Search This Blog

Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Challenge in Sterling Silver

A spool of 24 gauge silver wire sits before me.  I'm about to un-bend the end that is keep the wire coiled around the spool. I grab the end of the wire with my chain nose pliers, pull the wire upward and slide it out of the hole. Suddenly the wire starts unraveling faster than I can stop it. This is not helping to calm my nervousness. I'm about to embark on the world of Trichinopoly in sterling.

Just as it was different making a Bold Swirl Ring in sterling, it was actually even more different and actually more difficult doing viking knit. Silver is more brittle. Working with copper is more fluid, and I never realized that before. Inserting thin wire into loops around a stick is a lot harder when it feels as if the wire is going to *snap* in half!  Not only that, but silver is so stiff.  A process that should take an hour took twice as long.  But, I'm not trying to complain, I'm trying to describe just how much different working with silver was. As I said in my last entry, it's a whole different animal.

So, here is is:


And, here are the specs:

100% sterling silver, this elegant bracelet is strong enough for everyday wear. It's bold design is comprised of 24 gauge double strand, double knit Trichinopoly chain weave, otherwise known as Viking Knit. The handcrafted end caps are of 16 gauge sterling, as well has the hand-formed and hammered end clasps, adorned with 24 gauge sterling silver coil wrap.
The bracelet also features Czech faceted beads, fire-treated for a rainbow gleam. Three crystal clear beads on one side, clear, seafoam and lavender, and fire-polished crystal clear on the other side.

The rope is a whopping 7mm wide! A lot of work and over 20 grams of silver went into this creation.

8" in length from tip to tip 
7-9mm wide

The silver in this bracelet has been oxidized for visual texture, and polished to a mirror like shine. I have used an anti-tarnish solution to keep it looking newer, longer.

Entering a New Chapter in Jewelry Design... Silver

Now, can I play with the big boys? 

 After working with copper for so long, I decided I was ready to delve into the world of silver. Having a stellar Christmas season I had a little extra money, so I invested in three ounces of the good stuff.  A week later, my package arrived.  There is nothing more nerve wracking then having over 100.00 of wire sitting on your work table, and seeing so little of it. The truth is that silver is expensive. With a fledgling jewelry business and not a lot of money to invest, there's not much room for error.

Finally, on Friday night (since I'm such a social butterfly) I got the courage to start on a Bold Swirl Ring. This is my signature piece, always made in copper.  The first thing I noticed was how much more differently silver behaves than copper. It's less forgiving, stiffer, more brittle. You bend it one way, and it doesn't budge. You have to over compensate for the way you want it to curve. Pull it harder. It's a totally different animal.  It also grinds down a lot more with a lighter touch, so I had to adjust the way I filed and applied pressure when I used the Dremmel.  After an hour and a half of heart pounding, nervous working, I was finished, and quite pleased with the result.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Double-Double Viking Knit or Quad-Knit?

It doesn't matter what you call it, it's gorgeous!  I am proud to debut my first double-double viking knit chain.  Doing a double knit with two strands is a challenge, but the end result is totally worth the extra wire and time involved.   This particular design is a gift for a family member. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Super Rosette Ring

Feeling a little uninspired as of late, last night I was playing around with some 12 (or 14?) gauge wire. I made a rosette ring with the thick wire, but felt that something was missing. I then got the idea to add a second rosette in the center using some nice, dead soft 18 gauge wire. The result was pretty cool.  I'm still working out the kinks, but I am definitely adding this to my collection.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Boldest Swirl

I was able to get a nice long piece of 10 gauge wire, so I decided if I could make a ring from it. It turned out really nicely, a BIG bold swirl.

Check it out on Etsy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

All About Copper

You might not know this, but the raw copper I work with tends to tarnish rather quickly.  My beautiful rings and necklace pendants are made of the same material that pennies are made of, and you know that over the years pennies turn from a bright and shiny coral color, to a dull dark brown. The same is true with raw copper jewelry. The good news is that it's easy to maintain your beautiful copper jewelry. If your copper starts to turn dark, you can use a very small amount of Tarn-X on a cotton ball, and dab lightly. Worcestershire Sauce and Ketchup also works, but you can be a little more aggressive when using things from the fridge.  After removing the tarnish, if you wish to re-polish you can use a polishing cloth or a polishing block. Polishing blocks are usually found in beauty supply stores or in the nail care aisle. One side buffs lightly, and the other side makes the copper SHINE like nothing else.  I include a polishing block with my Bold Swirl Rings and Bold Swirl Bracelets.

Sherry's Jewels has a great bit of information on taking care of copper jewelry, but she also has a plethora of fun facts about copper.  Sherry's Copper Care Guide

Copper has so many positive attributes.  It's antimicrobial, like silver.  It it believed that wearing copper relieves you from aches and pains.  And, although some people get a green finger from wearing a copper ring, it isn't harmful, it's actually purely chemistry. The more salt you have in your sweat, the more likely you are to get a green finger. This is not indicative of an allergy and the green isn't permanent.  I do not get green finger from wearing my rings, and wear then everyday. I also put a protective glaze inside of my rings to prevent this from happening.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bold Swirl Bracelet

Yesterday I had two different people from different parts of the country ask me the same question; Can you make a bracelet with a bold swirl like you have on your rings?  I thought about it, and then I decided I was up for the challenge. I'm very happy with the results. I made one yesterday (sold) and one this afternoon (hopefully sold soon.) Here is my new design: