This year will be a year of firsts (or seconds in this case), a period in which I plan to push myself further than before, trying new methods and materials and accomplishing new goals. And, in an effort to nurture this aspiration, I’m endeavoring to practice things I would otherwise have ignored, or at the very least, avoided. And, like earrings are my nemesis, rings are their evil sidekick. So, of course, that means I had to make one for this week’s Year of Jewelry Project theme “Wonder Land”.
Because it’s a wonder I even bothered!
This is only my second serious attempt at a ring, available for viewing here. Amazingly, I sold my first within days, but must admit a particular fondness for this one that may park it permanently in my personal collection. In keeping with the theme, I aimed for bright colors, and fantastical design elements with a sweeping arc of wrapped and coiled frame wires extending up the finger, from a faceted rainbow glass bead and two hematite accents. And, though I’m happy with the end result, I must admit a certain degree of frustration concerning the methods used to achieve these results.
In this instance, I created a base by wrapping a single wire around the mandrel three times, attaching the bead during the second rotation, then proceeding to create embellishments around the beads by using additional base wires and 28 gauge fine silver. I feel a larger coiling wire would have prohibited as compact a design but I, unfortunately, ran out of my silver before completion of the band and had to finish with a 26 gauge sterling silver plated copper. And that band…. oy vey! I should have listened to my gut and wrapped the band first, but a lack of good judgment and prematurely twitchy little fingers had my focus elsewhere until it was too late to do anything more than whine about a band I couldn’t fit properly once the focal was finished. I was aiming for a size 8. I ended with a 7 1/2. After EXTENSIVE stretching on the mandrel. Ugh.
But, despite the hiccups in construction, I finished strong, and even managed a second first. Uh… I mean, a second piece which was also a first…. I think….
And that was utilizing chains in a pendant design. (Image did not successfully transfer from Blogger and has since been sold).
I also rarely add gemstone embellishments to this degree, as well, so maybe I’ll chalk it up to a two-for-one. And, for the record, this project wasn’t without it’s difficulties as well. The chain links were oddly sized, and finding a weave was problematic. The links were not soldered so, when adding bead embellishments, they opened. Repeatedly. Once the chain was attached to the woven base, and construction began on the focal, there were weight displacement issues to deal with so the pendant didn’t fall forward when worn.
It’s a “wonder” (ahem) this piece survived at all. One more open link and I would have admitted defeat…. well… perhaps not. I’m just unnecessarily dramatic most days. And, to top it off, I’m working against health complications which, most days, keeps me indisposed.
So, take that 2012! Booyah! Even ill I figured you out! Okay, so it took me five hours, and wire fell like shrapnel on the field, but I did it! Can’t argue with success, as far as I’m concerned.