Friday, March 7, 2014
Jewelry Mojo Challenge Week 3: Back to School
It's Week 3 for the Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge that Heather Powers is hosting over on the Humblebeads blog! You can read all about it HERE. This week's challenge is all about trying a new technique and making something using what you've learned. It's all about putting yourself out there and trying something new... whether it be from a book, online tutorial, or taking a class. Heather is totally right that learning something new is a fabulous way to get that creativity going.
I decided to finally get brave and try out a couple of wire links from Cindy Wimmer's wonderful book The Missing Link. I put this on my Christmas list after reading positive reviews on both the Love My Art Jewelry and Art Jewelry Elements blogs. I read a good portion of the book right away but still haven't actually tried any of the links.
Seeing as the thickest wire I currently have in my possession is 18 gauge, I looked for the easy level projects that called for that gauge and didn't look too scary. You've got to start somewhere, right?
I decided to go with her "Classic Hoop" link since it seemed a likely candidate to do ok without a tumbler to harden it. I followed the directions, but when I took the link off the Sharpie (using that as a mandrel) and tried to finish the wire wraps, things went a little sideways on me.
I'm not sure if it's because the wire I'm working with (18 gauge, Vintaj Artistic Copper from Parawire) was too soft a material, or if it's just my underdeveloped wire working skills at fault. Not only did my circle get all bendy in the wrapping process, but when I hammered out the large side of the hoop, it stayed much thinner than in the pictures. (I've numbered my attempts in the collage below.)
So, back to the drawing board for a second attempt. This time I decided to try leaving the large side of the hoop on the Sharpie while I started the wire wraps. My second try looked pretty darn good! I decided to make another one, hoping for a nice matched set. Well... number three ended up a little bigger than the previous try. It was enough of a difference that it was noticeable and not what I wanted for my project. So I cut another length of wire and tried again. Luckily, my next attempt was pretty similar to number threes. Woo hoo, I had my "matched set" for the project that I had envisioned.
I knew from the start that I wanted to make earrings. I figured that my links might not be sturdy enough for making an actual chain without tumbling them (although, I think this design probably would be fine). I kept it pretty simple just attaching the wrapped loops to earwires and dangling little lampwork beads from Beadygirl Beads off of the hoop.
I clearly still have a LOT to learn when it comes to even simple wire-working, but you have to start someplace. If anyone has ideas of where I may have gone wrong, I'd appreciate hearing them.