November 30, 2009

JPL

Jens Pind Linkage, or JPL for short.

CGMaille listed this weave as level 3 out of 4... Any way, it looks so nice, I so want to learn how to do it; after many sleepless nights of Googling, YouTubing (is that a word?), I think I finally got it.

This is my first try. Rings are from C&T Designs. Gorgeous rings! Almost impossible for me to work with though! These 16 gauge stainless steel square wire rings can be weapons; nearly killed me the first time I tried to open one. These rings sat on my table for over 8 months before I gathered enough courage, and put on a pair of leather gloves (it's a good thing, trust me) last night... and voila!

Specs:
Stainless steel square wire rings, 16 gauge, body of bracelet is 6.75", with the toggle makes it 8" in total length. Toggle is store bought (from the best bead store ever - San Gabriel Bead Company), connected with 2 sets of graduating sizes of smaller stainless steel round rings, just so that the bar can go thru the circle, if I wiggle it right.



September 24, 2009

Orbital Rings

The very first time I saw these hammered rings on Step-by-Step Wire, I wanted to try them! I like the shape, the idea, the method, the unlimited use of the technique, not to mention my long time obsession with the asteroid belt of Saturn, and the fact I already ran out 18 ga wire and anything thicker. Being able to build something solid with 20 ga wire works perfectly for me.

These rings are surprising easy to make, and they let out lots of frustration, if you got them... The magazine showed the rings used in a necklace; I didn't have time to make that many rings; so here's a shorter version as a bracelet.

Each ring comes out differently of course since it's all hand wrapped and hammered. But I love the way the wire curves show up like thin ribbons. I specially like the toggle bar, which is my own design (if you can call that a design); it reminds me the bundled scrolls from traditional Japanese designs.

I'm thinking of other shapes, triangles, squares, whatever! Maybe a matching pair of earrings, and finger rings too. Can you tell I like it a lot?! :-)

More views here.

September 2, 2009

Bead Cap

This is a guess work.

I've been seeing many wire wrapped bead caps; they are intricate and unique. My favorite so far being the ones by Iza Malczyk! They are absolutely fantastic!

Since I had played with basket weaving before, I thought to give it a try before reading the tutorial. Here's my first try: 18g copper wire as frame, wrapped with 26g thin wire, capping a wooden bead. What do you think?

Here are 2 more images:

on the back




and from the top.

May 25, 2009

2 New CM Bracelets

After 3 months away from chainmaille, I'm still addicted, more so than ever.

This time, I'm trying out Niobium and stainless steel rings.  I read a lot about different tempers and materials of wire, but nothing prepares me for actually working with them.  These are both 18ga rings, 1/4" ID, making them about 5 in AR.  But they're from 2 different companies; by the look and feel, the Nb rings are about 18swg, and the stainless steel rings are closer to 18awg. The temper of Nb rings is just under half hard compared to dead soft sterling silver; not too difficult to work with, I get used to them quickly.  But the stainless steel rings are definitely more springy than half hard, gave my arms a good workout.  Another nice thing about stainless steel rings: They don't mar as easily.  I got these rings from C&T Designs; they're saw cut, smooth and clean; will definitely try their Nb rings next time.

OK, the specs:

The box chain bracelet is made of stainless steel rings, with a hand forged 12awg Argentium sterling silver clasp
 (I don't have any stainless steel wire on hand; might as well, anything thicker than 18ga stainless steel is out of my league, for now.)

The Half Persian 4-in-1 bracelet is made of Nb rings, with a hand forged 16ga Nb clasp.


Both are 8 1/2" long.

Dave, I hope they make your day:-)

More images here.  C&C welcome.

February 8, 2009

Byzantine

Since I'm still out of thick wires, I thought this is a good time to try a round of all the chainmaille weaves I've learned so far with 18 or smaller gauge wires. Here is the first weave I learned, Byzantine.

About a year ago when I saw this weave for the first time, I thought it's pretty but too much for me to tackle. I downloaded a tutorial but could never get thru more than 3 steps, very depressing, imagine this was listed as a beginner weave ...

But not until I read more about it, went thru more than a dozen tutorials, YouTube videos, and books, the light bulb finally came on. Yes, I'd say this sure is a beginner weave, now I can do it while watching TV! This dainty bracelet was made of 18 ga SS wire, AR is 3, too small for the traditional 2-connector, so I went with 1-connector. Used about 6' of wire, final length 7". Oh, and the clasp is 14 ga SS, a test piece from a few years back.

More images here.

February 6, 2009

"CA" is for Chainmaille Anonymous.

"My name is Daisy, and I'm a chainmaille addict." And this picture is the proof! (Mind you, there's one more doggie necklace that Mandy is already wearing, so I don't have a picture of that necklace in here...)

For the last 2 weeks, I've been reading and experimenting with more chainmaille patterns. There is an enormous amount of info on the web, from photos, tutorials, videos on YouTube, resources for materials, just incredible! One can get lost in all this (and I did.)

So far, I already ran thru my stash of 14 and 16 ga silver wires, and very little 12 left. Although 18 thru 22 are still in good supply, but I thought it'd be nice to add some colors. Unfortunately (and fortunately), my color craft wires are all 22 and thinner. To make up for the thickness, I twisted lots of them. A LOT! Any way, here's what I've made so far.

This is another Kingsmaille with 18 ga gold color wire and 3 colors of 22 ga blue and green twisted wires. Very oceany. AR is 9, kind of loopy; total length 17", sits just over collar bones. Originally, it's to be Tango's necklace. But when I tried it on him, his thick double coat just proved to be too much. Besides, it's probably not sturdy enough as a doggie necklace ... So I added a few more inches and decided to keep it for myself!!

OK, enough Kingsmaille for now. Off to learn some new pattern. These are Half Persians. Boy, talk about addicting! I made a small segment of HP 3-in-1, and I was so excited that I went on to try HP 4-in-1. Definitely takes more time than 3-in-1, but looks really cool! This ring is a small 4-in-1 with 18 ga silver and copper color craft wires.

More images here.

So now I'm getting a feel for HP4-in-1, I thought this'll be a nice choice for a doggie necklace, it's rather sturdy even with just 18 ga. But by now, I also ran out of 18 ga craft wire. A few poking arounds on the net gave me the idea of using aluminum wire. It's cheap, and I can probably find it at HomeDepot, saving me a trip to the beads store which has historically been expensive no matter how I cut it.

This is Tango's necklace, 16", 18 ga bright aluminum and twisted 26 ga Artistic Wires in shades of blue and green and some gold. All rings are about 5.5 AR. This is the first time I use aluminum wire; HomeDepot carries several gauges and tempers; I got the soft one, and it's real soft, almost no springback; cuts very easily (mars easily too). For small rings in HP 4-in-1, they'll do.

I was on a roll. Besides, I twisted and cut a whole bunch of color wires; a good exercise for my arms. Here's the necklace for Jimbo, 22.5"; wonder if this may be too long ... haven't tried either on them yet. Any how, I love these rainbow colors. So bright and cheery; sure would be nice to try the same again with silver and anodized niobium wires. Well, maybe after I get a new contract, but then I may not have as much time for my jewelry, humm ...

More image here.

And lastly, but not least. My first try of the Stepping Stone pattern, and I REALLY like it! I first saw this in CWJ 2009, then it led me to this totally awesome site. Wow, just blown away! I knew about Japanese weave for a while, was never too interested to try; but this completely changed my mind. After days of googling, found more info on this pattern, here's my version of the bracelet. Made with 18 ga aluminum wire, 3 mm ID, 18 ga copper wire, 5 mm ID, and 16 ga brass wire, 8 mm ID. From start to end, took me 6+ hours, including some searching around the house for scrap brass wires (it's raining today, don't feel like going to the stores ...) I improvised the toggle and the connectors for the toggle bar, which took me quite a while to fit just right. The goal is to make the toggle in a way that looks part of the bracelet, and don't look too out of place even if it ends up on top. I'm wearing this to sleep tonight:-)

More images here.

January 26, 2009

Mobius Ball??

A few days ago, I made a flower knot, or at least that's how I saw it, since it's more cushy than a flower weave, making it more of a knot. Any way, today, I came across this page (scroll down to end of web page) on a chainmaille site which says there's a name for this little flower. It's called a "mobius ball" and the web page mentioned this is a "patented" weave. Not sure what that means... I never saw that web page before making this flower knot (yes, I call it a flower knot); as far as I know, this is just a version of the good old flower/rosette weave, what's there to patent about? Is there a patent for the flower weave?

I'm all for protecting intellectual properties; but how does this work???

King's Maille Bracelet

I've been reading a lot on chainmaille; never thought I'd be so addicted to this ancient technique. It's a science all on its own.

So here's my 2nd chainmaille project. I learned this weave is called King's maille. Out of so many weave patterns, this caught my eye again and again for those big double rings. Yesterday, I set out to test it, tried several gauges, finally settled on 16 ga (all 8.5 feet of it!) with 10 mm ID. The toggle and the rosette counter-weight are both 14 ga, and the various connector rings are from 18 ga to 14 ga, all handmade. Final length is 7 1/4" and 1" wide.It fits on my right wrist perfectly, lays flat when I rest my hand on a desk, and doesn't flop around too much. I'm very pleased. Also tried threading in the toggle bar from the front and the back; definitely treading from the back produces a smoother look, although the counter-weight is not always effective, maybe it can be a bigger rosette. But all in all, it came out pretty much like what I expected.

Then I took out my first chainmaille bracelet to compare to this new bracelet, just to see if I have improved, or not. That's when I noticed something:Duh! They're the same weave! Do you see that? The main difference between the two are the sizes and shapes of rings. What a revelation for me! I've read that the Aspect Ratio is the most critical part of chainmaille, but this time, it's really sinking in. It's a lot like bead weaving where the same stitch when used with different sizes and shapes of beads, can mutate into a whole new look! Boy, I learned something new (kind of) today!

Check out more images here.

January 18, 2009

The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars

OK, so the sun is not all that obvious, but you get the idea.

It started with the moon. Actually, I was going for a heart shape pendant, but the wire wasn't long enough, so I stopped short half way and turned it into a crescent moon. Then it sat on my desk for a long time, until last night when I read on the net something about the brightest star of this month hangs just off the moon. Well, there it is! And yes, it'll hold your eyeglasses nicely.

This is a piece done with only wire bending. Now I look at the final result, the connectors seem to add too much distraction to the simple idea. As a prototype, it'll do. But I'll try this again, with fused silver rings.

Time to get some butane refill for the micro torch...

January 14, 2009

Flower Knot and Beaded Bead Cap

I didn't start out wanting to make a flower weave; I was experimenting with Kingsmaille without the correct AR. The test wasn't successful, needless to say. But, never wanting to waste any perfectly good old jump rings, I threaded them one after another, and turned it into a very slinky-like flower weave; it even plays like a slinky.

If I keep on threading more rings, it should be able to hold its shape more like a standard flower weave, then maybe I can connect several of them together for a bracelet. Humm, let me think about this ...

Over the last few weeks, I've been seeing many handmade bead caps; some with all wire, some with beads. I really like the woven bead cap by Iza Malczyk, and the Periwinkle Bead Cap by Shaktipaj. Being able to make my own bead cap sounds real cool. Today, I sat down to figure out how these ladies do it. Here's my first guess. What do you think?

If my guess is right, the wave pattern is similar to African Helix, which tends to be very flexible when done with beading thread. But with wire, it easily retains the shape but still allows for some pushing and prodding to coach the beads and coils into place. I'm liking this a lot; it definitely has potentials for growth! Will make a few more of these in different sizes, to build my own bead cap stash!

More images here.

January 6, 2009

Silver Elephant Hair Bracelet

Many years ago, I saw a bracelet called Elephant Hair Bracelet in San Gabriel Bead Company, the most fabulous bead store in SoCal. The bracelet looked really cool, didn't seem too difficult to make, but I never got around to try one, until today... I was surfing the net for ideas (don't even remember what I was looking for...) Then this bracelet popped up.

Making a long story short, I found this free tutorial online, read it a few times, couldn't figure out where the hack slots "K" and "W" are... Anyway, this is what I came up with using all 24ga craft wire. The knots don't look too tidy, still need some practice, but they work, making the bracelet adjustable from 6" to 8". It's pretty quick to make, and fun to wear too.

More images here.