Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Titanium. It's amazing!

Can I just say that I am absolutely in love with anodized titanium right now?  The Ring Lord used to carry about four colors of the stuff and they tended to vary in shade within the batch you got.  They were pretty...but not really worth the extra cost of buying them if you just wanted color in your designs (Ti is pretty expensive and very, very expensive as compared with anodized aluminum or enamelled copper).  These days, TRL carries 9 colors and while their website says that the rings do still vary in color from batch to batch, I think they're pretty standard within batches - at least as far as I've seen.

  See? Pretty! (Photo from The Ring Lord)

A couple months ago I got some 20g rings in dark blue and violet because I wanted to make a bracelet from a weave called Arkham.  As it turned out, the rings were too tight to be used for that weave so it ended up as a bracelet made of a weave known as GSG.

The only issue I have with the titanium is that it's pretty springy and the saw cut rings tend to not have a perfectly smooth edge so it makes it very hard to close them in a way that you can't see the join.  It's sadly something that I have no control over though, so I will just have to deal with it.  The colors make it worth the hassle.  I've gotten some rings to remake the dragonscale sections on my steampunk gear choker that I posted before.  The brass and copper are beautiful but they're not very strong in that small wire diameter so I am hoping that the titanium will help solve the problem.  I will post pictures of it when I manage to get it done.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holy Jeez, Where Did the Year Go?

I can't believe I haven't made a post since January!  Well, it has been a rather busy year and I haven't done as much mailling as I probably could have.  Or at least, not as much of the new and flashy variety.  The latest and greatest were a pair of cameo chokers that I created.  The first one was inspired when I found a cameo focal point at the local craft store and picked it up, thinking to incorporate it into a chainmail design to be worn with my neo-Victorian/Steampunk outfits.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but the rings I used were black ice (a sort of bright gunmetal color) and lavender anodized aluminum.  Once the two colors went together, it was very hard to tell them apart.

There was such interest in my choker, that I decided to make a second version - which I was going to enter into a local Steampunk art show but I inadvertently missed the deadline.  Oops!! 

In this one, I took off the drapes that originally came with the focal point and added hand-made drapes (except the one that is just the pearl beads).  All the rings used were black ice and champagne colored anodized aluminum. 

If I could criticise one thing, it is that I didn't use both colors on the short 4-in-2 drape...but I didn't have champagne colored rings in that size.  If the piece doesn't sell before I can get some in, I will likely swap that out so that everything matches.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Plugging Along

Only one picture to post this time around...

It is an in-progress shot of a necklace I'm making on request from a friend.  Stainless steel, 18 gauge (1.2 mm) rings with a 1/4" inner diameter.  The weave is Captive Inverted Round with a single captive ring. 

I am also working on a flogger made entirely of jeweler's brass and continuing to tinker with my other big projects (namely the banner and the TARDIS sculpture).  I've decided that since there are so many people out there creating chainmail jewelry - especially in the more popular/simpler weaves - that I'm going to start focusing on making art pieces (sculpture) as well as accesories like belts, bags, purses and home decor items.  I enjoy doing those and I would like to be making things that not everybody and their cousin are making.  A case in point:  in last quarter's competition on MAIL, the theme was "jewelry incorporating beads" and there were nearly fourty entries. I can't even get five people to vote for sculpture as a theme and there are virtually no artisans selling sculptural items.  I may have found my niche.  I'll see where it takes me.  By no means am I giving up jewelry, especially if I have a request to make something...I just don't want to be another name in a growing crowd.