Tuesday 25 February 2014

My First Attempt at Lisa Yang's Horseshoe Link Bracelet...

This morning I found Lisa's latest post on how to make horseshoe links... and p-i-i-i-ng went my heart. Many, many years ago I'd found a choker made of fine gold-coloured links in a junque shop that was my favourite necklace until I lost it one day, but it looked exactly like Lisa's bracelet. Funny how that is -- there was that necklace, plus a genuine '20s or '30s bakelite pin that fell off my sweater while out riding my bike home from work late one night. Even though these losses happened you don't want to know how many years ago, I still regret their loss to this day. When I do repairs for people, I understand completely how they can cherish something that has virtually zero monetary value, but is priceless all the same. 

Anyway, I thought I'd try this design before I went back to making more "bones". Love those bone necklaces that I'm putting together. (See below.) Meanwhile, go check out the horseshoe tutorial on Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog first. This is Lisa's finished bracelet. Biiiiig difference from what I ended up mangling.

Lisa Yang's finished bracelet

Yikes... My horseshoes are not very pretty. I used the same gauge of wire and cut them to two inches, but I used a Bic pen as a mandrel rather than a Sharpie.

As you can see, my horseshoes came out heavier and clunkier rather than light and airy like Lisa's links. I also had difficulty getting the links through the loops as the curve is too sharp and I hammered the wire too flat. I ended up having to squidge the looped ends in closer, plus the loops themselves should have been a titch larger.

I also closed bracelet a different way. However, I much prefer Lisa's version as it will lock the bracelet securely together and won't tend to get caught on clothing.

Back to the bench block for me where I'll follow the directions a little more closely ;-).

These are the bone necklaces I finished putting together on Saturday at the market (after I finally found the lost first batch of bones). Sitting right there in front of me all that time. Hope I can find my package of black flocked earring cards the same way. They've completely disappeared off the face of the planet.

These blue crystals are kinda sorta a little more aqua-ish than they appear here. Fire-polished Chinese crystals. The two brass, enamel and crystal connectors are from Michael's. They have pretty cool stuff like that that I can't find anywhere else around here out in the boonies, so for me it's worth the almost 60-minute drive when they have their 1/2 price sales.

Matching earrings. Again, using sterling silver earwires, although now that they're put together, I think slightly larger handmade copper earwires will look better.

All three bone necklaces. I'll be making more earrings, as soon as I make more bones. Copper bone necklace with clear crystals, 24" $45; plain copper bone necklace, 21", $25; asymmetrical copper bones with blue AB crystals, 38-1/2", plus earrings, $79.

Lookit what showed up in my mailbox yesterday from Joanne Nelson's trip to Tucson. It's like holding the mountain in your hands they're so large and raw and gloriously blue! Or... Chicken Little was correct, and the sky has indeed fallen upon us.

Rough lapis lazuli beads from Nelson Gemstones

I'd love to see what people are doing with their hammering and I'd be happy to post any pictures.

REMINDER!!! Only 16 days until I leave for The Gem Expo in Toronto at the Hyatt Regency on King Street. See you March 14, 15 and 16!!!

Thanks for looking!


Nelson Beads said...

I'm so glad you like the lapis, Barbara. I'd love to see what you do with them.

I really like those bones, too. What gauge wire is that?

Thanks for the link!

Barbara said...

18 gauge for the horseshoes and 14 for the bones. I used hard temper for the bones and I think I will try the horseshoes using the hard gauge, as well. I find the soft wire to be way too difficult to control. Lisa's blogs have all the technical information/measurements.

I'm looking forward to seeing what I do with the lapis, too! I have zero ideas at the moment. I'm leaving them out so I can look at them. They are spectacular.