I love chain maille jewelry, but I wanted to have a simple, thin and light chain that I could wear all the time, day and night, without having to take it off when I go to sleep, for example. I remembered my soldering lessons from before, so this weekend I made this silver chain with some jump rings that I already had at hand. Not perfect, but I see my soldering is better than it was a few months ago when I gave it a previous try.
About a week ago I ordered from Beadsisters in the UK a kit for a bracelet weave called Clockwork. The rings were bronze and bright aluminum. The kit arrived and I made the bracelet within the day. It was very easy to do and fun as well. Here is what it looks like on my wrist:
Once I made it, I figured I would re-create it in sterling silver and bronze (personally I don't like aluminum except for learning a weave, plus I had a request from someone to make it using sterling silver). I cut my rings based on the specifications in the kit and got to work.
To my major surprise nothing matched, the bracelet was a bust. It turns out that since the weave creator didn't mention the type of wire gauge (AWG or SWG), I automatically assumed one of the two and of course, it was not that. Even worse, sterling silver has a different thickness compared to say bronze, so the same gauge (e.g. 18 gauge) is not the same in the two wire materials.
Sadly also mixing sterling with bronze won't work either, because the sizes simply don't match (AWG 18 gauge is not the same with SWG 16 gauge(. So here I am with a bunch of cut jumprings (some sterling silver too, which are not cheap, mind you) and can't make the bracelet again - not unless I use same color rings - which would really detract from the beauty of the wave, since it's really gorgeous in two colors, right?
Having all these jumprings in my stash, I did what some people in the chain maille group called 'lemonade from sour lemons'. I made a new bracelet, which apparently is called Back to Work (I did it from the image of an existing bracelet, not from a tutorial, before I found out what its name is).
So here is my today's lemonade...Back To Work bracelet in bronze. It's really light and fun to wear. I'll make it again, next time in sterling silver.
Since I jumped in again in the Year of Jewelry project, I've started making a new jewelry piece every week. Here are my entries for week 2 and 3.
Week 2: It's golden
This is a pendant I made loosely based on a free tutorial by Angelina Krell, it's quite tiny. I like how the copper shimmers against the blue background.
Week 3: Circular logic
Well, my latest piece certainly matches the theme of the week, it's all circular up and down and middle too. It's made from the latest wire wrapping book that I bought at Amazon (was published in 2013) by Kaska Fior called Weaving Freeform Wire Jewelry. Love it so far, it really has some cool modern designs that I just have to make!
And since I mentioned the wire wrapping book that I bought which I used to make this second piece , here is the cover. I can't wait to make the bracelet shown there, it's amazing!
Here is my first work in 2014 (actually started the last few days of 2013, but finished it just now), a copper and bronze necklace in Camelot chain maille weave, which is basically starting from the helm chain, going through Celtic Vision and with a few extra rings, turning into Camelot, a weave originally created by PrairieGal.
It's quite a heavy necklace, but it sits wonderfully on the neck. The larger rings are bronze, and the smaller ones copper. All rings handcut with a jewelry saw (that partially why it took so long to made this necklace).
This helm flower chain maille set (the weave is also called parallel flower chain maille) was my Christmas gift to myself. I made it on Christmas Eve to wear it during the Christmas lunch at hubby's sister's.
It is made of sterling silver and copper rings (all handcut from wire) and it's quite an elegant set, even though I couldn't capture it so well in the photos.
Easy to make, it took 2 ring sizes. Here are some of the photos of the set.
I miss chain maille, haven't done it in several months, so when my fingers started to itch for picking up the pliers and rings, I gave in. And here is the result, a Full Persian bracelet with bright aluminum rings ordered a long time ago from The Ring Lord. I might make another one in sterling silver, but with smaller rings, to be more feminine so to speak. I find the Full Persian weave quite chunky and more for guys than gals.
So here are a few photos of what I made 2 days ago.
This leaf pendant is made of copper and it's loosely based on a Nicole Hanna tutorial using wire wrapping technique. I bought recently a couple of her newer tutorials and my fingers were itching to make something. The pendant is quite small, with the bail is just about 4 cm (2.5") and it's fun and casual to wear with a chain or a black cord. It has a green seadbead as adornment.
I made this copper pendant with a beach glass bead over the weekend. Sorry about the rather crappy and dark shot, my new Canon has no batteries right now, and the old one I used ... I kind of forgot its optimal settings for jewelry.
The pendant is made loosely from a tutorial by Perfectly Twisted and actually it looks better in real than on the shot. Oh well, will probably retake the photo as soon as I get some rechargeable batteries to my regular Canon camera.
This pendant has nothing to do with solstice, however it's the first jewelry piece I made since my mojo left me, and since it's literally (hot) summer here, it has become my summer solstice piece.
It's just something I did on the spur of the moment using various waves, a green cats eye bead and some agate brown beads. Was fun to do, so hopefully I'll start creating regularly again. If it weren't just so dar hot here (around 40C every day this month so far).
I wrote a few days ago a free wire wrapping tutorial on making the pendant above, which looks at the overall process rather than the step by step view of creating the loop or balling up the wires. There are so many free tutorials on those easy aspects that I decided that my tutorial will be of a different kind.
Basically the whole idea started with a discussion with a customer who bought one of my pendants and asked me a few questions on how I did it, and what was my thought process and what makes these kinds of designs different from the fashion jewelry you find in cheap shops.
A seasoned wire wrapper will find this tutorial easy, but hopefully will find a few tips here and there. However I think this tutorial will also benefit anyone who likes to buy jewelry, or who is interested in making some but without knowing what it all entails, or any jewelry artist who is used to work from tutorials but has no idea how to start something completely from scratch - regardless of the actual design.
Here is the link, it's free on the site, there is nothing to sign up for or anything, simply click through and read it and see the many screenshots.
Please let me know if you find it interesting - either in this Comments section or in the Guestbook of the sitew here I put the tutorial - it's free for anyone to comment.
I've skipped the last week's YOJ project, which was about twins, so I made now this pendant to catch up. It's about twin hearts. It's in my series of 'going back to basics' where I'm practicing symmetrical scrolls and wraps. When learning to make jewelry I've kind of skipped this step and I know that I'm lacking in this department, so with these simpler pieces I'm focusing more on 'getting it right'.
Here are a few pictures that I took from this piece. It's so amazing how different it looks under various lighting conditions.
Inspiration for this piece was Jodi Bombardier's set of earrings from her latest book (also mentioned in my previous post).
This post will be about a simple pendant that I made to fit two different projects: the June Synchroblog, which this month is about something that inspired us on Pinterest, and also about the Week 24 of the YOJ project 2014.
I've kind of lost my mojo the last week or so, I didn't feel like making jewelry at all. I guess we all go through those uninspired times, and I'm right now in one of them.
But I knew I have to do something for the two projects, so I made this basic pendant with a dyed turquoise bead.
First starting with the Synchroblog project, a group of artists who blog every month about something specific. I've linked the project here, so you can read more about it, if interested.
As to this month's Pinterest inspiration, I saw this particular pin of a lovely copper pendant with a dyed turquoise, when I remembered I have somewhere one of these dyed beads as well.
As for the YOJ project week 24, the entries are about Commitment. So with this simple pendant I'm committing to go back to basics of making jewelry. I've been doing all sorts of rather complex things, but I can't for the life of me two two identical shapes. So having bought just now Jodi Bombardier's new book called Artisan Filigree and started working through the first project. There are tons of beautiful filigree shapes that can really get me up to speed with these types of scrolls and weaves, so I'l work through each of the projects in the book.
So here are a few photos of the piece I made with copper and dyed turquoise bead that I had at home.
Finally, let me end with the links to the other Synchroblog members so that if you're into blog hopping, you can check them out as well. I know I will.
Here is my entry for week 22 of the YOJ 2013 - and yes I skipped for now week 21 because it was about cuffs and I don't really do them. I might come back to it at a later time.
For now the topic was circles, squares and triangles, so I entered the new pendant based on Nicole Hanna's egg pendant tutorial because it has plenty of swirls and circles. I think this is my favorite of all Nicole's tutorials, it's versatile, not as difficult as I initially thought and you can really make some beautiful things with it.
The bead is sponge coral and I think it goes well with the copper wire. The whole piece is a bit short of 3 cm.
Here are a few pictures that I took this morning. I added to it a black cord for the last picture only, just to see how it looks like hanging.
Last week's theme for the Year Of Jewelry week 20 was 'Made in 10 minutes'. I work rather slowly when it comes to making jewelry so 10 minutes was dearly little to do anything more elaborate and complex than this simple sterling silver pair with little amethyst beads dangling from the bottom.
All jump rings have been soldered and pickled and the earrings have been in the tumbler for way more than 10 minutes, so in fact fully completing them took maybe more than an hour (I never like to tumble less than 30-40 minutes, not only to make the jewelry shiny, but also to work harden the wire).
The length of the earrings including the ear wires is around 5 cm (about 2 inches?)
I've been eyeing these kinds of free-form styles for a while now, and Nicole Hanna's tutorials were the first that really brought me insight into how to even start doing something free-form. After having practiced for a while, I went on my own instead, so here is my first pendant that I made without any tutorial at all. Here I simply wrapped around until I ran out of wire.
The whole pendant including the bail is about 4.5 cm. I'm really enjoying this style so I'll be making a few more, at least until something else catches my attention. Here are a few pics taken from different angles and different lighting.
Just joined a blogging event called The Artists Synchroblog where various medium artists can participate and post on their blogs or sites about the monthly topics offered. The first month's topic is 'Words have meaning', so I have to write something about this phrase, whether somehow related to jewelry making in one way or another, or not really, it really doesn't matter, as long as it relates to us, the actual bloggers.
The thing is, for me words definitely have meaning, and they touch me more than many other people with 'thick skin'. Words can heal, but they can equally hurt, especially if you are a more sensitive person, like I am. In some of the spiritual groups I am called an 'empath' because I can sense moods of people faster than they even realize how they feel. I go to a room that is currently empty, and I know if there was a verbal fight going on there just before. It is not always good to be an empath because it's extremely difficult to develop that so-called 'thick skin' if you're overly sensitive to others, even if what is going on around you has nothing to do with you at all.
It's the same with words, I am always looking for hidden meanings and even when something is said with the lightest of words used, my interpretation of the words might be completely different from the intention of delivery by the other person.
Many things get lost in communication, especially online, and I think the words have the meaning of the person who receives them, and not of the person who sends these words. You might have wanted to say something, but from some cues or others the other party might have taken something completely different from your words.
For example a person saying 'she is a marketing genius' about a well known jewelry designer might mean that 'way to go, great that she learned marketing and she can apply it to her art to sustain herself and no longer be a 'starving artist', but this could also be taken as 'yeah she's good at catching flies who buy everything she has to offer', as if it were a bad thing.
So yes, words have meaning and it's not always what was meant to be said - but what was instead understood by the recipient.
If you're interested to see what others have written on the topic of Words have meaning, check out these other participant blogs. I'm curious if I'm the only one who rambled away this time :)
I made this pair of silver earrings last night. I've been having conversations with friends who are rather fond of tiny earrings instead of the longer dangling ones, so I've decided to play around with a few ideas. This is really the tiniest I've ever made, with the length not much more than 1.5 cm. To really keep them very small I used earring post backs with a little silver nut to keep them from slipping from the ear.
The design is based on the popular moebius chainmaille weave, where I've doubled up all the rings for this little rosette design. The last picture is not very sharp, I just wanted to show how tiny they are in my hand.
Just woke up this morning and checked Nicole's Facebook page and yes, she already posted the entries and the voting has started - it's up until May 15. The voting is by simply leaving a comment with the name of the piece you like.
A few weeks ago Nicole Hanna started a challenge to spark our creativity by starting a tutorial that she never finished, letting us do our own think after the last step written in the tute. Today is the last day to enter, so in the morning I made my piece with copper wire and a bead (not sure what the bead actually is). She did have a day extension, for which I'm grateful since we had a long Easter holiday and I didn't have time to finish my in time without it.
I've already seen some entries that were posted in various Facebook group, and they are all different and beautiful. I know I won't win anything with my entry, it's not that great, but personally I'm happy I made the piece as it was a bit outside of my comfort zone. Every person who entered with a piece of which a photo was sent by email to Nicole will get the finished tutorial, for which I'm quite happy. I really want to see what the initial piece was. And it was really interesting to see how many different ways the wire can go after a few initial steps.
So here is my little piece. Hubby was quite surprised as to how light it is, he thought it would be quite heavy based on looks.