He did a plumbing and electrical home project recently and gave me the old pipe and the left over wire, so technically it is his fault I have a new addiction added to my current jewelry making obsession.
I had to clean the pipes quite a bit, with believe it or not sea salt and lemon juice. Worked terrific and the copper shines like crazy. Then I removed all the wire from the electrical plastic coating, well worth the effort. I got some 12 and 14 gauge wire in all different lengths.
After all the prep I began experimenting with all of it. After hand sawing the pipe into workable pieces, I hammered some completely flat and shaped it into a cuff bracelet and added some of the 12 gauge wire to it as an accent. I also wire wrapped a few pieces that I left round but shaped a bit into a pendant and necklace center piece. Then for the last couple of days I have been shaping and hammering the 12 and 14 gauge wire into earrings, rings and bracelets. It is so much fun and looks amazing!
I love the look of the shiny warm copper so I have been coating it with a product called Ever brite. It looks terrific and is easy to use. It keeps the color and I do it on the finished pieces to protect it. Of course if you like how copper gets a patina you can leave it alone.
I am totally hooked and will continue to hammer and shape it into all kinds of new things. I am very much enjoying my new found recycle adventure. You never know what will inspire you, so keep your eyes and mind open and look at that pile of junk in a different way.
May you find a new recycling obsession of your own.