Thursday, April 22, 2010

Inspiration Through the Eye of a Friend.

Today I had the pleasure of a jewelry making "play date" with my fellow Etsy friend, Halina B. Halina makes beautiful jewelry and sells her work both through her etsy site and many shows in the Seattle area. She wanted to learn to rivet, so I showed her a few basic things about riveting. I have made a lot of jewelry using rivets, but had very little in stock to show her. One of the things I did have though, was a failed rivet. I'd been meaning to remake it, but was a little stumped as to how to fix it because the bead frame holes were much too big for a wire rivet. I showed it to her because I wanted to explain what went wrong with it. While we were working, I started to show her how a tube can be used for riveting. Halina immediately said "Oh that tubing would work well for the bead frame you're having trouble with!" Why hadn't I thought of that before? I needed to see the problem through the eyes of someone else. I finished the necklace this evening and hung it on a 36" sterling silver chain. It's a breath of springtime!

While I had Halina at my house, I thought it would be a great time to test out a jump ring maker that I had never used before. I want to make a byzantine chain maille necklace and need loads of jump rings for it. After we read the assembly instructions several times, a few failed attempts including grinding noises and smoke, I finally managed to make some usable jump rings. However, on my last attempt of the night, my saw blade broke in half. I'm not sure about this contraption - it seems a little dangerous to me. Perhaps I still don't quite have everything set up correctly? If anyone has used a PePe jump ring cutter before and has some helpful tips, I would very much appreciate it!

After I had made enough jump rings to get a good start on my byzantine necklace, I realized that it has been a couple of years since I've made byzantine chain maille. In my search for a website with good instructions, I found the Davidchain Jewelry website is great! It has clear, easy to follow instructions for several chain maille patterns.

All in all, a productive day in the workshop with an inspiring friend. Thanks, Halina!