I wanted to do something a little bit different to chain mail and these pieces were the result – I haven’t worked with bronze or bronze tone metal a great deal, and I’m not sure blue is the most perfect match for it, but I’m still fairly pleased with the overall result, especially considering as once again I managed to work in components I bought over a year ago and had long decided I’d never use!
I’m finding that I’m taking a lot more time to piece things together lately, which has its pros and cons, but ultimately means I end up with designs that look more complete, at least to my own eye.
Obviously the focal point of these pieces are those striking blue eye cabochons, and blue glass crystal beads.
The earrings were a bit of experiment in quirkiness, if but subtly, and I deliberated for a while about the overall effectiveness of having two teardrops on one and one teardop on the other, as I have a thing for symmetry when it comes to earrings (it’s funny how these little decisions become a huge deal, after a while, too), but after trying the even combinations I really quite like the effect.
Meanwhile, I have a few larger-scale projects I’m working on, which I hope to share soon, including a fairly extensive Japanese 12-2 piece – WIP photos soon.
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.
I was experimenting with colour combinations when I made this, although blue and gold isn’t really something out of the ordinary, but I’m not actually the biggest fan of gold as a colour, so wanted to test how far I could push it for my own liking.
The weave is a very simple Hana-Gusari (Japanese 2-6, or at least it would be if I had woven a wider strip, in this case it’s a 1-2), using 18 gauge, 3/16’s (4.75mm ID, AR is around 4) in glossy royal blue anodized aluminium rings and 4mm plated copper wire rings (they’re about 20 gauge, so an ID of around 2.4mm, or AR 3).
I tried to use a few different beads to adorn the chain, but none of them worked nearly as well as these translucent yellow topaz coloured crystal beads (4mm bicones).
All up I thought the result was a little flashy and bold, but still quite elegant, so a successful experiment I’d say.
This bracelet was made using the butterfly chain mail weave, from anodized aluminium rings for the blue and white, and bright aluminium for the silver connecting rings.
The weave can be joined by two rings between each butterfly unit, but I elected to use five for a looser, more flexible chain. This one is finished with a magnetic clasp, which is good for short closures between the chain ends.