September Phoenix

I think I’ve mentioned somewhere that I have signed up for a year long project: Bead Journal Project ’08. I had to decide what form the ‘journal’ would take: many took it literally and are making page style items. For me it was a good excuse to make some jewellery: and September is a bracelet, a cuff shape in colours evocative of Spain. My sister, who wants to lose weight, save money and go to Spain has commissioned the piece. I’ve written an article about it. 

My hands suffered mightily because I decided to use memory wire – something I knew would be challenging. I had no idea how challenging it would be!!

beads + memory wire + crimp tubes = disaster

beads + memory wire + crimp tubes = disaster

Memory wire has a mind of its own and that is the beauty of it: it always returns to its original shape. It’s strength is also its weakness: it always returns to its original shape. Well, I finally got one length into a cuff shape with crimp tubes holding it. I let it sit for 24 hours. The next day I started to wrap it with copper wire and the whole thing exploded in my face: so much for the holding power of crimp tubes. And my hands hurt so badly from the effort of getting it into the cuff shape that all I could do was cry: I was defeated.

I HATE  to lose an argument, as people who know me can attest. But losing to a length of wire??!?! It cannot happen!!

  

I cut 2 lengths of memory wire and began wrapping and adding beads that tied the 2 pieces together like ribs. At one end of each wire I formed a loop. I intend on making several of these ribs before adding the real embellishment: wood beads wrapped with

2 lengths of memory wire held together with bead and wire ribs

2 lengths of memory wire held together with bead and wire ribs

 embroidery floss. I cannot say just what the final design will look like because my fav way to design is doing the thing and letting serendipity reign. Posts like this are the notes that will be the roadmap of the design.

 

Well, you know, as I was adding my scribbles about this method I had an eureka moment. The flash of light over my head was blinding. I was in awe. I was speechless. …

 

The end loops of the rib style cuff shape was what gave me that new idea.  I took another length of memory wire, made a loop at each end, then – are you ready?! – I joined the 2 loops. So simple.

 

memory wire + round nose pliers = interesting shape

memory wire + round nose pliers = interesting shape

It will work only as long as it takes to get some design elements into it to help keep its shape. The start of this shape will see copper wire lacing the 2 loops together.

 

When I told Marg about my trials and their outcome she was well pleased: instead of 1 bracelet she will be getting 2. One will be her everyday cuff and the other will be her Sunday Best cuff.

 

The ‘rib cuff’ will be the ‘Spanish Rib’ cuff while the second will be known as the ‘Spanish Phoenix’ cuff.

 

I’ll let you know of my progress, so please check back often.

 

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Spanish Bracelet 1

Cuff Bracelet to Spain
Cuff Bracelet to Spain
Cuff Bracelet Going to Spain
Cuff Bracelet Going to Spain

My sister wants a trip to Spain. She needs to save a whole lot of money to get there. As a reminder, like the string tied onto a finger, she commissioned a piece of artisan jewellery that would act in the same manner as the string.

I’ve had an awful time with the memory wire: it’s very Type A and so am I so it has been truly a battle to see who will win. While all you see right now is a skeleton of the cuff bracelet, the next step is to wire up a few more ‘ribs’ and ‘connective tissue’ that will act as a platform for the rest of the beads.
I thought I would add some copper wire: a stronger colour than gold, copper will look better in bright sunlight. The black beads will help with the stringing.
At least that’s the hope.