Bangles Class

Marianne Behrens Bangles

I just taught a Bangles Class yesterday and I thought you might be
interested in seeing what a couple of the students made. In the above photo, you can see Marianne Behrens’ bangles some of which she made following last weekend’s class. Just beautiful! You can click on the image to see a larger version.

Bangle Made By Tanya Boutros

Above is the bangle, Tanya Boutros, made. She patterned the sterling silver bangle above using the rolling mill. The balls are Argentium and yellow brass soldered together and then soldered to the bangle. Nice work Tanya! As in every class I teach for the first time, it was a learning experience for me too. A couple of things I learned:

  • 1) Yellow brass balls nicely but a fairly powerful micro torch is not hot enough to melt the wire. MAPP should work but I haven’t tried it – Tanya is going to experiment with this at home. Acetylene does work well.
  • 2) If you want to solder balls, tube sets or dapped disks onto a patterned bangle, make sure you smooth out an area where you will be soldering; a black or white cylindrical silicone polisher will do the job nicely.

~Connie

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11 Comments

  1. Ruth, would love to have you in a bangles class, or any class as a matter of fact. Tanya listed above that she used 5×2 mm rectangular wire. You can use round wire in a heavy gauge – even copper electrical ground wire you get at Home Depot. Sheet works – you just need to cut it. Try using a split mandrel with sand paper on the inside of your bangles. Have fun! Connie

  2. Tanya,
    Thank you very much for the information. I am totally frustrated with Google searches for the torch you purchased from Home Depot, so I am headed over to the store with my camera to see what I can find.

    I don’t plan to use the torch for soldering. I am teaching a torch enameling class and want to show all options for torches that a student might purchase for their own studios. What you describe would be ideal for the job. Mapp/pro gas, torch with handle, hose, and a gauge (although a gauge isn’t needed for the smaller tanks, it is nice to have). I have used a Turbo Torch with propane successfully, but the “new” mapp/pro gas is better.
    Carol

  3. Tanya

     /  March 21, 2011

    Hi Carol,
    In response to your question, I am using a 14.1 oz tank of map/pro gas (yellow cylindrical tank though newer tanks I’ve seen recently are shorter and fatter). I do not hold the gas tank in my hand, I have it attached in an upright position to my soldering table at a level below my soldering surface. I use the Benzomatic model JTH-7 torch (tip is connected to a handle), which comes on a 44 inch hose and has a regulator on the other end of the hose which attaches to the gas tank. The whole torch/hose/regulator comes as one piece for about $30 from Home Depot. The mapp tank was about $7-8 (I purchased my tanks and torch a little while back, not sure if prices are the same now). I only use the mapp setup when my jumbo butane torch won’t do (and it does a lot!). Hope this helps.
    Tanya

  4. Ruth Redfern

     /  March 21, 2011

    Connie, I see I’m going to have to take your class. I’ve been making bangle braclets, but have never had them look as smooth on the interior as those you’ve shown above. I’ll start checking for classes NOW! Lovely work Tanya and Marianne! By the way what are you using for the base of the bracelet, wire or sheet?

  5. Hi Tanya,
    Are you using the disposable sized tank? Are you holding the tank in your hand when soldering or do you have a hose connecting the tank to the torch tip… and does the tip come on a handle of some sort? And lastly, some details re: the tip… is it a HotHead torch or something else? Thank you for any info you share.
    Carol

  6. Tanya, this is very good news. I am happy to see that the Mapp gas works on soldering bangles, especially with the 5×2 mm which is so ideal. What type of hose attachment do you have? Is it the one with the 1/2 inch (approx) torch tip?

  7. Thank you Connie for your kind words…I agree with everything you said. I will keep plugging away as best I can!!! I’m just not much of a quitter! :0)
    Have a wonderful day…
    Cheers

  8. Tanya, thank you so much for posting your information. I know it will be helpful to other people. If you discover any other tricks and tips please let us know. You have the perfect marriage of your scientific bacground and your aesthetic sensibility.

  9. Thank you, Connie, for a fabulous class! I enjoyed making the bangles so much I immediately set out to make another at home. For those of us reluctant to have acetylene in our homes, the mapp gas worked. I was able to ball up the brass balls on a charcoal brick (be patient, it takes a looong time and my brick didn’t look so good afterwards) and I was also able to solder a 5 x 2 mm sterling silver bangle and add decorative elements. Thanks again!

  10. Heather, don’t feel bad – it has taken me a LONG time to feel comfortable soldering. I think it is the most difficult skill I have attempted in jewelry making. There was one time when I was struggling with soldering prongs that I almost gave up. I thought “this is a sign that I am meant to focus on cold connections”. After a week of entertaining this notion, I finally just faced that I had to keep at it. It seems often when I am at my wits end, the breakthrough is around the corner. Practice and good guidance help a lot. Deb Jemmott, my metalsmith instructor, has helped me beyond words can say. Perhaps you could find an instructor in your area? Hang in there!!! Connie

  11. Love the bangle…I’ve been soldering for over a year now and the progress is very slow…I would so love to be able to take your classes, but I live in Ontario, Canada!!!!!!
    Cheers

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