Welcome to the CRAFT-y Corner of my Web!
A place for my Workings, my Weavings ...
oh, and my more mundane crafts as well.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chainmail: Die Bag #2

I opted to try a different pattern for this effort. It was a bit tougher to figure out, being that the individual who provided the tutorial works upwards from the original row and I prefer to work downward ... also, there are occasions where the explanation text instructions became a bit ... vague and confusing and I kind of had to wing it. The end result was ready in time for the character building session at Keith's on Saturday.

Still not quite right, but it's a workable die bag which will hold fewer dice than the one I made for Sheri.

Getting started by making queen-rings.

Each batch of wire comes secured with
the x shaped wire thing you can see in the photo.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chainmail - Finishing Touches ...

I had to give the chainmail work a rest for a few days as I'd worked up a few blisters on my fingers from manning the pliers. Today, since my hands felt better, I figured I should put the finishing touch on Sheri's bag.

All it was missing was something to make closing it easier ... so, I set out to make a rosette known as a Celtic Star:

A quick peek at the three sizes of needles
I'm using as mandrels (someday I will
need to get the real thing).

Getting the Star started.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chainmail - Nearly complete ...

Well, it's way too early in the morning and I haven't been to bed yet ...
Must mean that I got into a groove with what I was doing and didn't stop till I was done.

Got the body cylinder done.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chainmail - Die bag progress ^_^

Well, got started working on Sheri's die bag yesterday ... had a couple of false starts with the weave before I managed to figure out how to properly interlock which rings with which. That sorted itself out readily enough and within about 30 minutes I was making progress.
Got my first 6 rows done and then decided to weave in
some copper rings to add a little colour and character
to the finished product. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chainmail - 1000 jump rings done ...


I popped 'round to the Home Depot for more wire this afternoon and by 9pm I have completed the coil and cut on it. While my candle burned softly, wafting the scent of honey through the room, I have been productive.

I now have in excess of 1000 jump rings and a queen ring (larger one on top left of the photo) cut and ready for weaving. The die bag for Sheri can now begin!

See? They are as happy as I am that this part of the process is done.
Boy do I ever need to build up strength in my right hand/arm for cutting ...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chainmail - Crafting jump rings

I started by lighting a beeswax votive candle with the lighter that carries the charge from my Lady Brìd's Flame from Kildare, Ireland. Being that I'm going to be crafting jump rings out of copper, galvanized black wire, and galvanized wire ... it seemed most appropriate to invite the Lady of the Smithy to grace my work with her energy.

Brìd's Flame 
small galvanized black wire rings

I decided to work the black wire first. I was a bit disappointed to see that I'd misread the label and, instead of getting the 16 gauge wire I'd meant to, I grabbed a 19 gauge instead. I had to opt to make small rings from it as making large rings would have proven quite flimsy. 

In working with wire gauges, it's important to remember that the smaller the number, the thicker the wire is ... so a 20g wire is quite thin and suitable for stringing beads onto, while a 14g would be more suitable for making the frame for a pendant such as the tree of life

This medium proved to be a challenge out of the gate as it was oiled (which I had not realized when I purchased it) and made a bit of a mess until I figured out how to clean the wire while I was winding the coil. It was only a minor hiccough and the coil and cut process went nice and quick.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chainmail - The Quest for a Jump Ring Rig ...

I woke up the next morning having posted the photos of Kara's new earrings onto my Facebook page before going to bed. I found that I was still extremely enthused by the whole experience (which was a good thing as it distracted me from the fact that I was going to have to wait until Wednesday to see the Endodontist) and became further encouraged by the very positive reaction the pictures were eliciting from various persons who's opinions I value. ^_^

There was more to it as well, it's something in the feeling of working the metal that is very difficult to describe ... I view my Lady Brìd as my current primary Patron, with Ladies Medb and Airmid in attendance. Brìd, herself, being a transfunctional deity ...
-- She of the Healing Well -- She of the Forge and Craft -- She of the Inspired Word --
... I found working with those little metal rings had an odd way of making me feel better in touch with her energy. Everything onward from the point where I began to make the silver wire coil for the small jump rings just lent to a strong feeling of happiness and well being the like I haven't felt for a very long time.

With all that and a couple of good friends to encourage me, I spent the first part of yesterday (Sunday) morning wrestling with how I could cobble together a large jump ring rig. Theorizing that I might be able to use a knitting needle as the mandrel, I took a quick trip up to Value Village (acting on  Sheri's suggestion) with a test jump ring and sized out one that would work. With a little trial and error, I found that the size 6½ needle was the right size ... it's one of the old 1970's plastic needles of the type I can remember my mother using when I was a child. I picket it up, along with its mate, for 69¢. ^_^

The next stop was Home Depot for a pair of L-bracket shelf hangers ($3) and some wood screws ($2.50) then back home to turn an old, wooden Canadian Tire TV tray into the base for the rig. I put everything together and then just had to give it a spin.  ^_~

Chain Maille - What Started It All ...

So ... after the whole dental fiasco on Saturday left me in severe pain and an extremely short and foul temper, I needed something with which to occupy my mind and body that wouldn't see me snarling and snapping at the family. 

Having purchased some 16 gague copper jump rings the last time I was in Moody Beads (3 small baggies of about 25 rings a piece), and having figured out how to make the smaller sized ones with my coiling gadget, I decided to see if I could make a simple rosette. Which went rather well, so I made another ... followed by some small purple jump rings to see if I could marry the two rosettes together ... and the whole thing evolved into an earring. So, of course, I had to make a mate for it. And Kara ended up with a new pair to go to work with the next day (yesterday).

Starting out just trying to keep busy.
Completed 1st earring.

All materials laid out for the next one.

The two rosettes are complete , just need to marry them.

And the completed pair.

Kara wearing her new earrings to work yesterday.

I had so much fun with making them, despite all the discomfort I was in, that I became quite keen to do more ... and try other patterns. I did not, however, have enough copper jump rings left to do much of anything with and the mandrels of my coiling gadget were of the small and tiny variety. 

It was time to get creative.