For making handmade jewellery you need a hammer
I recently bough a Chasing Hammer from Hobbycraft. You cannot use the hammer alone though, you need an anvil or steel bench block. I didn’t want to spend lots of money, so I bought a tiny bench block with my hammer. I love them both…oh so much.
Working with wire is so versatile but it can be very soft. This is ideal to work with but when you want a stable and strong piece of wire (like in a frame or in an ear wire) it can be too soft. The way I over come this is by work-hardening the wire I use. This means hammering the wire to toughen it up.
Copper wire is heated or annealed to make it soft and flexible. Hammering the wire changes the molecules in the wire to make the wire stronger. But beware, overworking the wire can cause it to become brittle and break.
I love my hammer for jewellery making because:
1, it makes a loud noise – yes poor neighbours and poor partner.
2, it let’s me flatten the wire in places, or all over. Flattened wire can look so beautiful
3, it can be used to add a pattern to the wire. Dents and flaws can be extraordinarily pretty in a design.
4, it increases the strength of my wire frame making them tough and durable
5, it stops ear wires and earrings bending by making them tougher and less flexible.
Let’s face it, we all love a good hammer.