zaterdag 3 januari 2015

One ring leads to another.

This winter it is time to learn something new, so my wife and I enlisted with the GoldenArtDesign studio of Yolanda Nieuwboer for a course in the fine art of Goldsmithing.

And although we have not had our hands on significant amounts of precious metal, we are learning the basic skills on Copper, Brass en Alpaca Silver. 

One of the newly acquired skills is silver soldering on - in this case - handmade copper rings.

I wind copper wire on a drill bit to form a long coil. This task reminds me of making coils for a radio transmitter :-) But in this case, the coil is cut into individual rings using a jigsaw.

I use silver, flux and a blow torch to close the rings.

Not a very demanding task, but a nice exercise for the next assignment, a bracelet or necklace of your own design! My own design... well, that's a problem! I am not very good at designing, so it is Google (and the lovely wife!!) to the rescue to find soldered ring designs. This design quickly stands out:

It is a Silver Celtic Star in Chainmaille made (in this case) by Janabolic Jewelry

Of course, I have to try and copy this and after some experimenting with the size of the individual rings I come up with this:

I am pretty happy the way it turned out, especially taking into account I used only one wire thickness for all (2.5mm^2 electrical wire). 

But soldering these rings is not required and would be difficult to accomplish. So this is not usable as my project for the course. A new search on the term Chainmaille leads to literally thousands of designs including this comprehensive list of Chainmaille weaves and patterns. I Choose the Celtic Vision weave and experiment some with the ring size, as it turns out that the ring size is very important to the final result..

Encouraged, I decide to turn it into a bracelet with a simple hook.

Unfortunately, this design also does not lend itself to soldering much, so I am still in need of a design for my project. I do however end up with a bracelet that looks 'Ultragay' in the words of my dear wife. So I will probably not wear it much, although I did enjoy making it :-)

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