February 28, 2012

Making my own Jump Rings

Sometimes, you're happily working away on a maille weave or putting together a sparkly pair of earrings when you reach out to grab another jump ring and you swipe at empty air...



It happens more often than I care to admit so in those crunch time situation's I've learnt to make my own jump rings. Comes in very handy indeed!
Here's a little photolog of how I do it. Granted, this may not be the most efficient or even the most technical way to do it but it works very well for me and I can finish that maddeningly ring-eating chainmaille piece without having to wait for my next supply batch. :)

For this example I've used:
 20 Gauge enamelled copper wire
Pinch wire cutters
curved nose pliers
an awl with a straight, even diameter (at least in the bottom section)
Bead mat (to stop rings from escaping of my desk)

1. Collect your tools.
I've used copper wire because I love the texture and malleability and the enamel is non-tarnish.
Take care when using coiled wire because it can spring open and turn into a shiny, spinning wheel of pain and scratches.

2. Cut a length of wire (or use the end of the uncut wire for longer lengths or if not sure how much you need) and wrap the end around the base of the awl using your thumb if possible (the less pliers used the less damage to the wire). You can also use other objects like sharpies, pens, or even Berocca tubes for larger rings.

3. Start by wrapping two or three coils around the awl then transfer the grip to your pliers. Hold the pliers and awl in one hand while you use the other to continue wrapping. This helps add more tension as you coil so as to keep the rings tight and evenly shaped.

4. Once you reached your desired amount of coils/rings, use the wire cutters to cut the excess wire .
Using the pliers coil the remaining end around the awl. It'll fight you!
Remove the coil from your awl.

5. Using your cutters carefully start cutting the coil into rings. Make sure you cut in relatively same spot so that the rings are similar in size. I like to angle the pinch cutters slightly so as to have an angled cut. Watch those fingers!

6. Bask in the success that is your handful of shinies.


February 26, 2012

Back to Uni - Am I Crazy?

Perhaps yes, perhaps no.

Bachelor of Fine Arts at Griffith's QLD College of Art starting tomorrow!
Pros and cons list goes a little like this:


  • Finally doing the degree I've wanted to since leaving high school! Yes, it has taken me this long. -__-
  • Free to do art experimentation
  • Lean new ways to create
  • Meeting new people

  • Money. MONEY. Will have none during. :(
  • Difficult to find time for making things to sell
  • Theory subjects x__x
  • Homework X__X
  • Did I mention the fact that I'm going to be poor for the next 3+ years? Yes? Well now I've mentioned it again. :/

These are the main points I've on my mind at the moment, in particular the part about being poor again, I'm not of fan of that.
But, even though the prospect of struggling to make ends meet terrifies me, I'm ridiculously excited just the same.
Orientation week was an eye opener and wandering around the arts campus itself was inspiring, I honestly can't wait to start in on the practical work. :D
I'm starting this semester with one theory subject, one graphical interpretation subject (basically life drawing intense), one painting subject and one jewellery and small objects subject, which is the one that has me really excited. Next semester it's printmaking and sculpture.
I've gone into this degree hoping to come out of it with a major in Printmaking but who knows where the tide will take me, and since my fixation on certain artistic forms is rather mercurial anyway, I'm open to the prospect that I may come out of this with something completely different. In fact, I rather welcome that possibility.


February 12, 2012

Currently on my Work Bench

A couple of things I'm currently working on:

Orbital Vipera Berus Weave with blue anodized rings, this ones almost finished, just waiting on some new claw clasps. Absolutely love the feel of this one, it has great movement, like a snake coil.

A slight variation on Rosetta weave as I wasn't happy with  the loose density of the original one made with 4.0 AR rings (and which I was to lazy to start again on so just added more rings instead XD ).
Also, now have a facebook page with slightly more regular photo updates:
M. Veronica Silva Facebook Page


February 3, 2012

Chainmaille Bracelet

So I've acquired a new obsession. Can you guess what?? XD
Tonight's shenanigans:

16 gauge, 3.75mm and 6mm ID rings.
Excuse the swollen fingers; I spent the better part of the afternoon messing with this bracelet (and a few other random bits and experiments) and I am seriously not used to using 16G wire yet (my usual is 20G and up).


February 1, 2012

Preparing Materials

Just some photos of some material preparation.

First photo is of silver plated jump rings I'm preping for earring making purposes, been hand cut rings, some of them had a few bits of overhang that had to be flush-cut... painstaking stuff o_o
Second photo is of some freshly dyed linen thread - though I'm now doing a fair bit of chainmailling and jewellery making, I haven't forgotten about my bookbinding love. <3


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