Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Something New

I tried something a little different today - I made a macrame bracelet using some magatamas (tear drop shaped seed beads) in pearl and purple. I have some black braided fishing line that I thought would work really well with's thin and really tough - it knots nicely and most importantly the beads fit on it! I did a really simple half knot which naturally spirals, so I staggered the pearl and the purple so that once made, the bracelet is a spiral in both color and design. This bracelet, which is 7" long, took me oh so many hours to complete - one reason being my rustiness at doing macrame but also because the cord I used is so thin - it is almost micro-macrame. I added a handcrafted brass wire "S" clasp and an amethyst dangle at the clasp. It's light and comfortable to wear (I will probably make the clasp much smaller though) and I am already envisioning it in different color combinations.

YOJ 2008 week 3 - Australian Culture

This piece is my interpretation of the Rainbow Serpent - a mythological figure of the Aboriginal tribes of Australia. This being figures prominently in their stories and culture. (you can read about the Rainbow Serpent here)

Using 22 gauge copper wire, I created a Viking Knit necklace as the body of the snake. (I used a 1/2 dowel as a mandrel to create the viking knit and then drew it down to 3/16"). Using some 18 gauge copper wire I created some end caps (I used a knitting needle as a mandrel which gave me a nice cone shape) and then strung some seed beads in rainbow colors as an addition to the viking knit. The necklace clasps in front, measures 26" long and is a nice fluid piece. It feels great on, sits at a good length and has some weight to it. That being said, though, I am not entirely happy with the way the necklace looks as a whole......the clasp doesn't really looks like it belongs and I am experimenting with a different way to close it - and as so often happens, because I am not happy with one thing, the rest of the piece is not safe from deconstruction. Does this happen to anybody else?

Monday, January 14, 2008

How *I* twist wire

As promised, I am attempting to do a little show and tell on how I twist wire. First and most importantly, I use an electric drill and a fly tying vise (the fly tying vise I have is one that can be anchored to the side of a table or desk - similar ones can be found here, or at most any fishing/tackle store) - both of which make this SO easy to do! First thing to do is assemble all the things you will need to do this:

drill, cutters, pliers, 3pieces of 20 gauge wire and vise

put a bend in one end of the wire and feed into drill; tighten (use the chuck if necessay to make sure it's TIGHT) so wire doesn't pull out.

make a bend in the other end (similar to the first bend I made on the other end that is now in the drill - picture just didn't come out)

put end into the vise making sure it is tightend so wire cannot slip out

make sure drill is in forward (tried to twist in reverse once but that yielded a really ugly result) and turn on drill - slowly at first.

this is the finished twisted wire.

In this example you can see a few bumps in the finished piece - those happened because the lengths of wire I used were not exactly the same length - just make sure once you have the wire in the drill and tightened in the vise the wires you are working with are all close to the same length. I also made the bends in the wire much longer than normal for the illustration purposes.

Hope this is helpful and please let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Week 2 YOJ 2008 - Capricorn Astrological Sign

This weeks theme is the Capricorn Astrological sign, which is the Ram. I fashioned a rams head symbol out of 16 gauge brass wire around which I had coiled some 20 gauge black steel wire. I twisted three wires together to make the neck piece (two lengths of black steel and one length of brass wire - all 20gauge), coiled some black steel wire to make the hanger for the pendant and added some really pretty, sunny looking gold Czech crackled glass beads for color and balance. I like the impact this piece has - it's choker length and really looks good on.

There has been a lot of discussion lately about twisting wire - tomorrow I will share some pictures and my technique for doing this.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Week 1 YOJ 2008 - I Can Do This!

Having been hampered by a poor internet connection, I am behind on posting this weeks project to the Year of Jewerly blog. I apologize.

I created a coiled wire heart pendant (in memory of my beloved standard poodle, Lady MacBeth who was diagnosed at the end of her life with a "heart that was too big"). I used 16 gauge copper wire around which I coiled 22 gauge copper wire. I then fashioned a heart out of the the wire (using various items to wrap around and create curves in the wire)and added a spiral to the end. I added the hemimorphite heart bead - to symbolize her heart at the "right" size. I added some copper coils as end caps and a hand crafted copper "S" clasp as a closure.