Monday, February 16, 2009

Experimentation = Frustration!

Today, I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to make a bracelet out of leather and sterling wire. I had found a pattern in a wire jewelry magazine and tried it out (the top one in the photo - loopy weave). It was more tedious than I thought it would be and the photo shows how little I accopmlished in 1 hour; almost 1 inch - in short, it would have taken me about 8 hours to complete this project - if all went well. It didn't. After 1 hour, the leather broke off. I thought I had carelessly cut it myself while snipping the wire. I wasn't enjoying making this pattern anyway, so I decided it would be a good time to abandon it.

Frustrated, I started searching my stash of beading supplies to see if I had anything that would go well with leather. I found some wonderful bali sterling beads that I'd been waiting for inspiration to use. I thought of a great idea. 2 strands of leather with beads in the middle, with leather alternately going over or under each bead, separated by wire wrapping. I got about 2 inches into that and I cut that piece of leather, too! I decided that idea wasn't going to work out well anyway. The beads needed a middle base. Abandon plan 2.

So, on to my third idea (the bottom braided leather and sterling beads with wire wrapping). Third times the charm, right? I had about 3 inches of that bracelet done and was really liking the results when... I squeezed the wire wrapping to secure it to the leather, and, you guessed it, the leather broke. Examining it closer, I realized I had not been cutting the leather myself, but rather the wire wrapping was digging into the leather and splicing it. I was using 1/2 round wire, which grips its' base nicely, but it's a little sharp at the edges. My leather must be too narrow/weak to handle it. What a pity, since I really thought this was going to be a brilliant design!

I'll have to wait until tomorrow to come up with a new plan. I'm not sure twisted wire would be any less sharp on the leather, or if round wire will hold or just slide around. Maybe a thicker leather? More experiments tomorrow. The end result will be completely different than I had originally planned, but hopefully much better than I had planned!

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