February 28, 2010

Technicolor Bumble Bees

See what an anodizer can do to my plain old Niobium honey bee bracelet! The two extra links are now matching earrings!

Just in the rare chance that someone may be interested to know how to color these critters: After the bracelet is all done, fold and hang the whole thing on a short piece of Nb rod to anodize with an SMT Micro Anodizer from Reactive Metals Studio; do the dunk-and-dry several times with increased voltage to get all the colors possible in the spectrum; the drying part is important, otherwise the residual electrolyte (in this case, soapy water with dishwasher powder) on wet rings will take on new colors of any higher voltage. The fun part is the unfolding of the anodized bracelet; I have never tie-dyed before, but imagine this got to be just like it; seeing bands of colors burst into places all over the bracelet, I'm feeling the joy of being a hippie!!! btw, the earrings are anodized the same way except they have sterling silver ear wires that are put on after anodizing was done. Niobium won't oxide if there's silver in the electrolyte.

Now, can you say, "A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E"???

before and after:

Shaggy Loops Earrings

Fun earrings made with left over rings from practice kits. All rings are in 18 gauge, big and small; the beads at the very bottom are sterling silver.

Now only if I had a earring display stand .... hum, maybe a custom stand like this one, wouldn't that be nifty?! Here's the how-to on the stand; must give it a try.

February 27, 2010

Homework Time Again!

OK, now that I'm done with Spiderchain's Weaving Silver volume 1, moving onto volume 2. Here are the first 3 weaves (left to right): JPL, Helm, and Dragonscale. I've done JPL and Dragonscale in the past, but Spider's techniques are different, specially for Dragonscale, definitely worth revisiting.

The practice kit is aluminum rings from B3. Nice shiny rings, great for practice; not sure how long they'll stay shiny though...

Enough chitchat; time to get back to work.

Honey Bees

Honey Bee is weave by Redcrow of Corvuschain; it is in the Helm/Parallel family. Helm is a surprisingly versatile weave; so many variations and most are easily scalable to different aspect ratios.

This bracelet is made with Niobium rings from The Ring Lord; 18 gauge, 1.2 mm, aspect ratio is almost 5.5; slightly bigger than what's in the tutorial. So, instead of 2 rings on each bee's body, I added one more ring. Can you see the bees? I hope so; see the wings, the body, and the antenna, all there! They are sooooo adorable! The clasp is hand forged with 16 gauge Nb wire; I think I may change it to a toggle, might match more to the bee shape. Also check out the color version!

February 25, 2010


A very comfortable shape to wear on the wrist, GSG (for Great Southern Gathering) is like 2 columns of Half Persian 3-in-1 stacked upward. Like most HP weaves, it's a bit wobbly when starting, but becomes easier once it gets going. I mostly followed the GSG tutorial on CGMaille.com to make this bracelet; once it's past the first 3 units, I realized the pattern of "around-the-eye, thru-the-eye, thru-the-eye, around-the-eye" while alternating left to right and that every "unit" has 6 rings, with the last 2 rings doubled as the first 2 rings of the next unit (I hope I can remember this ....)

All materials are unanodized Niobium from The Ring Lord. Rings are 18 gauge, WD 1.2 mm, ID 5.6 mm, AR 4.67. The S hook is hand forged from 16 gauge wire following Scott David Plumlee's book: Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry.  I read this book back to back more times than I can remember, a must-have!!

Since I have an anodizer sitting in my garage, will give it a try in coloring some Nb rings; this should be fun:-)

February 23, 2010

Circles and Squares

This Byzantine bracelet is done in square stainless steel rings with double big copper rings as separators.

The square stainless steel rings are from C&T Designs, who consistently delivers clean and precise stainless steel rings. The copper rings are left-over rings from the practice kit.

Lots have been done in copper and silver combination; so I thought to try copper and stainless steel, not just any ordinary steel rings, but in square wire; I like this combination a lot, classic and contemporary, don't you think? :-)

February 19, 2010


Dodecahedron: A 12-sided solid, with 3 sides meeting at each vertex. I must have slept thru that geometry class ....

In chainmaille terms, we know it as Japanese Ball, and it's not exactly a solid; it's an application of Japanese 5-in-1, can be made with almost any aspect ratios. This is my 2nd experiment using leftover rings from the practice kit. The stuffing is a big Swarovski crystal ball in pink. Look closely, you'll see each of the 12 sides has 3 rings in same inner diameter, but the top ring is one gauge skinner than the bottom 2, just so that the whole thing holds a more stable shape.

This is so addictive; got to make more ....

February 18, 2010

Key Chain with Japanese Ball

This doesn't need much explanation :-)

18 gauge stainless steel rings in 2 sizes. The ball was made with 96 rings in 1 mm square wire with 5.5 mm ID; the double chain also in 1 mm square but with 4.3 mm ID; all from C&T Designs; they always have the nicest square wire rings. Oh and the split ring is a recycle. This dodecahedron holds its own shape without any stuffing; in fact, I had a real hard time weaving the last ring into it, it almost didn't make it ...

February 14, 2010

PMP for Part 1: All Done!

After weeks of hard work, I'm finally done with all the "homework assignments" from Spiderchain's Weaving Silver DVD Volume 1.

The practice kit is the mixed metal rings from B3; they seem to be out of stock of the mixed rings kits for now. I was lucky to have gotten one of the last few from them...

The rings are nice and plenty; enough for a few extra which I used to make the Japanese Ball and Treasure Boxes.

Clockwise from top right:
Half Persian 4-in-1 in 18 gauge bright aluminum
Half Persian 4-in-1 in 16 gauge copper
Full Persian in 18 gauge bright aluminum
Box Chain in 18 gauge bright aluminum
Byzantine in 16 gauge copper
Byzantine in 18 gauge jewelry brass
European 4-in-1 in 16 gauge copper
European 4-in-1 in 18 gauge jewelry brass
European 6-in-1 in 18 gauge bright aluminum
Japanese 12-in-2 in 18 and 20 gauge copper
Japanese 12-in-2 in 20 gauge jewelry brass

February 13, 2010

Treasure Boxes

Good old box chain, but this time, it's loaded with little treasures inside, one bead for each box, and look, Mom, no wire!!!

February 11, 2010

Japanese Ball

Based on the tutorial by Corvus, this is a really easy one compared to other chainmaille pieces! Took me more time to find the right size bead than weaving the ball.

16 gauge (1.6 mm) copper rings from B3 (leftover rings for Byzantine from the practice kit), 5.6 mm inner diameter, making this a little bigger AR than in the tutorial, but with the glass bead tucked inside, it seems to hold its shape OK.

This is so much fun, I'm going to make a few more...

February 3, 2010

King's Maille Bracelet for Jen, aka. Jen's Maille

This is a big boy! Big rings, thick wires, heavy duty bracelet! Everything "super-sized" from my first King's Maille bracelet.

The rings are from Urban Maille of Pine, CO; 14 gauge (1.6 mm) sterling silver, 12 mm inside ring diameter, very nice rings, and fast service too! Takes an avg. of 10.57 rings per inch for the body of the bracelet. The toggle bar and other smaller connector rings are hand made in 16 gauge silver wire.

The 9-ring mobius charm is made out of exact same rings as the body of the bracelet so that they can be used for future repair work just in case... Kind of like the extra buttons that come with a new outfit :-)