Sunday, April 24, 2011

Vintage Inspired

In addition to my clay hoard I just got, I am also working on my May Bead Journal Project piece.  I've got quite a ways to go on it yet, but I've been switching gears between 3 different things so it's getting worked on a little at a time.

The third project I have been working on is a themed piece. gave the assignment, and let me tell was a challenge!!!  The theme is "What's Old is New Again."  In other words, take something vintage (or vintage inspired) and recreate it into a new, modern piece.  Have you ever seen me work in vintage, steampunk or anything like that?  No.  Why?  It's not my thing and I haven't a clue how to go about it.  Now I had to do something I just wasn't comfortable with.  Talk about stretching the creative muscles!  I think I have a sprain.

Let me start by showing you the things I got.  I started with 6 different antique brass chains in 1 foot pieces.
I had the idea of taking a bunch of old chains and reconstructing them into one new piece.  I really like the look of the antique brass.  It has a very nice finish, and all the chains are a very high quality.  They will not easily break or come apart!

I got two filigree links, also in antique brass.  They are so pretty!  I also got antique brass jump rings, and I had no idea they were such a thick gauge and so strong.  I was a little panicked at first because my idea was to put crystals on the jump rings and attach them to the chains.  But these jump rings were so thick there was no way on God's green earth that those crystals would fit on that wire.  I ordered 2mm Swarovski crystals in Dark Indigo.  Holy crow are they TINY!!!  I also got 5mm bicones in Mocca and 5mm round Swarovski pearls in Night Blue.  (Soooo pretty!!!  I couldn't capture the colors very well in the photos.  Sorry.)
But none of them would fit on those jump rings!  Uh oh!  What to do now???!!!  I had to make an emergency purchase at one of my local bead stores and pick up some alternate supplies.  I took the beads with me and I had to try the wires to see what gauge would fit through the beads.  For the 2mm, I had to go with a 24 gauge...not very sturdy. :(  For the other beads I could get by with a 20 gauge, which wasn't bad.  I then invested in a set of simple jump ring makers.

What a good buy!!!  I am now a pro at making jump rings, and I will never buy another jump ring ever.  Since the jump rings I got were too big for what I had originally intended, and I didn't want to not use them I decided to make a 7th chain from them.

For the pearls I made a simple head pin by making a bend in the bottom of the wire and pinching it completely up to make a little stop.  For the bicones I made a head pin with a spiral bottom and they both just had simple loops at the top.  For the tiny crystals I just made little jumprings and put them on.

I needed to also attach the chains together and to the filigrees, but I also had a problem with the jump ring sizes on those too because the holes were pretty small.  But I did manage.  Also, my snips are not a very good quality, so they didn't make nice, smooth cuts for the jump rings.  This made the edges where they close together not very tight.  To help prevent any from coming off, a lot of the time I doubled up the jump rings.  I figure one might come loose, but maybe not both.  In the end two of the chains did not make the cut.  I used 4 chains I ordered plus the one I made with the jump rings.  This is what I came up with.  I call it...

Links In Time

You can click for a larger view

With this project I have become a master jump ring maker, and I had more than my share of opening and closing the rings!  I've also become pretty proficient at simple loops and making those little spirals.   All in all, I'm pretty happy with what I came up with considering this is not my usual style.  The necklace is 17 3/4" and drops down from the top chain to the bottom the pearl dangles about 6". rocks.  I must have said it a gazillion times.  If you haven't yet visited them, you really need to because they have the supplies to make almost anything you want.

I hope everyone is having a nice Easter weekend!

FTC disclaimer: provided me with supplies at no charge.  I am not being compensated in any way for my true and honest opinions of their products.


Mandy said...

Awesome! You did a fabulous job! It's so cool this pushed you to learn a new skill, I really need to learn how to learn to make the jumps, loops, and spirals. My loops are awful and I cringe whenever I have to make one for an endcap. Looks really good you should be proud!

Barbara said...


Lynn said...

Geez Girl - this necklace is fabulous! After reading all the 'trouble' you were having, my expectations weren't very high on how the finished piece was going to be. Wow! Its awesome!! You captured the essence of vintage perfectly :)

flyingbeader said...

That looks great Lisa...I haven't even had time to THINK about mine yet.

Beadwright said...

Wow that turned out just stunning.
Great job.

Pacificshores said...

you inspire me to learn to make jumprings too, thankyou-just love this piece.