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Copper Mesh Frame

Christine Cox teaches metalsmithing and bookbinding classes in our Studio in Volcano, CA.


Christine Cox 9/03

Difficulty Rating

I've seen lots of people making these mesh frames lately and they are such a great idea! I like my frames to be very tidy and uniform so here's how I make mine.

  • Start with your piece of copper mesh and lay your 1/4" measuring rule along one of the edges (the left edge if you are right handed).

  • Gently slip the tip of your bone folder under the larger side of the copper mesh and fold it up and over the brass rule to make a firm crease.

  • Repeat this step first on the opposite side of the copper and then on the two remaining sides. Folding the edges in this order will help give you neat and matching corners.

  • Now measure and cut the transparency to fit inside the folds with a little extra room on each side (maybe about 1/16" extra on each side -- just enough to turn the mesh without bending the transparency).


This mesh frame was torched to match the box lid onto which it was eyeleted (is eyeleted a verb?).

She's so sweet! This little angel is printed on a transparency and the mesh catches the light through the transparent parts of the image. It makes the girl's face and dress look luminous; just perfect for a Christmas card or a metal book cover. You could torch or patinate the mesh before inserting the transparency. That could lead to a very funky look.

Tools:

Materials:

 

The color transparencies are available from ArtChixStudios. I absolutely love their color copies and transparencies. They have a million uses and I don't have to do the legwork.
  • Lay the transparency centered onto the mesh and then use a brass rule and bone folder to fold over the edges as you did in the previous steps.

  • Use the Japanese screw punch loaded with the 3mm tip to punch a hole through all the layers of mesh and transparency at each corner. Note, this will dull your punch tips more quickly, so we sell them individually now.

  • Feed a copper eyelet through any hole, from the front to the back, and turn the whole thing upside down onto the bench block.

  • Put the nubby of the eyelet tool into the tube of the eyelet.

  • Hit the end of the eyelet tool with the hammer until the eyelet has flared out and is lying flat against the mesh. The slower you do this (the lighter your blows) the less chance you'll have of splitting the eyelet.

  • Once the eyelet is set and stable, turn it over onto your bench block.

  • Hit the back of the eyelet directly with the rawhide mallet. Note, if your bench block is rough it will damage the front of the eyelet. You may consider that a design element. You can protect your work by putting a piece of Masonite or cardstock on top of the block.

  • Repeat with the remaining eyelets.

  • It's fun to put something like copper mesh underneath each eyelet (on top of a bench block) as you flare it out. The mesh (or other material) will leave it's texture on the top of the eyelet.

Since 9/26/03
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