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.
Not anything overly special or exciting, but European 6-in-1 is one of my favourite weaves and I rarely make it width-ways (as pictured), so thought I’d post up an example of it made that way.
I’ve found that the basic European weaves (understandably) look and behave quite differently depending on which direction it’s expanded, probably best illustated in the photo below.
Both pieces are E-6-1 and were made from 1mm thick, 7mm OD stainless steel rings, with the top strip woven width-ways and the lower strip woven length-ways. You might also be able to see that due to what I’ll just call the ‘pull’ (i.e. when worn as a bracelet etc, and stretched out), the rings in the top strip sit up a little and make the mail a bit thicker, while the other version tends to sit flat no matter what. Both are still very flexible and form-fitting, so for most jewellery projects it’s probably just a matter of personal preference (I do find length-ways much easier and faster to weave due to the techniques I use, though).
This was just made into a very simple cuff bracelet, which are generally quite popular.
This is a project I’ve been meaning to attempt for a while. I definitely didn’t want to follow or copy someone else’s design (at least not intentionally), so this was something I just let develop as I wove.
There’s nothing particularly flash or elborate about it, although at one stage the European 4-in-1 patch was beaded – which looked great except for when the piece was actually being worn.
I used three different weaves for this – Half Persian 3-in-1 for the wrist section, European 4-in-1 for the triangular patch and ring, plus a simple 2-1 chain with rings in graduating sizes to connect the ring to the bracelet.
All of the rings are stainless steel, with 4 different sizes used – 7mm OD for the Half Persian 3-in-1 and the European 4-in-1 segment attached to it. 7mm, 6mm and 5mm rings for the 2-1 chain, with 4mm connecting rings, and 5mm rings were used to make the ring (which are about 20 gauge or .8mm, so the finished ring is quite fine and comfortable to wear).
With this particular design, there’s not too much room for including adjustability so it would generally have to be custom-made.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but when I was editing the above photo I couldn’t help but think without the ring attached it would be really easy to make this design into a g-string. Not sure if there’s a market for chain mail g-strings…at least probably not in winter (stainless steel can be a bit cold – you can see it’s winter in Australia by the goosebumps on my hand in the main pic!)
Cherries and cherry blossoms have been one of my favourite motifs or themes in jewellery for quite a while, so I decided to experiment with beads and pendants this week (although, technically I think the pendant is a plum blossom branch).
The necklace above is a choker which I decided to keep simple and primarily about pink. The chain is just a 1-2 pattern made from bright aluminium plus pink anodized aluminium mobius rosettes, with green anodized aluminium links where the pendant and bead clusters are attached.
The pendant is a relatively inexpensive component that I painted with a pink enamel (from mixing red and white gloss enamels). The bead clusters have a 6mm rhodonite bead and 4mm green glass bicones in various colours.
After that was done, I decided to take the concept a little further and try for something a little more elaborate and exotic, which resulted in this necklace.
This one is made from segments of European 4-in-1 weave (5mm stainless steel rings, plus 6mm rings), connected to pink, green and silver mobius rosettes (aluminium rings). I went for a true cherry colour with the bead clusters and used the same green mix for the glass bicones. I decided to include the emerald green butterfly beads to give it a bit of a garden aesthetic, if that makes sense.
The first one I think has more of a spring flavour to it, while the second a little more suited to winter.
It’s been a while since my last post as unfortunately I recently broke my camera and had to wait a while to get a new one (then learn how to use it properly!)
This bracelet was a custom order for a client, based on a design I had made previously in gold-tone copper wire plus small glass bicone beads.
The beads for the sterling silver version were supplied by the customer and unfortunately I never asked what they were, but at a semi-educated guess I’d say they’re crystal quartz (or something).
Sterling is a great metal to work with and really looks gorgeous – I’ve used so many different materials that are silver in tone but there really is no comparison to the look of genuine sterling silver.
The bracelet is a very simple European 4-in-1 weave with triangular points at alternating lengths, which drape over the hand quite nicely. The silver bracelet was constructed with 20 gauge rings that have a 2.75mm ID (AR 3.4), so a fairly fine weave, plus sterling silver clasp and argentium silver head pins (which I noticed has a less ‘white’ tone than the sterling, but ultimately doesn’t have too much of a contrasting shade).
I’ve been wanting to make a piece using this weave for a while and finally got around to it last week. I thought the pictures I had seen looked quite masculine, but I think mine turned out a little more on the feminine side – possibly due to ring size.
I used 20 gauge wire for both – the large rings are bright aluminium with a 5mm ID and the smaller rings are jewellery brass with a 3mm ID (ARs of 6.25 and 3.75 respectively). I’m not sure how much smaller I could have gone with the brass rings, but the outside rings are a little loose and flip outwards, giving the units a bit more of a lacier, or flowery, look than I expected (the tutorial I followed to learn this weave is here, and if you check it out, you can see that the weave looks a little more masculine when held together as shown in the CGI images – which, as this is only my second attempt at the weave, I’m not 100% sure is actually possible, but my result may be due to the springback of the brass rings used as they were definitely the recommended size otherwise).
The great thing about Camelot is that if you learn this weave, you basically learn 3 weaves – the basis is Helm (although Helm would have two rings through the centre of the larger rings), which builds to Celtic Visions before becoming Camelot, so a really good way to expand your repertoire.
This has been a fairly busy week, but busy in a good way. I decided to try out quite a few new weaves, so have a lot more examples to post soon. (Also, although I’m not sure how well I did with my Half Persian tutorial, if anyone out there has a specific request for a tutorial for anything posted here, feel free to drop me a line and I’ll do what I can).
This bracelet is European 8-in-1, and it turned out relatively well (I’m not entirely happy with the rings, they weren’t perfectly round and the ends didn’t meet properly). When compared directly to a 6-in-1 piece, the differences are noticable but drastically – in the above picture, because of the density of the weave, you can see 8-in-1 has a bit more of a braided look to it (at least from a distance).
These were 20 gauge bright aluminium rings with a metric ID of 6mm, so the AR was 7.5. That probably contributed to the instability of the rings (I’m thinking they were squashed a little when cut), so although it resulted in a really nice, flexible strip, I’d probably go for at least 18 gauge wire if I attempt this weave again.
This is one of the things I like most about these dense European weaves – no matter how closely woven the rings are, the strip is still more flexible than a slinky.
I’ve been concentrating on bracelets recently, so plan to get to work on some more necklaces & earrings over the next couple of weeks – too many ideas, not enough rings!
This is a great weave, if a little time consuming, and makes a nice, thick chain for men’s bracelets.
The basic structure starts as a European 4 in 1, with essentially another layer connected on top.
This one used 19 gauge stainless steel rings with an ID of 5mm (AR 5). Connecting the top layer shortens the initial Euro 4-1 chain by a fair amount, so it tends to use a fair few rings to get a decent length, but looks great and would probably look very cool woven in two different colours.
It’s finished with a small magnetic in gunmetal black, as it’s a closer match to the colour of stainless steel than any of the silvers.
This is my first attempt at weaving a distinguishable pattern into chain mail, so I went with a very simple diamond shape, which works quite well as a stand-alone shape, though it became a little less recognisable as a diamond when as part of a fuller weave.
The weave is a standard European 4-in-1, made with plated copper wire rings each with a total diameter of 4mm, so it’s a fairly fine weave. The rings are slightly different gauges, though – the gold rings are 0.8mm thick and the silver are 0.7mm. Originally, I had intended to border the bracelet with silver rings (which would have made the diamond shape a bit more distinguishable), but due to the slight difference in size, they would have been a little loose and messy, so the gold rings pulled it together quite nicely in the end.
I finished it off with a 3-strand silver-tone magnetic slide clasp, but I think it would work just as well (probably better) with a gold clasp.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with the result, so will be looking to incorporate more inlays into my work in the future.
I really like making bracelets with this weave, either single stranded like this red anodized aluminium and stainless steel strip, or wider cuff bracelets like the one pictured below.
Generally, the result is a very flexible, rather form-fitting mesh.
It’s also a great to use for chokers, though it’s a fairly dense weave so, depending on the material used, it can get a bit weighty. The wider cuff bracelet shown above used about 400 7mm stainless steel rings (1mm thick, so 5mm ID and AR). The mail strip is 2.8cm x 17.5cm and weighs 45 grams.
This necklace was made using a simple European 4-in-1 chain mail weave, then adorned with pink and green bead clusters.
I used 5mm vintage bronze tone rings to weave the mail (approximately 20 gauge wire, 5mm is the total diameter, so the ID is about 3.4). Each bead is on a separate head pin, with the clusters attached to lengths of chain in sets of three (2 x pink & 1 green bead for each cluster).