Last week I posted a simple little ring and much to my surprise received the most positive feedback I have ever had on any piece of jewelry I have ever made. Since the technique was on my list for further exploration, I decided to make this week a week of rings. Like most of us, I have a fairly extensive collection of random beads of all sorts so I selected beads that were square, rectangular, or more or less oval that I thought might work well in a ring. Then I set to work.
Of course, life intervenes, this week in a good way. I got a callback for a second interview for a job that I would love to get. We also took out time to spend with our grandchildren. So my jewelry time was more limited than I expected when I got out my beads and made my plans for the week. Still, all things considered, I was very productive. And I even took out time to watch Torchwood: Children of Earth.
My first ring for the week used an oval amethyst bead. Because the green ring came out small, I carefully measured 3 inches as the length for the ring segments. The ring came out nicely, but at size 9 1/2, quite a bit larger than I was aiming for. After further experimentation, I realized that the sizing has to be based on a combination of the length of the wire as well as the shape of the bead. A flat bead would call for shorter wire lengths, while a thicker bead needs a longer wire. Since ring sizing is critical, I felt it was very worthwhile to get this down to a formula. There is still a little refining to do, but I'm really close.
Meanwhile, I've been seeing a lot of coiled-style earrings, rings, and other jewelry being made. One of the beads I pulled out was this bali silver bead with coiling and spiral details.
It called out to me to echo the motif on the bead with handmade coiling. As I worked on it, the spaces in the coiled element looked too empty, and I just happened to have some corrugated beads that just fit, both in size and in appearance, so I wove those in, too. Finally, I finished the back with the herringbone wrapping. Best of all, when I finished the last coiling and trimming and slipped the ring on my finger, it FIT.
Technical details: Bali silver bead, about 3/4 inch or 18 mm long, 3/8 inch or 9 mm at the widest point. The coil details on the ring are roughly similar to 30g wire. The ring form and the bases of the spiral elements are 20g soft sterling. Coiling and weaving wire is 28g sterling. 3mm corrugated melon beads in sterling and 2mm plain beads for embellishment. The coil and bead detail is repeated on each side of the focal bead, while the back of the ring is wrapped in herringbone weave. The center back uses 2-wrap herringbone to tie the two wires closely and then transitions to 5-wrap herringbone as the sides flare out to meet the central motif section.
I'm wearing this ring right now. When I finish my blogging for today, I already have another ring started, this one with blue glass and swarovski beads. And all the other beads I pulled out for rings are still calling to me. Not only that, but this week I will be hearing whether I got the job -- I think the interview went well, so I am cautiously hopeful. And if it doesn't work out, I won't be any more unemployed than I am currently, so it's all good, right?
Do be sure to stop over at the Year of Jewelry site. As the year progresses, the participants are doing more and more wonderful things. I love the project, both for the artistry and for the positive motivation it gives me to keep working and growing as an artisan.
Love your comments! Thanks for looking!