Here there be dragons

Animation showing a copper bracelet cooling from red-orange heat to dull red.

A Dragonback bracelet cooling down from its final heating. (Click image for a larger version.)

Working on a small set of Dragonback bracelets for a customer to get one that fits. Despite the large number of folds in the Dragonback design, it needs only two rounds of heating: one after hammering the ridge of spines or scutes, and the other after shaping it round, to restore its pliability to allow it to be adjusted by the person who buys it.

The series of photos above starts just after taking the torch away from the bracelet and shows it cooling from perhaps 750 or 800 °C (1400-1500 °F) to about 500 °C (930 °F), below which temperature the glow ceases to be visible.

Below is the bracelet once it’s completely cool, first covered with firescale, then showing the brown surface natural to copper which has been subjected to high heat and allowed to cool in the air. Sometimes we leave bracelets and other work that color. Otherwise we go on to patina them. This one will be done in antique blue, like the original on Etsy.

Copper bracelet covered with flaky black firescale.

The same bracelet as above, cooled down, covered with firescale, which flakes off

The same bracelet, cleaned off to reveal variegated brown colors which are the effects of heat on copper.

The bracelet once the firescale has been brushed off. This color can be preserved with lacquer or spray acrylic, or it can be patinaed over.

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