Friday, June 12, 2015

A Variety of Chains



Chains and links fascinate me.  Every once in a while I stop and learn to make some.  Keith Lo Bue’s class using steel wire was such fun that I made a couple of long chains.  I also tried some in copper. 

Steel Wire with hollow silver beads
Copper Wire Chain
While looking through a file of pages ripped from jewelry magazines, I came across Jude Carmona’s tutorial on silver chain.  (from www.WireworkMag.com  fall of 2013) and decided it was time to try her techniques.  I ordered 14 gauge half round silver wire.  While I was waiting for it to arrive, I made the first chain with 14 gauge bronze wire.  I cut the 25 pieces of 7” bronze wire for the links as well as all the pieces for the figure-8’s, jump rings and hook and eye clasp.  I balled the ends of the wires as directed and, of course, the balls turned a lovely pink while the wire between stayed shiny bronze.  But this was a practice piece and I continued on! 

After all the links were made, I started assembling.  It is time consuming to coil the thick wire around a dowel for 25 links!  Hands get tired and taking breaks is recommended!  Also letting a bit of ‘zen’ attitude into the process makes a difference!

Bronze Wire Links - Note color change from torch
Once the piece was assembled, it went into the tumbler and came out beautiful!  The pink balls lend a touch of the exotic.  Very happy!  I used ProtectAClear as a sealer.


The silver wire arrived and what a difference in handling it compared to the bronze.  The weight difference is the first thing I noticed – after all I’m working with half round instead of round so there is not as much material.  The silver was so easy to bend!  Also having a flat side to coil on the dowel meant quicker coils!   I’ll use the half round again for chain! 
I used liver of sulphur for the patina on the silver and then tumbled it.  Gorgeous! 

Silver Half Round Wire
Finished Silver Necklace
Thank you Wirework and Jude Carmona for getting me started in learning about different wire and how they differ.  The tutorial was well written and easy to follow.













Friday, June 12, 2015

A Variety of Chains



Chains and links fascinate me.  Every once in a while I stop and learn to make some.  Keith Lo Bue’s class using steel wire was such fun that I made a couple of long chains.  I also tried some in copper. 

Steel Wire with hollow silver beads
Copper Wire Chain
While looking through a file of pages ripped from jewelry magazines, I came across Jude Carmona’s tutorial on silver chain.  (from www.WireworkMag.com  fall of 2013) and decided it was time to try her techniques.  I ordered 14 gauge half round silver wire.  While I was waiting for it to arrive, I made the first chain with 14 gauge bronze wire.  I cut the 25 pieces of 7” bronze wire for the links as well as all the pieces for the figure-8’s, jump rings and hook and eye clasp.  I balled the ends of the wires as directed and, of course, the balls turned a lovely pink while the wire between stayed shiny bronze.  But this was a practice piece and I continued on! 

After all the links were made, I started assembling.  It is time consuming to coil the thick wire around a dowel for 25 links!  Hands get tired and taking breaks is recommended!  Also letting a bit of ‘zen’ attitude into the process makes a difference!

Bronze Wire Links - Note color change from torch
Once the piece was assembled, it went into the tumbler and came out beautiful!  The pink balls lend a touch of the exotic.  Very happy!  I used ProtectAClear as a sealer.


The silver wire arrived and what a difference in handling it compared to the bronze.  The weight difference is the first thing I noticed – after all I’m working with half round instead of round so there is not as much material.  The silver was so easy to bend!  Also having a flat side to coil on the dowel meant quicker coils!   I’ll use the half round again for chain! 
I used liver of sulphur for the patina on the silver and then tumbled it.  Gorgeous! 

Silver Half Round Wire
Finished Silver Necklace
Thank you Wirework and Jude Carmona for getting me started in learning about different wire and how they differ.  The tutorial was well written and easy to follow.