Friday, 25 April 2014

Seeing Double

Double Link Bracelet

I sold a bracelet this spring and want to make a replacement as it can be paired with a slightly heftier version as a his and hers set: a wedding or anniversary gift. This one has a pattern of two links lying side by side.  To create it, you link two rings then add another that is woven through those two.

This is a time consuming project, for sure, but it makes a very handsome piece of jewelry -- or jewellery, if you're here in Canada!

Left: the first few links have been woven together. To make the links, I wind sterling silver wire (in this case, it is 16 gauge) on a mandrel (this time, 6mm). The rings, as a coil, get slipped off the mandrel, then cut to create individual rings. I wound up two batches to create the 68 rings I know I need for this bracelet. I know because, after a few years, I got smart enough to keep records of how I make things! No more reinventing that wheel.

The fine wire loop here serves as a handle while I weave the pattern.

Link Two, Solder; Link Three, Solder

The reason this bracelet takes so much time to create is because each link, once woven into its neighbors, is soldered closed. This helps ensure a smooth surface and a strong bracelet.

Here, about half the piece has been woven. A pair of "third hand" tweezers holds a link I'm about to solder. Another pair of heat-resistant tweezers hold the other end so I can drop the (hot) piece into water before I take hold of the working end to weave in the next link. I'm not actually soldering on that charcoal block but it's good to have it there in case I drop the hot end of the bracelet!

Bracelet Almost Done; Doubled Up Studs, Too 

By 5  p.m. yesterday, I had finished weaving the bracelet. All that I have left to do is create the toggle bar that will be linked to that small chain. While I was at the bench, I also soldered up a tiny pair of double circles stud earrings. Here the day's output, after a trip in a tumbler full of water, steel shot and a touch of pure soap. A couple of hours burnished the items. This is especially valuable for the bracelet as polishing a chain on a spinning wheel is pretty darned dangerous. Both items will be listed on my etsy site but I will probably wait for Monday. I feel that Fridays and weekends are pretty slow on line – especially when the spring weather hits.