Magazine article Sunset

Tree Treasures from Taos

Magazine article Sunset

Tree Treasures from Taos

Article excerpt

Make these elegant metal ornaments in minutes

HAND-CUT METAL ornaments are part of the rich crafts tradition of the Southwest. Rose Tollardo-Valdez, a nationally known artist from Taos, New Mexico, creates designs that look like shiny snowflakes, spiraling stars, frilly flowers, and high-waisted angels. She shared a few of her simplest patterns with us; you'll find that they are surprisingly easy to make.

Each starts with a thin piece of metal. Tollardo-Valdez often uses coffee can lids, but we've substituted a material easier for novices to use: lightweight aluminum flashing. It's sold by the foot at most hardware stores in rolls of various widths. We bought a 10-foot length of 8-inch-wide aluminum--enough to make at least 20 ornaments--for about $7.

The most important tool for this project is a good pair of snips. They should be sharp enough to be able to cut the aluminum cleanly, leaving no jagged or curled edges, and must be small enough to cut some of the fine details.

DRAW, PUNCH, AND CUT

Cut a square of aluminum flashing slightly larger than the diameter of the ornament you wish to make (we made ours about 5 inches in diameter). …

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