Impatiently waiting

I’m waiting on a BIG supply order…UPS said it was supposed to be delivered last week, and then at the last minute, I got a text saying the delivery wouldn’t be until later this week!  Love the technology that allows me to track my packages, but I hate waiting!

In the meantime, I worked on a couple of projects with the supplies I had on hand.

A copper micro Dragonscale weave.  I can only do a few rows of this at a time until my eyes start to cross, so I work on a little each time I’m in the studio.  This will be a bracelet with  cool handmade clasp when it’s done.  I love this weave – it’s one of my favorites (honestly, nearly EVERY weave is my favorite…) – so substantial but flexible. I’ll probably touch this with a torch before polishing it to give it some nice patina.

It takes about an hour to do an inch of this stuff.  But it looks sooo great when it's done.

It takes about an hour to do an inch of this stuff. But it looks sooo great when it’s done.

 

I got a few more rows done today.  The silver ring on the end helps me to remember which end is the one I’m working on. 😉

Few more rows done, but still a long way to go.

Few more rows done, but still a long way to go.

 

And the little stirrups I made up last week got a little ring soldered to the top of them.  Again, think tiny tiny…it just takes a kiss from the torch to make the solder flow – I don’t want to melt everything and end up with a blob of silver!

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Here they are all finished up…shiny shiny silver earrings!

Stirrup earrings

Stirrup earrings

 

And the companion necklace.  I like it hung from a simple silver snake chain.

Stirrup pendant

Stirrup pendant

 

One of the next things I really need to do is either find my camera (it’s SOMEWHERE, I just don’t know where) or get a new one….these phone shots are just not cutting it.

Finally, I worked on some painting at the studio. I’ll never be a painter, but I’m happy with how this turned out. 🙂

Pi Studio...either people will get it, or they'll think we've lost our minds.

Pi Studio…either people will get it, or they’ll think we’ve lost our minds.

 

 

 

Western Inspiration

Last weekend, hubby and I took a little time off for a fun weekend away.  If you’ve never been on a trail ride, it’s a great time.  We’ve been going to this one for a number of years – Dan rides his horse and I ride in a wagon pulled by a great team of horses:  Bonnie and Frank.

The team out for a practice run before we load up and hit the trail!

The team out for a practice run before we load up and hit the trail!

The trails wind around a lake and countryside just south of Tekamah, NE…and this year we were fortunate to have almost perfect weather!  Rex rides in the wagon with me, he loved watching everything going past.  This year, there were a couple hundred riders and 4-5 wagons.  In the evening, live music and a bonfire…it’s a great way to get away and relax for a while.

These two decided they wanted to ride Bonnie and Frank!

These two decided they wanted to ride Bonnie and Frank!

Sunday morning came along, it was ridiculously cold, so I gathered up the dog and headed back into the studio for a couple of hours.  I had an idea in my head, and I wanted to see what I could do with it.  I gathered up my tools and some wire, and started fiddling around.

Hammer, wire cutters and half round wire....

Hammer, wire cutters and half round wire….

After a few misses with the torch, I managed to make a few of the components I was picturing in my mind.  I’m still working out the final piece in my mind, but I’m pretty happy with what I have so far.

Using the torch to ball up both ends of the wire was tricky!

Using the torch to ball up both ends of the wire was tricky!

Maybe you can see where my inspiration came from…they look like tiny little stirrups to me!  My weekend on the trail spilled right over into my jewelry making. 🙂

Big day tomorrow!

Studio open house is finally here!  Sunday, October 6 from 12-4…we’re having to punt on music, but we’ll get by.  There’s going to be cheese & crackers, wine & beer, hot apple cider (might need it, going to be chilly!) spiked with cinnamon, and of course PI(e)!

I finished up a great pair of earrings and a pendant to go with the LBD bracelet today.  Pictures didn’t turn out well at all, so I’m going to try again tomorrow.

I also worked on a couple of Byzantine weave pieces – a big chunky copper bracelet, and a section for a popular necklace (in copper as well).  The necklace gets finished with black Greek leather and is perfect with an open collar shirt.

It’s interesting working in the art center…people stop in periodically, and I greet them and let them know to ask if they have questions.  Inevitably, they end up in the back of the studio with me, watching what I’m working on.  There are usually some questions, and I explain the process of creating chainmaille jewelry.

It all starts with a big pile of rings.

Copper jump rings...lots of them!

Copper jump rings…lots of them!

Depending on the weave I’m working on, I line up my rings, opening and closing them in preparation for weaving.  With Byzantine, I ALWAYS work in groups of 10, 60 rings in each row with two closed and four open.

My trusty Wubbers pliers and the beginnings of a Byzantine section.

My trusty Wubbers pliers and the beginnings of a Byzantine section.

When I close those rings, I CLOSE them.  Sometimes when I have to resize something, it’s hard to find the join to take rings off!

Closed rings

Closed rings

At the beginning of the chain, I use a special tool to help me hang on to the end.

Yeah, it's just a bread tie....but they work great and don't cost anything!

Yeah, it’s just a bread tie….but they work great and don’t cost anything!

Because of the way this weave is constructed, it ends up being a little square.  Someone noticed this today while they were looking at my work, and was amazed!IMG_2526

After weaving all 180 rings, making a clasp, tumbling it so that it’s nice and shiny and clean, I end up with something like this:

This one is actually sterling silver, but you get the idea.

This one is actually sterling silver, but you get the idea.