Sunday, May 22, 2016

Byzantine in all its colored splendor!

The project: a 60" necklace in Byzantine weave, multi-colored but no black or silver. No problem for the weave ... Byzantine flows smoothly in the making, drapes well, and is generally quite a pleasant weave to work with from the creation point of view.

Multicolored: always an interesting challenge! As I have said more than once, random looks better when it has a little structure to it. The weave works up in pairs of rings, and 12 rings made a unit, so the colors need to be a different number to not fall into a regular pattern. I settled on five bright colors, five slightly pastel, and gold for accents. I set up a pattern to alternate the two sets of colors, and then I tried a random generator tool to place the various colors (which was interesting, but not very successful - however, it did take me back to my high school math days and probability and statistics problems!). The color placement needs to take into account where the colors fall when the necklace is doubled or tripled - that's the tough part! This was my color worksheet:

I was quite taken with the end result ...

... and so was my client!

Monday, March 7, 2016

New Chain Mail Weaves

I'm always interested in trying new weaves. At the same time, I have to pay attention to the size of my rings. Many/most weaves are more or less possible depending on the ratio between the wire gauge and the inner diameter of the ring. I don't have the space or the budget to stock all sizes (let alone all sizes in all colors!), so I try to stick with just a few sizes, which is probably just as well, as it keeps me focused.

I've been looking for new weaves for another project of mixed weaves (more later!), which took me first to this double spiral chain. It has to be done in three colors to see the effect. It's a hard weave to get started,but when it's on its way, it practically weaves itself. It uses bigger rings than I normally use, so it won't work for my project, but it's a nice chain to wear, and I'm planning to get this size ring in other colors. Because the rings are larger and the weave is a bit looser, it takes fewer rings for a completed piece. I'm pondering on how to do a rainbow chain with this one.

This weave, which has several names and I'll stick with inverted round, fits the bill nicely for my project. It uses the ring size I want and it has a round volume, which is to say that it is not a flat weave - it feels rather like a box weave. This particular necklace was also an experiment in overlapping blocks of color. The weave is tighter than many, so it uses more rings, and I had to make up a way to finish the ends, which seems to work.

Time to get to work on my new big project!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just a small show Valentine's Day weekend, but it's an opportunity to play with hearts, one of my favorite shapes!

Frosted pink and white glass beads, old stock from a now-defunct Paris jewelry shop - what could be more Valentine's Day??

 These thick black glass hearts have an AB (aurora borealis) finish on one side - perfect with the silvered tubes in this memory wire bracelet.

Old Czech glass hearts with new Czech clear ovals ...

Foil glass hearts, in shades of black, silver, clear, and purple.

Can't forget the earrings!

And best of all, a few new "├ępingles de pardon"- after all, they are for sweethearts! (Check out my post about these traditional trinkets from Brittany - click here.) I was pleased to make one with all hearts!