Forging the Flattened Bracelet


Intermediate Forging for Jewelry Making


Lesson Info

Forging the Flattened Bracelet

So to start, we're going to start forging the sky our start creating this shape so I want to hammer in a particular area of this piece and help kind of guide myself well, actually let's hammer this flat first, so I am using a plan ishii hammer to kind of start to flatten out this now play she hammers do come in different sizes um, you can if you're feeling ambitious and you think you can handle the hammer well, using a bigger hammer face in this instance is good because you can cover more area and also you can use the weight of it is better, so it's going to be more less physical force involved on your part to kind of get the job done, so because of the physical weight of the hammerhead, so if you have a larger and ville it's really great to work on steel block works fine. Um some people like tio actually recycle railroad tracks, believe it or not told d I y got to find those things make it work um and you can use that as your hammering surface to I'm just going to use the steel block ...

I'm gonna start with the bigger hammer here just to kind of get the basic shape going and I might jump back and forth when I'm doing a little bit more delicate stuff to the smaller hammer so right now we have round wire when you're forging to really stretch the metal out, create a different shape you actually have to turn the wire from being round wire into square wire this will be a little bit more um make a little bit more in their sense when I start to do the other bracelet, which is a taper would you absolutely have to this one it's a little bit more of a stylistic thing that I'm doing? I'm not necessarily necessary for the process itself of forging so I'm going to start by just kind of roughly squaring out the wire which is basically flattening it using the flat side of my hammer face any time you're hammering you want to actually over lab your hammer blows so I hammer here this whole surface area the face of the hammer makes an impression when I move over I don't jump all the way over here that was the here before there I want to make it blend together so I find marking I'm working here let's say that my next hammer blow is going to be be cover that area so you see that there's an overlap and that makes it so that everything blends together and so it looks like a smooth, clean shape opposed to this choppy look so going all the way around so now I have a dress generally flattened the space out here my a bracelet that isthe so now I'm going to decide where I want to start my crescent shape if you will so now I'm going to mark the area of the hammer and so I'm not going to hammer the whole thing about hammer half of it or three a third of it so I'm going to kind of give myself some sharp remarks here like I'm not gonna go past that line also notice and since this is dirty and cleanup decider I am not going to forge excessively create that crescent shape on the saudi join you can the slaughter can take it but once again you have to keep in mind just like the metal itself a slaughter itself can get brittle overtime if you work hard on it that means it could crack open and you'll have to re sod er it so can we want to kind of keep that in mind swimming? Avoid that area seem to come back over here now I'm gonna switch to the round side of my hammer here okay, so this is the curve sign, sir flat side this is what's really going to start to shape it? This also allows me a little bit of freedom we like I mentioned before when you are hitting with the flat side of the hammer you there's no margin for error if you don't hit directly you're gonna have these couch like choppy look what is going to create a hammer choppy look anyway, but, um, it's easily correctable with did the deep divides that the flat side would create would take quite a bit of time to get out. I'm going to switch to this side also allows because it basically with the curve shape, allows there to be a rocking motion if you can imagine, because there's this curve to it so you can kind of if you're not hitting directly on top flat on top, you khun hit in a little bit different directions and still get what you're looking for, the result that you want so now I'm just gonna hammer here now I say that is going to be a little tricky to see, but when I'm hammering and I'll do my best to point this out to you on this, you couldn't get the shirt be here, cooperate with me so I know before I was hammering on the entire surface of the wire, so this whole surface from and in I want to stretch out this outer edge here from this end to that end, so I'm going to focus on not hitting here are just hitting a little off to the side take a little, you know, practice once again, I make this look so easy, but it takes a little focus so and if you're feeling once your loneliness once again, using the larger hammer doesn't make it a little more tricky, so just start with a smaller hammer when you're doing that. All right? I'm also being a lot more forceful with this hammering, so it will some really trying to push and stretch the medal overlapping your hammer blows here is also really important to get this to spread isn't even shape switch hammers sometimes you just get a little too heavy when you're hammering also let's talk about how you hold the hammer relief for quick because I did not get into that and you don't see me doing this. See this in this little tapping, this is not going to get you anywhere you have to you farther back, and you didn't use the stronger part of your arms to kind of move and stretch the metal, especially cause we're working with something thick here, so don't choke up on your hammer, you're going to hurt your wrists. Also, you got to keep this thing in mind, and you're not going to really get, like, hit the hammer is not going to swing the way it needs to if you're doing that. And it's a nice fluid motion you are definitely training your body to move in a certain way so keep that in mind now you can kind of see here let me clean it a little bit sometimes hard to see that it's starting to get a little bit more wide we have some fine hammer marks there and like I said before if you notice that if you're not doing it evenly you're really going to start to see that your circle is no longer going to look like a circle and if that's the case if it starts to happen you can kind of drop in fact here onto your man droll and either using this actually or you can use your mallet and just kind of but go back around and tap it now I went over this quite a bit of this point I could probably if I wanted to push it hammer it more but you need to stop in a neil you're gonna have to do this periodically during this process that's kind of repetitive it kind of initially may seem like counterintuitive or basically that nothing's happening sometimes it's not as obvious is this especially when we do the taper one in a minute because you're you're trying to teach the mettle to move and stretch in a different way than its structure is at the moment so what you need to think about is that okay it's gonna look wonky initially it's not going to really want to stay in its shape is gonna look a little fussy. But as soon as you kind of soon as it starts to cooperate it's like, ok, what am I doing now? It's moving this way? All right, then the medal is going to do what you want, tio so a nice, clean round one first round will start to look like that. See just a little bit wider on that end, but we want to kneel. So listen, neal, this and since we have a sauder joint on this already, I'm going to show you how to and neil it. With that in mind, you don't open up, you're sauder scene so big flame that they don't need flux. We're just a feeling it now it's important this time around. So if you go, you know, before I am, I have mentioned if you've seen some of our other classes, that okay, when you're kneeling, it doesn't really matter if you get it to red hot. With the brass in the copper it can take it you're not going to melt it so on and so forth since you have a psalter soon now you have to pay attention to that you cannot go past kneeling point because if you re for that water you just replay this order meaning you just opened up you're seeing and it could pull apart so did you see that dull red? We're almost there then you stop definitely don't get mesmerized by the concept of having it be that beautiful bright orange so we're going to stop we're going to pickle per usual and then you would come back here and keep forging, so since we have this piece far along already this has been a kneeled we're going to keep moving on to kind of see how it really once again itself. So once you've started this, um this is where your initially going to get the resistance from the material going toe have to put the most kind of physical force in now that the shape has been established it's going to start to really move easily for you um I'm gonna market again I can physically see it, but in case it's hard for you to see where the transition is from being kind of clean metal to being forge doubts about there is no market you can see where I'm gonna be hammering and now I I might once again jump back and forth, but I'm probably stick with a small one for the moment I'm gonna keep hammering like I said before on that outer edge so it's not really here it's still on this outer edge a bigger one long as you over half overlap your hammer blows, you will get a clean shape, you don't show you, you kind of see here, so see, it means very subtle, but you kind of see how is the little hick up there? You can see that detail kind of is like smooth, smooth, lump, smooth that's because I didn't blend this yet, and if you don't take care of that early on, it can get worse, so overlap your hammer blows on. I'm also using the round side of the round face with hammer again bythe now, depending on how far you want to go with this, what the dramatic look is that you want, you probably do these rounds that I did that process start forged out a neil again about three times, so if I did that whole process and neil this right now and it again, I could probably get the tighter curve that you see on our examples there now we're starting to get a little more chatter it's, goingto irregular here now you can clean that up by taking it over here to your manual, actually hitting it on edge. Now, people who are true most missing a sense that they wanted to be, you know, the purest well want tio I tell you, if you forge and plan ish perfectly, you will not have to file anything, and this is true, meaning that you see all these hammer marks here, you some people would actually kind of get the basic shape, and then they would be ok, I can flatten the rest that out by just filing it, which means you're losing material, you're taking away material if you actually hammer clean enough and I'll show you using the flat side now of your hammer, you can really smooth only sand that smooth that out to where they're practically gone, barely anything there, it's just a matter of you want to take the time to do it? So once again I'm going tio come on the edge here and just kind of kind of get those dimples out by squaring the edge there. Now, any time you're using a mandrell, whether it's a ring mandrell or doing the braces like never pushed down too much on it and, like, shove it down because you can actually stretch your ring. Make it bigger because you're pushing it down onto a thicker area because this is tapered, so always I mean, this is pretty tight there, but knows aiken still wiggle it around if it was really tight on that when I'm even when I'm hitting here, it's actually stretching in the opposite direction, and so that is making the ring bigger, you could go all the way around that'll help clean up your round shape and you have your crescent there, and the more you kind of do that step kind of hammer around, the cleaner the shape will be or more dramatic, you're crescent will be so just a matter of preference, they see that here. So in comparison, you kind of see that our other piece here just a little bit more wide, not too much, just a matter of how far you want to take it and basically on edge. You may notice that it's a slope so it's a nice visual when it's on your wrist that you have a nice thin there and you could keep thinking as you go thinner than what I have done here could be a really dramatic, like flattening, and then you have this cool slit, which is beautiful when you're wearing it staffed, because it can be worn like that at an angle. Warren, with the angles opposite, creates a lot of variance so that you get multiple pieces in one that's, a big thing. I'm super anti when it comes to my work is that you're gonna get a lot for your money. It's, not just one piece. You're getting four pieces and it's all about how you wear something so that's, our flattened piece. So that's, just kind of a quick way to stretch your metal outs. One type of forging very similar to some of these processes, or can be ah linked to, like, how you make spoons, or how you make a fork or something like that. Um, so this is kind of a starting point, how you flattened ground material out and white in it to make let's, say, a handle for a fork or something like that in the more traditional context of forging and what not way back when.

Class Description

Silver bangles are a stylish and timeless accessory. Learn how to make your own bangles in Intermediate Forging for Jewelry Making with Bonnie Heras.

Bonnie brings more than a decade of metal work to this intermediate jewelry making class. You’ll learn how to create a perfect bangle, from start to finish, and get great ideas for modifying them. You’ll learn:

  • How to forge and form a simple bangle bracelet
  • Expert sawing techniques, tailored to your metal of choice
  • How to anneal, polish, and finish the final design

Silver and brass bangles are jewelry staples – learn how to make your own in this fun and educational class.

Check the bonus materials below for a complete product list of the tools and supplies you need to finish this project.



Short and sweet. It is an intermediate class so it is assumed that there is a certain level of experience that the viewer has and doesn't rehash a lot of information. I appreciate that. I would add that there is a brass solder sold by Rio Grande. I have been using it for several years and it is a great color match.