Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting to know....Brass

These are the Athena earrings. Named for the Greek goddess of war... As I was making these, sawing, filing, hammering, stamping, forming....I couldn't help but think of shields or armor...

These are made for a strong woman. Not because she needs the armor for protection, but because she wants to show she is fearless...

This was my first working with Brass sheet. I discovered that when heat is applied to brass, it oxidizes (of course), but after you get the initial grime off, you're left with a pinkish fire stain. I think they call it copper flashing or something like that. I guess the copper in the brass is brought to the surface when heated.

I found a handy dandy recipe on the web to remove it though. I love people who are willing to share the ins and outs...and I am so thankful to the people who discovered the tricks in the first place. I mean, who would have figured this one out?

Two parts hydrogen peroxide to 3 parts white vinegar. Give it a nice long soak, and remove as soon as the pink is gone. Et voila!

I've still not soldered on brass, so that is next on the agenda in the getting to know brass phase. So far, I find brass to be stiffer than sterling or copper, but not too bad. Also do people have allergic reactions to brass the way they do with copper? I guess it depends on the person eh?

But, supposedly you can acid etch brass, and do just about anything to it that you would with copper....so I'm looking forward to continuing my experiments.

These earrings are listed as a made to order item in my Etsy shop. I hope you all have a fabulous day!


  1. Very Nice earrings ! ;o)
    I love to work with brass and soldering is not that difficult. You will love to work more with this metal.

  2. I love these earrings, Amy! Your texturing is so beautiful :-)

    I've only tried soldering a tiny raw brass flower charm to sterling, but it was enough to make me realise that brass behaves very differently to any other metal when it is soldered! Perhaps have a play with some sterling scraps before you attempt anything big...especially with the rising cost of silver :-{ It's a gorgeous mixed metal combination though, and well worth pursuing I think :-) Good luck!

  3. Beautiful!
    I've soldered brass to argentium silver and I didn't have any problems so I think you'll be fine!

  4. Both new earring sets are lovely! It's always interesting and time consuming to work with new materials, but you're right, it's nice that other people have always tried/ erred/ experimented/ solved before we even attempt. Makes things so much easier!