Tag Archives: copper

A Quilt and a Copper Cuff – Story of Handmade

Here’s an excerpt from my December 2013 newsletter, with a bunch of progress photos from making copper cuffs. A story of warmth for a chill December day!
Last night I went in search of my other blanket – the quilt made by my grandmother. My hands smoothed the pinks and purples and greens, snippets from garments she had made. I felt the love as I drifted off to sleep, finding the comfort in something handmade that I will own forever.

This morning, as I slipped on the copper cuff I wear daily, I thought again about the handmade. It’s a simple thing, this cuff. Seeing it on my wrist every day brings comfort. It is pretty, it feels good, I made it, it will last forever. I can have as many as I care to make, but I only wear this one almost every day.
Two blankets. One cuff. Sometimes it’s not about more. It’s just about having something beautifully meaningful. This Christmas season, I encourage handmade, meaningful things in small quantities topped with warmth, and human connection.
Happy Holidays to you and yours.
Here’s how these cuffs are made, skipping a bunch of steps!
Cut a bunch of copper, then file the edges and sand it all over.
Anneal the copper, then hammer it in overlapping hammer blows.



Tip the edges of the metal over a steel block held in a vice

Anneal the copper, and bend it around a bracelet mandrel
Handmade Tipped Edge Copper Cuff Bracelet by Nancy Lee

Lark Crafts Publishes "30-Minute Bracelets" with Nancy Lee’s Shell Cuff Project

A project of mine was accepted for publication in the newly minted “30-Minute Bracelets” book by Lark Crafts. I’m excited it is now out and available! This was my first experience as an artist working with a publisher, and it was a good one. Thank you, Marthe Le Van!

Interestingly enough, I worked at a mid-sized publishing house, JIST Publshing,  many years ago. While there, I had the opportunity to work with our editors on many occasions, establishing many delightfully warm relationships that have lasted to this day. Funny how the world works!

Shell Cuff, Nancy Lee, 2011

If you are an aspiring metalsmith, I hope you try out the book and the bracelet. If you take a picture of your completed cuff, I’ll put it on my website!