Sunday, April 19, 2009

Aspect Ratio and a Blast from the Past

Remember last week that the folks at On the Rocks were interested in chainmaille rings? Well, I spent most of my jewelry time this week wrestling with creating the perfect chainmaille ring. I have one that I wear all the time, in European 6-in-one weave. It is close to the perfect simple, elegant and comfortable ring. I say this as someone whose hands are prone to swelling, so rings in general are not something I can wear any more unless they are very flexible.

So I am trying to recreate this exact weave. Unfortunately, it seems that the wire I used for it was from an irregular lot, labeled as 22g but somewhat oversize -- possibly IRL a 21 g. So when I naively treated it as 22g, the weave was loose and floppy, and when I tried to use 20g, it was unworkably stiff. My mandrel set is in .5mm increments, and the AR is so sensitive on this weave that I haven't found the exact match yet, and I don't have any more of this weird wire. I spent a lot of time playing with the math, and came to the conclusion that the perfect AR for this weave as a ring is 4.75. Then I had to figure out the ring size for each of the gauges of wire. Either I have to find an alternative mandrel -- a possibility, I have a bunch of mandrels in inches that I haven't tried out yet -- or I will splurge and add an ounce of 21g to my next wire order. Trouble is, I'm trying to use up wire I have, for budgetary reasons, and would like to put off buying wire for a few weeks at least. Or until I have a job if that happens sooner.

However, those things don't make for much of a picture for Year of Jewelry. On Friday morning, Gen Smith posted a Youtube of Camille Sharon making string art pendants, and I decided to take a break from math and rings and useful things like that and try my hand at one. I used some 18g copper for the frame, 22g craft wire for the coil and one plain and one variegated rayon machine embroidery thread (contrary to the video's advice and because it was handy) for the string. I made a nicer bail, just because I can. It needs some practice to refine it, but definitely a fun, quick project with a TON of potential. I highly recommend it.

Next week I have to make a bunch of earrings, also plan some Earth Day fun with grandchildren, and make up a nice presentation for Carolyn and Gonzo at On the Rocks. When that is under control, I hope to post a bunch of new things to Etsy for sale. Oh, and look for a job.

Thanks for looking! Till next time.

1 comment:

CamilleSharon said...

Your bail does look much better than mine!