Monday, December 07, 2009

Silver Flock Bracelet

I'm finally getting around to making some more bird bracelets. I've had links cut out for some time now, but this weekend I was finally able to fire and tumble and work on assembly.

The first bracelet like this was a series of trials that had a happy ending. I didn't plan the ovals alternating; that happened because shrinkage made the pillow links not long enough. Rather than cut more the same, I added another shape. I put the bracelet together without the extra oval at the toggle end, so that it didn't alternate when the clasp was closed. The second version, with glass insets, had its own issues associated with adding the glass and the different shrinkage of silver vs. bronze. This bracelet was the first where I really knew what I was doing and could try to refine the process and minimize time and effort.

The most painful part of the entire project was the beaded linkages, because they are angled. I struggled and undid and redid these on the first two bracelets. I left wires too long or too short and had to cut them off and replace. This time, I did it assembly line style, cutting all the wires to length, beading one end, forming them with pliers (all the same size!) and then assembling and torching pair by pair. It still takes a while -- there's 45 of them, after all -- but it's finally straightforward. I've learned what to do and what not to do.

Experience -- there's nothing like it.