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Metalsmithing Fold Forming with Casey Sheppard

In this instructional video, Casey Sheppart demonstrates a basic line fold forming technique for metalsmithing. Explore tools and materials in this guide.

In this Halstead video, Casey Sheppard demonstrates fold forming metalmsithing techniques and tools in the jewelry studio.

In this video, learn how to make a basic line fold with Casey Sheppard from www.CaseoftheNomads.com. Inspired by Charles Lewton Brain, Casey shows Halstead how to make a fold formed copper cuff bracelet.

Step 1 - Anneal

Annealing is a must when it comes to fold forming. The metal is continually worked hardened by the hammering that goes into making the piece that if not constantly annealed the metal would become to difficult to work with.

Copper is a great starting point for those who are getting into fold forming - the metal is cheap and fairly easy to work with.

Step 2 - Fold Piece in Half

Use your hands to fold the copper in half. Since the copper has been annealed it should bend easily - if not anneal again.

Step 3 - Hammer the Fold

Use a hammer to flatten the fold. The hammer you use depends on what end result you want - a rawhide will create a smooth fold while a chasing hammer will add in texture. Hammer until the fold is completely flat and make sure to flip the piece to hammer both sides.

Step 4 - Anneal Again!

A great tip from the creator of fold forming - Charles Lewton Brain - is to mark the piece with sharpie before taking the torch to it. When the sharpie disappears is when the metal is annealed.

Step 5 - Open the Fold

Again you can do this easily with just your hands now that the piece has been annealed. Open the fold all the way and wipe off any extra water from the annealing process that was left in the fold.

Step 6 - Hammer the Fold

Hammer the top of the fold until a ridge is made. The piece should be flat as it was when it started but with the fold formed ridge in the middle.

Step 7 - Going Further

Now there are a few directions to take:

    • If you are happy with the result you can file off any sharp edges then form around a bracelet mandrel.
    • Using the same technique you can add in more folds before turning into a bracelet.
    • Texture can be added both to and between the folds to add more visual interest.

Check out Casey and her journey on her blog:

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You may also enjoy these Halstead articles:

Tips for Making Bangle Bracelets with Casey Sheppard

Halstead Jewelry Minute with Case of the Nomads

Intro to Jewelry Stakes: Fold Forming Leaf Earrings

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