Making Copper Jewelry with Mary Hettmansperger

This past weekend I attended the Creative Connection’s BlogHer Handmade conference and let me tell you, it was a blast. I learned so much and met so many lovely people like Alicia Dirago from Dismount Creative who graciously let’s me showcase her jewelry projects on  I also took two jewelry classes with the wonderful Mary Hettmansperger who is an amazing weaver and mixed media artist. I was lucky enough to learn her how she creates her copper woven  pieces and even made a few myself.

Mary Hettmansperger Jewery

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Aren’t these pieces just gorgeous? They are obviously more advanced than what I ended up making, but I tried my hardest. Let me show you!

Copper Jewelry
This was the raw an aged copper we were working with for this project. The copper that had been burned with a flux had the most amazing colors on it. I loved figuring out ways to incorporate the deep pinks and purples into my piece.

Mary Hettmansperger
Yes, the class was held in a dark hotel room. It was kind of difficult to see or get good pictures, but I tried to get a few. Here Mary is showing us how to emboss on metal, which was very fun and I recommend trying it. It took me a couple tries to get it just right, but it added just the right touch to my piece.

Copper Jewelry Making
Now let’s begin weaving! This copper sheet metal was extremely easy to cut. Once I cut my strips I bent every other one in the opposite direction in preparation for weaving it. My first piece was copper weaved with paper and the second piece was copper on copper. Once you’ve begun weaving the copper, it’s very much like those place mats you use to make in school as a child.

Copper Jewelry Making
Here’s what it looked like when I had finished weaving in the paper and trimmed the edges.

Copper Jewelry Making
Unfortunately I was so involved in making the jewelry pieces that I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures along the way. This is my first finished piece. I think it ended up being my favorite. Once the weaving was done, I put a bare copper backing on it and wrapped the whole thing with wire, like a present. It looks complicated, but it was a very simple process.

Copper Jewelry Making
This is my second finished piece. Mary taught be how to make a tight copper wire tube bead to embellish it. Who knew you just hold it with some pliers and wind it around? I think I’m going to use wire tube beads in more of my jewelry. They look cool and they take seconds to create.

Copper Jewelry Making
This is what I made in her second class, Looped Wire Jewelry. This process was a lot more time consuming and repetitive, but I love how the finished piece looks. It almost looks like crochet with not crocheting involved. I’m currently working on another one that is wrapped in wax linen. Sorry for the lack of pictures on this one. I was racing the clock to get it done before I left.

Both classes were so much fun to take. If you ever get a chance to take a class with Mary, I highly recommend it! But until then, here are some fun projects on AllFreeBeadedJewelry that use a lot of the same techniques I was practicing with the pieces above.

Droplet Pendant
Wire Wrapped Gemstone Necklace
Hammered Drop Earrings
DIY Leather and Metal Pyramid Necklace from Alicia Dirago!
Hammered Copper Circle Earrings

That’s all. Please post your questions and comments below! I’d love to hear what you think.


Editor, AllFreeBeadedJewelry



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