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.