Using one of Metal Maven's penannular brooch rolling mill component dies you can make your own Penannular Brooch. Here's a quick tutorial to walk you through the steps!
GET THE DIE
To create your own Penannular Brooch, you will need one of Metal Maven's Penannular Brooch Rolling Mill Component Dies.
ROLL THE PATTERN
Metal Maven Tip: Setting the rollers
When you first set your rolling mill rollers, take your die and place a piece of copper sheet on top of it. Use a piece of copper the same size as your die so the copper covers the entire surface. Then place a piece of craft foam the same size as your die on top of the copper. Place them into the opened rollers of your mill and gently close your rollers until they touch the top of the foam. Close your rollers enough so there is a little pressure, but you can still remove your die, copper, and foam sandwich. Pull the pieces out from the rollers and add a piece of card stock on top of the foam. Try rolling your die sandwich at that setting first to see if you get an impression and adjust your rollers tighter if necessary. Rolling too tightly could damage your die or cause your die to form a drastic curve, so be careful to tighten in small increments. We include a piece of 2mm thick craft foam and a piece of cardstock for each die in your order. You can find the craft foam on Amazon. We use Darice 2mm Foamie Roll, 36-inch by 60-inch, black. Also, cut up cereal boxes work well for card stock.
Rolling Mill Requirements
This Rolling Mill Component Die is a mild tool steel die that can be used in a rolling mill that can accommodate 2-1/2” wide by 1/8” thick material plus your metal, craft foam, and card stock.
After setting your rolling mill using the above tips, cut a piece of metal that is 2-1/2" X 2-1/2" square. We used 16-gauge dead soft copper for this tutorial and we recommend that 16-gauge copper or 16-gauge or 18-gauge sterling silver be used when making a brooch. You will want the brooch to be stiff enough to hold any clothing in place. Making a brooch with 18-gauge copper would be too soft to work well.
SAWING THE BROOCH COMPONENTS
Metal Maven Tip: Use a fine tip Sharpie to trace around the outside of the component's raised edge. This makes it much easier to see when cutting each piece out.
Use a jeweler's saw to saw along the raised edge of each component.
Metal Maven Tip: I use a Saw Blade Size of #2/0 when sawing 20-gauge metal, a #1/0 saw blade when sawing 18-gauge metal and a #1 saw blade when sawing 16-gauge metal. Check out this saw blade specification chart on Rio Grande's website for recommended Saw Blade Sizes.
FILING AND SANDING
The component pieces are now ready for the next steps. In order to make the brooch comfortable to wear, you need to round the sharp corners and smooth the edges with a file.
Metel Maven used a #5 half round-half flat file to smooth the edges and round the corners.
A JoolTool is handy to use for smoothing edges using their Scratch Eraser pads.
If you don't have access to a JOOLTOOL, use 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper to smooth the edges of the entire brooch, stick pin, and stick pin loop piece.
Next, further smooth the edges of the long sides and ends again with 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper. (Different grits of wet/dry sandpaper are available at Lowes or Home Depot.)
MAKING THE STICK PIN LOOP
The stick pin is held in place on the brooch by a 3/16" tall loop. This section of the tutorial will walk you through forming the loop.
One of the component pieces is a small rectangular strip that is 1/8" wide by 7/8" long. This piece will be used to form the stick pin loop.
Bending the Loop
Metal Maven used a 9/32" round dapping block punch to form the U-shaped loop. Avoiding using pliers to bend the loop because they might scratch or mar the loop's surface. You can put the punch in a vice to hold it in place and use a polyurethane hammer to form the U-shaped loop around the punch if necessary.
Trim the ends of the loop
The U-shaped loop will be too big after bending. The component was made large so you would have enough metal to hold onto while forming the loop. Trim off the edges until you have a U-shaped loop that is about 3/16" tall on the inside of the apex.
Sand the edges of the loop
After trimming the ends of the loop, the edges need to be sanded.
Use 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper to smooth the edges.
Finish with using 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper to smooth the edges.
SOLDER THE LOOP TO THE STICK PIN
Position the stick pin under the brooch as shown in the photo below. Add a small piece of solder on each side of the stick pin. Place the U-shaped loop on top of the solder pieces and heat with a torch until the solder melts under the loop. Metal Maven used silver solder, but you could also use copper solder.
The soldered U-shaped loop that is about 3/16" tall on the inside of the apex.
ADDING A PATINA
Adding a patina brings out the details of your piece and adds an antique-looking quality.
Oxidize with Liver of Sulfur or your choice of blackening agent.
Sand the Patina
Next, Metal Maven used a nail salon 240 fine grit sanding buffer to very lightly sand the oxidation from the raised areas on the brooch. You can get the nail salon sanding buffers on Amazon.
Metal Maven uses these nail salon buffers when sanding patina: