Friday, December 5, 2008

Month - November

Well, I was busy minding my own business when I got spammed: it took a good 2 hours to clear up the mess and in my zeal to have the ugly spam gone, I managed to wipe out my November posting. It's a case, I think, of 'the quicker I go, the behinder I get.'

So: my November project is rings. This month's project is small so I made several rings to make up for it. And, yes, there is a pair of earrings. That's the only thing that was left of my November blog entry: the picture of the pair of earrings.
Start with a ring mandrel, or a dowel, larger in circumference by one size than the size you want. Wrap the wire, 18 - 20 ga, a couple of times around the mandrel and give the wire ends a twist or two around each other.

Run the 2 wire ends through the hole in the bead: take each tail end by itself and bring it down around the bead and under the mandrel ring. That's the shoulder of the ring you've just made.

Finish the tail end with squiggles or curlicues: bring it up the side of the bead and make a corkscrew or some other finishing touch. Do the same with the other loose tail end.

That last step isn't very helpful, is it! It is the fun part of making rings. That last step is the one where you get to experiment. As long as the bead is secured to the mandrel ring the rest is for sheer enjoyment. Play, be fanciful, add twists and turns.
The finishing of these rings is important. Somebody will be wearing your finger confection. Make sure all the wire ends are tucked in and filed down so nothing sharp will harm m'lady's fingers.

There are 2 secrets.

Secret #1 ~ If your bead seems not tight enough, twist the wires with your chain nose pliers. Either on the shoulder of the ring or on the bead itself add this twist. Take a look at the frosted glass ring and earrings: this twisting of the wire with the needle nose pliers can be seen the best.
Secret #2 ~ If you have chosen to wrap your wire ends around the ring, as you can see in all my ring pictures, keep the wrapping loops close together. Cut the excess wire and file it down. Finish it off with a pair of pliers that do not have any ridges or teeth on their interior surfaces. If you choose to use such pliers, you run the risk of damaging the wire. So, with the smooth pliers give the wraps a gentle squeeze. It flattens the wraps and tightens the setting.
The ring and accompanying pair of earrings below are made with frosted glass segments. They are not properly beads but I found them very pretty and I wanted to learn how to use a blob of glass, any shape or size, as a focal point. It also gave me practise wrapping and tightening the wire.
That last ring, bottom right, uses a handmade bead in silver and a black wire for the ring and shoulders. Making beads? Well, maybe next month. It isn't making glass lampwork beads, but it is making beads.

Just one last note. These rings sit very high on a finger. Don't try to put on a pair of gloves over these rings because you may cause damage to the finger of the glove. Mittens are just fine. If you are off to a cocktail party and you will be wearing kid gloves throughout the evening, put the ring on your finger AFTER you put on the gloves. People will be able to see your bit of finger confection and admire your handwork (pun intended).
There! I've updated the November entry that I accidentally deleted ~ except for the earrings photo. I can't explain it and I don't intend to find out how I did it. It's repaired.
Next? Christmas and my birthday.

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