Monday, March 2, 2009

New Toy (Make-Up entry 1)

Saturday night I started making jewelry.

Now, granted, that only involved choosing a charm I like, buying two of them plus earring pieces and jump rings, then using a pair of pliers to open a jump ring (4mm ring of steel wire) and attaching the charm to the "earring." But, I am still proud of them.

Turns out if was harder than I thought. I got ready for church Sunday morning and found out one of the charms was backwards. Easy to fix in less than a minute. Lesson learned, pay more attention.

See here my great Saturday evening work.

I got a couple of how-to-books to get help and ideas. One of them focuses on creating your own findings (that is clasps, jump rings, earring wires, etc) out of wire with pliers.

One of them focuses on beads.

The third focuses on using jump rings to make jewelry based on ancient chain maile making techniques.

The chain maile bracelets and necklaces are amazing!

See here some of what I played around with yesterday afternoon.

I started with this.

Turned some of it into these.

Then linked them together to make this.

This is my first attempt at the 4-in-1 chain maile pattern that the book had. I used the steel wire as practice, both to learn how to make my own jump rings, explore metal types, and learn how different gauges and softnesses of wire behave. Plus, it is much cheaper than jewelry wire, so the learning curve doesn't hurt as much.

After I did a few inches of steel chain and got the hang of the maile pattern (It isn't as easy as it looked at first.) I got out the (pre-made) 9mm jewelry jump rings I bought.

The final (real, not practice) bracelet turned out quite nice; I think.

After I finished the 4-in-1 bracelet I went to the back of the book where there are instructions for a Byzantine link chain. I always loved the look of Byzantine link chains. I started with 6mm links, but they didn't hold the pattern well, at least not in the gauge I have. I moved to 4mm and that worked much better. Unfortunately, the pattern is every bit as complicated and complex (That's right, complicated AND complex!) that I always thought it was. This inch of Byzantine chain took about as long as the entire 4-in-1 bracelet (not counting steel link practice.)

See here the (roughly) one inch length of Byzantine chain I have so far done with the end of my pliers to give some vague idea of scale.

See here a close up of the inch of Byzantine Link Chain.

Enough about all this. Talk to you later.

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