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.