Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Elfweave Bracelet

I finished my wrapped cabs last week. They're wrapped in half persian 3 in 1. The rings are all bronze, the outer two are 20G 1/8" and the middle one is 22G 1/8". I filled the backs of the cabs with some E6000 to hold the chainmaille in place. The backs turned out pretty decent, but I still had a few tiny bubbles I couldn't get out.

I'm going to attach one to a bracelet of elfweave. The darkest one is my favorite, so I'm going to use that on the bracelet. I'm liking
how it's turning out so far, the bronze looks really nice against the lapis lazuli, it's tarnishing a little while I'm working on it, but I'll fix that once I'm done. I haven't decided if I'm going to leave the rest as pendants or attach them to something. I'll probably leave them as pendants and move on to my next project. I'm thinking I'm going to do some japanese weaves next. Off to maille!


Friday, June 19, 2009

What I made and what I'm working on

Yesterday I worked on six helm bracelets. I made them in red, green, blue, pink, orange and purple. I'm waiting for some more rings to come and then I'm going to make more in silver, yellow and rainbow. They're made with 16G 5/16" bright aluminum and Epdm, with 18G 3/16" anodized aluminum. I love colors, they're so much fun. I plan on making matching chokers and a million other colored bracelets of varying weaves. I really like the stretchy that the EPDM provides, it's nice to not have to worry about clasps. I made my kids a few stretchy bracelets for this reason, they can get them on and off themselves.

Right now I'm working on chainmaille wrapped cabochons. I've got three lapis lazuli cabochons 18 x 13mm ovals. I'm wrapping them in half persian 3 in 1 with braonze 20G 1/8" jump rings. I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to do when done. Probably bracelets, but I haven't decided what weave to use for the bracelets. Maybe GSG or half persian 3-1 sheet 6. Or maybe I'll do some japanese 12 in 2, which I've been wanting to do again for awhile. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How I Got Started

I've started this blog to document my progress in starting a business. I make jewelry, I've always been a crafty person. I started crafting at around age 10 when my grandma taught me to crochet. I was raised under the belief of "why buy something when you can make it yourself?"

Next I learned embroidery, sewing, scrapbooking, beaded jewelry, woodworking and knitting. I've jumped back and forth over these various crafts over the years, learning as many techniques as I could.

I started making my own jewelry at age 14., I loved it and my bead collection grew over the years. Fast forward 12 years to last December, I was searching through etsy and came across a chainmaille bracelet. I loved it! It was amazing and I delved into the subject of chainmaille jewelry.

Being the planner that I am I began researching chainmaille and chainmaille jewelry. The art of chainmaille is over 2000 years old, with it being used primarily as armor. There are european, japanese and persian weaves, but the celts, romans and the Norse were the original proprieters of maille. Much later around Shakesperean times chainmaile began being used as jewelry.

In January I bought some jump rings, pliers and taught myself chainmaille. The first thing i made was a japanese 12 in 2 weave choker. It took me a couple hours to finish, and by the time it was done I had a new passion. I started weaving like crazy. I loved it more than any other craft I've done over the years.

I soon had my jewelry box overflowing with chainmaille. My friends and family got lots of chainmaille. One day my husband came home and saw me working on yet another piece and said "Why don't you try selling that stuff?" Why don't I? A few weeks later Tora Jewelry was born.

The name comes from my love of tigers and japanese art. Balancing starting a business and caring for my children, ages 2 and 5, was difficult at first, but with help from my husband I'm off to a pretty decent start. I'm mainly focusing on my internet shop for now, but I am planning on scoping out local Farmer's Markets and other local places to sell.

Wish me luck,