Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tools of Trade

My new friend! Swanstrom super flush cutters leave no bur at all on the flat side. Slight bur on the bevel side, but these are performing very well for me!

I bought these as part of my growth into fashioning more on my own. I recently fell in love with the ancient craft of chainmaille and found myself buying jump rings by the 10 gross. Fine enough for the cheapo base metal and plated metals, but when using sterling and gold-fill, the cost to make a piece reaches astronomical heights ... and therefore commands astronomical prices even on a wholesale level. There are jump ring making tools out there, but the easily reach to the $300+ level when factoring in everything needed. Winders, flex shaft motor plus the accessories for cutting, etc.

Add to that the cost of an ounce of sterling or gold-fill wire in today's market!

So I am very happy with my $49 cutters. I hope the tendons in my right hand and wrist can withstand the constant snip, snip, snip!

My first piece of pride and joy - Caged Crystal

I used 20g dead soft wire and the hubby's chuckless drill to wind the wire onto a 4.5mm mandrel I picked up at my local Home Depot. One ounce of gold-fill gave me over 300 jump rings, and I used an entire ounce of gold-fill to fabricate this necklace.

There are about 50 crystals caged by an open weave. This piece works up relatively fast. The jump rings themselves take about an hour, including periodic wrist rests. I string the cystals first and build the "cage" around the crystals.

Absolutely stunning! Even if this doesn't sell, I'll thoroughly enjoy wearing this piece myself!

1 comment:

Azure Islands Designs said...

Just stunning!!! Those who do chain maille well never fail to amaze me!!! I don't have the patience! *h* azureislands DSM