Making Chains

I'm at a place where I have acquired the tools and the space to spend more time on individual pieces.  The commercial flat link sterling chain is perfect for the sparkly $28 Swarovski pendant of a nice little pink tourmaline in a silver swirl wire wrap, but it does not support a large chased copper piece that has taken me several days--not working on it constantly of course--to complete.     Increasingly I have a need for handmade chains to go with the pieces. 

 Argentium Silver jump rings

Argentium Silver jump rings

Today I am experimenting with fusing Argentium silver.  One of its properties is that it can be heated to a point where the molecules will flow and mingle together and fuse.

 Black swirls on tile are relics of a project from earlier this week.

Black swirls on tile are relics of a project from earlier this week.

I studied wire weaving and chain-making for 10 weeks at the Southwest School for Arts in San Antonio some years back.  I have put very little of that training to use. It is probablygood thing that making chains can be addictive.  They do take time and effort.

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The Hoops I have to go through to produce a fine chain include producing a not-fine chain and being fine with that.  Actually, when this one is finished it will look pretty good.  The trick is to not become discouraged.  Things happen. Like that big pile of jump rings made of costly silver depicted in the first picture, above, they do not fit together snugly.  I likely will have to set these aside and start over entirely.