Tag Archives: jump ring

I’m late, I’m late…

NO, not that way!!  OMG.  Perish the thought.

I meant to post this yesterday but I got so caught up in the building of it that I barely remembered to take pictures of the process, let alone edit and post them.  I think perhaps it is a good sign though, that maybe I’ve got my groove on again.

So.  It all started with an oopsie.  Several years ago I was practicing soldering large bezels onto sheet.  It can be a little tricksy. (Yes, I know that’s spelled wrong….blame Gollum.)  You have thin little bezel strip made of fine silver, which is extremely melty, and you’re trying to solder it onto a big hunk of sterling silver that takes forever to heat up enough for the solder to flow.  Long story short, I was so excited to get the bezel on the sheet properly I gleefully popped the stone in and set it.  Without.  Adding.  A bail. (Hangs head in shame.)

The reason this is a problem is that in order to solder anything else onto the piece, I really should remove the stone.  If I heat the piece with the stone in it, it will scorch.  It will kill it.  So this piece has been all by itself in a lonely little box on my desk since I built it feeling sad that it’s basically useless as-is.

So I needed a piece that I could add this to by simply drilling a hole and threading a jump-ring through it.  I couldn’t just do that and then sell it as-is…perish the thought!

You all know I’m into swirly things right now.  I generally don’t go for heart-designs, perhaps because I’m too jaded and cynical, but I had a weak moment and thought “I should do something with a heart design”.  I then checked for other symptoms of an aneurysm or perhaps possession, and finding this was a stand-alone symptom, I decided I was probably just having a weak moment and was feeling kind of heartish.  I suppose stranger things have happened.

So there’s the rough design.  I seldom do perfect sketches of what I want as I’d rather get to the building.  It’s sort of the shape I’m after and we’ll see how it morphs as we go along.

I pulled this photo in nice and close so you can see how the wire is bent to the design.  It’s not unusual for designs to change a little at this point as working with 3-dimensional wire is a little different than just tossing down a 2-dimensional drawing.  It’s springy, when you cross pieces there’s depth and joining issues.  It sometimes just looks very different than what you thought it would.  Scale is different too.  We perceive drawings differently with regard to scale than we do 3-dimensional objects.  At least I do.  I’ve placed a quarter in the picture so you can get a better idea of the size.

The round bezel at the top is for another Rose Quartz.  As you can see, the design has again morphed to include a center-swirl on the bottom.  It’s all nicely soldered into place, with little silver balls in the centers of the swirls for some added depth and interest.  The problem now is this.  It’s much bigger than I thought it was going to be and I can’t decide if I still want to put the original Oopsie that was the impetus for all this onto the bottom at all now.

Sigh.  I think I’m gonna do a Scarlett and just “Think about it tomorrah”.

3 Legs and a Handle

Who would have thought that a little device with 3 legs and a handle could make life so much simpler?  The reason there wasn’t a blog entry yesterday is that we had to go out of town….so I got nothing done on the necklace.  I did, however, finally get a tripod for my camera.  I haven’t done the lightbox yet, so the pics are still a little … well …. let’s just say it’s good I leave photography to others and concentrate on building pretty shiny things.

The first thing I needed to do was make some jump rings; lots and lots of jump rings.  The easiest way to do this is to wrap the wire around something of the appropriate diameter as shown and then cut right down the spiral in a straight line.

I cut my jump rings by reversing the blade in my saw, threading the blade through the spiral and then sawing down the spiral, holding the coil firmly.  In effect, what I’m doing is sawing pulling down on the inside rather than trying to fight the curve and saw into the coil from the outside.

I then bent some 16 gauge wire pieces into rough ovals and soldered them together, re-ovalling them when I was done.  Look Mom….I made a new word.

Then, on a steel block, I used the ball end of my ball-peen hammer to hammer some texture onto my oval links.  An oval mandrel is a MUST if you’re going to do something like this.

Lastly, I joined my funky little swirl links to the oval links by soldering jump-rings in-between.  I’ll show you the result once it’s all shiny after a tumble in some stainless steel shot.  As you can see, things are still a little blurry….the result of wanting to really get in close and not checking the photo.  Patience is not something I’m intimately acquainted with.  I’m totally loving the timer on my camera though….reduces some of the jiggly-fuzzy effect.  Good thing this is not, nor ever will be, a blog about photography.