copper as a practice brooch). For this fitting you will also need a little bit of copper wire (relatively thick makes it more sturdy and durable, but it’s your call), a piece of copper tube (about 1.5cm long and 0.9mm diameter) and a length of steel wire (if your tubing is o.9mm then the steel should be the size below, so in this case o.8mm also, cut it long enough to reach from one end of your brooch piece to the other).
Using round-nose plyers curl both ends of the copper wire into a kind of butterfly wing shape shown above. Ensure there is enough space left for the steel wire/pin part to slot in and out of the copper wire as this is your pin catch.
At this point you will also want to make sure you have your cut piece of tube ready.
Anneal and clean your metal.
Mark out a small line at one end, this will be where your piece of tube will sit. With a scorper make two little scrapes of the copper to allow the tube to sit in place. Solder your piece of tube onto your brooch (the trick to soldering this part of the brooch is to ensure the solder runs right to both ends of the tube).
Anneal and clean your metal before moving onto the pin catch.
Attaching the pin catch is slightly different from soldering on the tube. Again, make a mark with a pen at the opposite end of your brooch, ensuring it is in line with the tube. You don’t need to make a mark with the scorper this time. Use plyers (not your good ones!) to hold the piece of copper wire, heat up the flux on the wire and the brooch and the solder (which should be placed on the brooch) right up until the solder starts to take and just at that moment place your piece of copper wire onto the solder. This should allow you to attach your pin catch without the copper wire melting.
Anneal and clean your metal (even if the heated pattern is as beautiful as this).
Cut your steel wire to the size of your pin. Thread it through the tube. Fold each end over the ends of the tube so it meets the catch in the middle (don’t worry if the ends are odd sizes, either trim them down or leave it as a quirk of the brooch). To finish off your brooch fitting, sharpen the ends of the steel wire to a point, enough to pierce clothing but not too sharp.
And you’re finished!
I finished off my wee sample by using a flux patina and adding a piece of verdigris copper wire that was formed into my name, ie. a fancy name tag!
Today I also de-moulded my texty resin samples, wanna see?
The cubes worked better than the strips. I’m not sure why the strips are all air bubbly. It kinda ruins them…. :( I might just say they are supposed to be like that!
I came across this clip of Zen Zen Zo’s Zeitgeist performance when they were supporting Amanda Palmer in Edinburgh at the Fringe a few years ago. I was there. It was awesome! I went to their show during the festival and it was just beautiful. I hope they come back to the Fringe at some point…. I have a thirst for more.