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How Chasing the Moon Lifted Up My Spirits

How Air Chasing the Moon Lifted up My Spirits. Have you ever looked back and thought that you’ve grown so much as a person and/or as a designer? Have you made a notable growth that you’re proud of?

Have you ever looked back and thought that you’ve grown so much as a person and/or as a designer?

That’s exactly what I thought when I viewed my Copper Pipe Cuff Bracelet video again. Although this video is only 3.5 years old, I’ve been practicing air chasing for about 6 years now. It feels like I’ve learned a lot since then.

One of my first air chasing designs. It was quite popular back in the day.

How did it all start?

My idea of using a copper pipe came to me as a way to reduce “waste” and to get a seamless bracelet that’s comfortable to wear. The classic air chasing method is made by loosely looping a piece of sheet suspended on a vise to create the negative space.

One day, I was out of copper sheets. Husband and I were at the hardware store to get some tools when I saw a bunch of copper tubing for sale and the lightbulb in my head turned on. I bought a few of different diameters of copper tubings and started my experiment based on what I learned about air chasing.

It’s not an easy task.

One wrong strike at the beginning could ruin the whole piece. The making of this copper pipe cuff design requires long hours of hammering to bring out the amazing tight folds on this wrist armor. It’s rich in textures as a result and each one is unique therefore produces a truly one of a kind cuff bracelet design.

The Moon Crater collection was born.

I loved the process and even sold a couple of them very quickly. When I shared the design to my peers a lot of people wanted to know how it was done. About a year or so later I made my first video tutorial, How to Make A Copper Pipe Cuff Bracelet. That video went mildly viral on youtube and people shared their practice pieces with me in the jewelry groups, on my Facebook page, and Instagram. Such fun!

I’m a firm believer in abundance that’s why I love seeing and helping others to succeed.

This video that has gone viral in the jewelry community.

• Cuff Bracelets •

It was all started with a simple idea, air chasing on a copper pipe. The first one was done on a piece of 3/4″ wide copper pipe and about 6 inches long. I called it the Moon Crater cuff bracelet as the dips and divots on it resembled the surface of the moon.

Introducing: the Moon Crater Spine cuff. It has this tough, rugged look. I immediately had a custom request for a wider cuff from one of my greatest supporters in Florida, Donna. I’m glad that she talked me into making the wider cuff bracelet as it turned out to be awesome!

Left: My first air chased copper pipe design. I called it the Moon Crater cuff bracelet  as the dips and divots on it resembled the surface of the moon. RightThe big Moon Crater Spine cuff bracelet was for Donna, one of Popnicute’s greatest supporters from Florida.

Next, I pushed a little further and started to experiment more with controlled shapes and patterns. I created a few geometry patterns as opposed to random craters and I’ve sold most of these bracelets already in various art fairs. These were one-offs.

There was a lady that came to our booth in Springfield, IL and fell for one of these skinny cuffs. She left to explore the art fair without purchasing but eventually came back and bought it because as she told us, “I couldn’t stop thinking about it!“.

• Rings •

My next experiment was to make rings with a 1/2″ copper pipe and I did it! I know it’s weird but I don’t think I ever offered it for sale online. Maybe I should. What do you think? 

Instead, I started hammering some sterling silver tubing. Boy, hammering sterling silver was definitely much much harder than its copper counterpart! And the craters it creates can’t be as tight. I added a few rugged copper balls to complete the look. The first batch of those rings sold out but no worries, I have these Rustic Silver Moon rings available as a custom order.

Left: The copper Moon Crater ring that I never posted it for sale online. Would you like to see it in my shop? Right: Moon Crater rings in sterling silver available as a Made to Order in my shop.

• More Cuff Bracelets •

Since they are made of a solid 6-7 inches copper pipe, each of these Moon Crater cuff bracelets could have a substantial heft to it. I had one of the large sized Moon Crater cuff that was sitting unsold. I annealed and straightened it out again then I took a cut off disk to cut the back open. I spread out the back side, shaped it, hammered the outside fold and I loved the result! The most amazing thing is that by doing so it felt like I shaved a few ounces off the weight due to the larger area of distribution when all I did was cutting it open. If anything, it lost only a few grams from the shaping. Very minute.

A cool idea came to me as I was preparing for a Folklife Festival. One of the medium Moon Crater cuffs that I made was a little plain and looked a little sad because it hadn’t found a home yet. As steampunk is a style that I love and enjoy creating, I embellished the plain cuff with gears and brass beads. I sold it in the next event I did to a gallery owner.

LeftThe look of this wide cuff bracelet is very distinct too. The craters are suspended in the middle. RightA steampunk Moon Crater cuff, the Steam Powered Moon bracelet. The gears and beads really made the look.

What is life without challenges though?

• Tiny Earrings •

The latest challenge came from a new customer of mine named Chuck. He came to me with a request of transforming the Moon Crater cuff into a loop earring. 3mm wide, 12mm diameter, he said. Scaling (way, way) down is not as easy as scaling up in this case. I said no at first and offered him a hammered wire earring. He agreed to it and paid immediately.

As I was preparing to make his order, I saw that I actually had a stack of tiny tubings sitting on top of my roll top desk. I thought… heck, what did I have to lose? I picked out one of the bigger one, 4mm OD, and started to hammer the heck of it. Oh hey, I did it! That wasn’t so hard, I thought to myself. It was possible all along. I didn’t have to say no! The 3mm one was a success and Chuck was over the moon! So to speak 😉

A month later he came back for a second one, for a backup, he said. Life is good 😀 

This is exactly why I love taking custom orders! Not only that it feeds my brain but it also feeds my creative soul. There’s nothing better than a happy client that came back for a second or third order. Be mine forever?

This Moon Crater ear post is very tiny but packed with details..

A Healing Note

So…

• What have you learned in the last 4 years?

• What have you mastered?

• Have you made a notable growth that you’re proud of?

Thinking about personal growth and jolting it down on a piece paper is healing. If maybe you’ve been feeling down and uncreative, start writing down a list of your successes to heal your creative soul.

Trust me, it works 🙂

I’d love to hear from you. Write it down it in the comment section. Who knows, after you’re done with your comment you might want to write a blog post about it too to start your healing process. Or share your blog post to my readers about this topic if you already had one.

Kharisma.

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Kharisma Sommers

Kharisma Sommers

When I'm not working on improving my metalsmithing skills, I like to take macro photos of flowers (but only when the weather is warm because I'm picky like that). I spend my days watching funny animal videos on Facebook and/or glued on Netflix. It's hard to imagine that I won awards for my jewelry if you judge me by my silly pajamas.

I wanna know... What are you thinking? Tell me what's on you mind...

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