I just realised how long it’s been since I have posted here, so thought I would share a few things that I’ve been up to…
It’s summer here in Australia, so with that in mind, I used citrus colours when I designed this fun little scale flower headband, which can double as a choker.
The tutorial for this piece also appeared in the summer edition of Digital Beading Magazine.
While stainless steel is my most commonly preferred medium, I do love a bit of colour and “pretty”, so picked up some anodized niobium in a water mix of colours – my original design didn’t quite work out, so I wound up learning a new weave to use the rings and this bracelet was the result:
I particularly like the purples and blues in anodized niobium, plus the almost irridescent sheen it has, which doesn’t quite show up with the standard point n’ shoot camera I have – this is called Orc Weave, but reminds me of little butterflies.
I also tried a little experiment with square shaped rings, plus exercised my (very limited) wire-wrapping skills to attach the pendant on this necklace – Chain Mail Squared.
The weave itself is just a standard European 4-1, mixing round, open stainless steel rings with the square rings (gunmetal black plated brass), and even though the wire-wrapping is quite simple, it took me a few attempts before I was happy enough with how it looked and held. The back of the necklace is multiple strands of organza and cord in a matching purple.
The store has been quite busy (for me), especially in the last couple of months of 2013, so time to create new things has been a little scarce, but I’ve recently finished up a course I was doing and hopefully I can keep these things updated a little more often.
I recently picked up some of these rings and didn’t waste much time trying out a couple of my favourite weaves. The top image is Dragonscale (which I love, despite being one of the most time-consuming weaves I know).
The rings themselves are anodized aluminium, with the same look as bright aluminium in any other light, but reacting with a pearl-ish glow when under black light – image of the same bracelet in natural light below.
The pigment is the same as any other AA ring, in that it will scratch off if you’re too rough with your pliers, you just won’t be able to see the damage unless you shine the UV light on it.
After the Dragonscale, I went for something a bit less time-intensive – the staple Byzantine, with purple rubber o-rings.
I wasn’t able to get the greatest shots of the pieces when under the UV light, but you can still get a good idea of what they look like in real life. I have a couple of slightly more interesting designs in mind to try with these rings, hopefully they’ll work and I can post pics of them soon.
It’s been quite a long time since I last worked with sterling silver, in fact almost a year to the day, so I decided to test out a new Half Persian variant (if you can really call it that) and add some niobium into the mix, which I haven’t used before.
This is just HP 3-in-1 in two different ring sizes, but same wire gauge (19G – 1mm thick). The sterling silver rings are 5.75mm ID, and the niobium are 4mm ID.
I tend to forget how pretty sterling silver is, and the niobium was much nicer than I was expecting (they are rainbow coloured, which I chose owing to being the only one that came in 4mm ID, and because I originally planned to incorporate a volcano Swarovski crystal cosmic ring, which seemed to match well….that didn’t quite work with the rings sizes I had, but will try again next time!)
Niobium was quite different to work with than I was expecting (I don’t know why, but I thought it was going to be soft and heavy, like copper, but it seemed to me more like a cross between the silver and aluminium, in that it has the springiness of silver, but the same slight brittleness as anodized aluminium).
Anyway, I was quite pleased with the result and I’m hoping I can work with both metals a little more.
These are something I’ve been intending to experiment with for quite a while using the Japanese weaves, as there’s quite a few different ways you can use it to form shapes and patterns.
I started with some very simple 12-2 flowers formed into webs, and while I think they look alright, it didn’t take long for me to start thinking of all these different ways to improve the overall look (that will have to come later, for now I’m just playing with the materials I bought, which was only in a couple of different colours).
As you can see, this is exactly the same design but with red rings in place of the lavender purple, but – naturally – one colour change can alter the entire tone of a piece, with the red and black combo having a more Gothic feel to it (perhaps just in my opinion!)
The first one I made was actually in pink and champagne (a bronzish gold tone), a colour combo based purely on the fact that I could then call the piece ‘Pink Champagne…’ Pink and gold does tend to go together well enough, but I think the pink might be a little too hot for the champagne.
I also wanted this one to be constructed entirely from rings, and rather than have a simple chain to loop around the finger, I went for a finger ring using an extra flower unit as the base. I’ve made a 12-2 ring before, but I used a small European 4-in-1 to construct the band, as it’s much thinner. However, I wore this for a little while and was happy to note the thickness of the ring band (which is as much as 5mm), doesn’t get annoying or feel obtrusive. (I do, however, prefer the simple chain. I’m not a big pink fan though, so perhaps it’s just a matter of there being too much pink in that one).
Because it looks a bit like crochet lace to me, I now have a dozen ideas for clothing pieces using the same weave (more things that will have to wait, until my budget is able to match my wish list, anyway).
I decided to use the leftover champagne rings to knock up a quick bracelet, which is a fairly common version of the weave I think, but I did end up quite liking it teamed with black.
Despite not being the biggest fan of aluminium for jewellery, I can’t help but be attracted to all the pretty colours and infinite combo possibilities.
Stats for these pieces:
- Large rings are 16G 5/32″ or 1.2mm x 3.97mm ID
- Small rings are 20G 1/8″ or 0.8mm x 3.18mm ID
I just wanted to let everyone know that a project tutorial I put together for these pieces was recently published in Digital Beading magazine. It’s quite a simple weave to do, so suitable for beginners.
The magazine can be purchased for just AU$4.95, which is a very small price to pay for 158 pages – for the maillers, it also includes a tutorial for a gorgeous beaded European 4-in-1 bracelet by Deb from Aussie Maille. Click here to check out the mag!
Kits for these pieces are also available to purchase from Aussie Maille, with a variety of colours to choose from. Click here for the bracelet, and here for the earrings. To check out the beaded bracelet kit, click here.
While you’re at it, check out Aussie Maille’s new blog, sure to be a great place to keep up with all things maille-related.
My thanks to Kelly Nealon, Digital Beading’s editor, for putting it all together, and to Deb from Aussie Maille for supplying the materials for the project and making the kits.
I’ve been working on a few new designs the last month or so, which I plan to post soon, but for the first post of 2013 I thought I’d go with something bright and colourful.
This piece is really centred around the clasp, which is one of those things I had to buy and then took me ages before I came up with an idea to use it. (I have a tendency to spend a lot of time just looking for interesting multi-strand clasps, then not quite knowing what to do with them to really set them off).
As it turned out, the bracelet is probably amongst the simplest pieces I’ve ever made, since the silver rings are closed and the weave is rather quick when two-thirds of the work is already done, not to mention they’re on the larger size, so less rings per cm (or inch).
The weave is European 6-1, and as you can see in the image below, the overall AR is quite high (the silver rings have an OD of 8mm and are about 1mm thick, and the anodized aluminium rings through the centre are 1.2mm thick with an ID of 6.35).
The overall effect of using a larger AR with this weave is that the rings take on a kind of zig-zag pattern when stretched out a little, as it is when worn – something which I think is quite effective with the multiple colours and I’m hoping to use that to my advantage with a peacock inspired colour scheme in the near future.
Spiked jewellery is something that has remained fairly consistently popular, and certainly seems to go well with several chain mail weaves, so I had a bit of fun with them recently and thought I’d post a few of the results.
The main image is a necklace that can be worn high for a choker, or lower for a standard necklace. I based this on the Double Vision¹ (aka Barrels) weave, but chose larger rings connecting each of the units so that I could fit the spikes on them (I originally put a spike on each large blue ring but it made the chain just a little to stiff as the spikes take up just a little too much room and push the silver rings slightly outwards). At the centre is a Not Tao 3 unit being used as a bail, and just a very simple alloy metal pendant to set it off.
This bracelet uses the same basic weave and design as the necklace, except that there’s only two rings at the centre of each unit, and the larger connecting rings are slightly bigger, allowing me to attach a spike to each one.
After that, I had a go at some earrings, and made several pairs based on the following basic design.
Each additional pair I made, I used a different bead to adorn them, in between the chain and the spike. They’re all rather simple in terms of design and construction, but I thought the results were quite effective.
1. The Double Vision weave uses two rings at the centre, as shown in the bracelet, and I’m certain there’s a proper name for a weave that uses three rings (as there is for one ring – RSD), I just don’t know what it is and couldn’t seem to find it.