Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Sore fingers - but worth it.

So far my idea of doing something jewellery related each week is working - that's 2 weeks in a row that I've done something! Hopefully I can keep this up but we'll see.

Last Thursday I was thinking about the fact that everything I've made recently has involved beads - so colour choices for what to wear to work mean I can't always wear a particular piece of jewellery. I was also unhappy with the fact that nearly all the earrings I have made recently have been of the "long and dangly" variety - great for evenings out but they do get caught up between jacket collars and scarves in cold weather! I kept having to take one pair off everytime I put my coat on, and that got boring quickly. So, what this all leads to is, I decided to make myself a simple set of silver earrings for everyday wear.

Now what to make??? I've been toying with various chain maille designs for a while now, but something I've not really used is "flowers" - this is a set of 3 jump rings of the same size linked together and then laid on top of each other to create a flower as shown in this earring:

Flower earring
Having made the pair of simple silver earrings I wanted I was happy, at least for 24 hours or so.

On Saturday morning I was watching TV and my fingers started twitching - some might see that as a sign of madness or something, but I decided it was time to do some jewellery making.

So I spent a little while making 3 larger jump rings of 3 varying thicknesses of sterling silver wire - I had this idea of binding them together and using them as a pendant - but it kept falling apart. At that point I gave up for the day, it obviously wasn't to be. But I've kept the rings in case I can use them later - waste not, want not as they say.

On Sunday I was having a similar problem - couldn't really settle to anything, so I decided to have another go at a necklace. This time I decided to stick with the "flower" design I'd used for the earrings. Time to make a necklace to match the earrings already produced.

I decided to try different sizes of jump rings for the flowers - I have a set of mandrels with multiple sized sections so finding things to wind the wire around was not a problem. So the largest rings had a 10 mm inner diameter, then I just worked my way along the largest mandrel so the rings are 10 mm, 9 mm, 8 mm, 7 mm and 6 mm from that mandrel. I then decided I wanted one more size down, so the second mandrel was used to make some 5 mm inner diameter rings.

I formed the flowers one at a time - one in the 10 mm size and two each of the other sizes of rings.

Then I started linking the rings together. At first I was going to use small rings with an inner diameter of 2.92 mm - then I realised that you can't get 3 pieces of 1 mm thick wire in a 2.92 mm space - it doesn't work!

So I picked up the left over 3.25 mm rings I've been trying to find a use for. And they worked a treat. Originally I started linking the flowers together directly - but then decided I wanted more space between them, so used 3 smaller rings instead of one.

This is what it turned out like - and I'm really pleased with it.

Graduated flower necklace and earrings
Admittedly my fingers were sore after making this - holding the spirals of wire while you saw through the rings with a jewellery saw does tend to make your fingers numb after a while, but it was so worth it!

Bye for now

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