Monday, April 15, 2013


First of all, Happy 72nd birthday to my dad!  This post is a few days late since his birthday would have been April 13th.  Although the sun was shining, it's been cold and I doubt it would have been a good day to "hunt" morels.  Every time I see an aluminum beer tab on the ground I think back to the special call we made through them to summon the mushrooms!  Never seemed to work for me...maybe it would have if I'd focused harder instead of wandering off to pick wild sweet William! I never knew that's what they were REALLY called...thought they were self-named.  :)

I spent the day embedding metal dust into my hands and sanding off my fingerprints in dad's honor.  I've been making a box weave chainmaille bracelet for our annual auction at, I'm "in the mode" since I'm also doing chain mail with my favorite art group ladies this weekend.  And for the second time this year, I've finished a project over a week ahead of schedule!  My handmade charms are finished, 9 will follow later as I don't want to put out any spoilers just yet.

Box chain is simple once you get into the groove.  I decided to make a man's bracelet because I feel they are very often left out of the personal adornment scenario!  Sure, a woman could wear this...I like heavy bracelets, but I'm hoping it ends up on a man's wrist. I call these bracelets "free range"...the copper lived in the wild (TV's, power lines, old electronics, etc) before they were bracelets...this wire was not new from a spool.  It's "composted"!  Recycled, upcycled, repurposed...WILD.

Using the odorific liver of sulfur, I darkened the copper and then polished the outside edges.  I love aged, antiqued, weathered things.  But now...I must admit, I'm addicted.  There's something about the repetitive action of making chainmaille that is taking over my mind.  I spend so much time thinking about the state of the modern food supply, that I hit a brick wall this past week and had to leave that mode of thinking and go back to my natural  Busy hands...making "things out of other things".   Which leads me to AR=ID/WD....or aspect ratio equals inside diameter divided by wire diameter.  In other words...mathematical purgatory. 

I'd say mathematical hell, but I know THIS will end!  Eventually, I will figure it out or give up and that's ok.  Dad, if you were only here to explain this!  Fractions, millimeters, AWG, SWG....decimals!  My high school algebra teacher called us "mental midgets" when we couldn't understand what he was talking about...and I've had mathematical baggage ever since.  This chart made my brain start smoking this morning...give me teaspoons, cups and even liters...I'm fine, but this is going to take some thinkin'.   I want to understand helps you figure out what wire gauge and ring size to use in different chain weaving applications to get the perfect density of chain.  The above bracelet is slightly loose, smaller rings would have made a tighter weave.  I started making it with thicker rings and it did not bend at all!  Incorrect aspect ratio....*sigh*...this too shall pass...!

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