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A place for my Workings, my Weavings ...
oh, and my more mundane crafts as well.

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.
I finished off the 14 gauge copper wire next. Being a fair bit softer of a metal from the galvanized I'd just finished, I got the coil wound quite quickly and the cutting took only a few moments. I'm quite happy with these rings, they are heavier than the original 16 gauge copper rings I used in Kara's earrings and would work quite well as accent rings for a larger piece of work like Sheri's dice bag (to bring a bit of colour to an otherwise uniform design).

I followed this up by coiling all of the 16 gauge galvanized wire. I had 15 meters worth, which is 50 feet for you imperial folk. By this time my right hand, which is unaccustomed to manning the aviation snips, was starting to fatigue quickly and getting kind of tender. I'm going to have to build up strength if I'm going to get Sheri's bag done ... it takes almost 1000 jump rings to weave 1 bag and 15 meters of wire gave me approximately 550 rings (I'm deliberately counting lower than the actual count of 587 to leave me some breathing room for dropping or mangling rings while trying to figure the pattern out.

Trying to make use of
as much of the wire as I can.

Work in progress.

This is going to make a LOT of rings.


Being that I'm going to need 973 jump rings (972 plus a larger "queen" ring at the bottom/center of the bag) to weave the bag, it would appear that I'm going to need to get another spool of the wire ... 

I still have my work cut out for me ^_~

Starting to accumulate a collection of
rings ready for weaving.
^_^

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