A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Experiments in Fiber and Something Off the Cuff

A while back I became captivated by Jamn Glass' "watercolor" dyed silk strings and ribbons and bought a couple delicious lengths, not knowing what I would do with them. Figured it would come to me one day. A few weeks ago I hauled out the "fairy whispers" string and selected some stones for it. I was thinking copper. Or brass. And there it sat.

I started making a bunch of wrapped, hammered metal rings in the car on my lunch hour (I don't solder yet and Shannon LeVart had provided a little lesson somewhere about wrapping jumprings and such to close them and I thought, well, heck, solder schmolder) and after I had antiqued them, I liked the way they looked with the silk. But how to incorporate the silk? I muddled over this for about a week, strung it this way and that, and nothing worked. I was frustrated. Threw everything in my tool box and took a damn nap.

Thought about it some more, and I thought why don't I turn those big fat rings into some big fat chain. Then maybe I could weave the cording in there. Lo and behold it worked. I even stumbled across a way to finish off the end with some of my smaller rings without having to tie a knot or use wire crimp coils or anything. Here it is:

The stones include picture jasper, moss agate, teal quartz, purple aventurine, fancy jasper, and matte Crazy Horse Stone. Copper plated pewter crimp ends. I just love the tawny colors in this silk--when I get the 12 gauge brass wire I just ordered I think I'm going to make another similar bracelet with brass rings, and draw out the tawny colors more.

I also did this. A couple of these snow quartz coins were lying around and I just LOVE them (I'm so into lozenge and coin beads, but just to fondle usually. I love the way they clack together in my hand. Like money.) And an idea that was not on my to do list seized me. Took me about a week to finish it--I just got sick of it after a while. It always needed more dangling beads and I got tired of making the headpins. It was a mofo to polish. GAH. I think this was what I was working on when I got my hair caught in the dremel.

The red side of the bracelet is actually a base of black deerskin lacing but you can't see it because of all the stuff I covered it up with. I interspersed sterling silver coils along it and added the dangling beads between them. Mostly I dangled the beads from jumprings (I realized belatedly that this was a better idea) but some of them are just wrapped right onto the leather.

That fabulous red, black and silver lampwork bead is by Kelley Wenzel. I'm hoarding the rest for now. Maybe a pendant too. The rest of the beads are little rainbow moonstone coins, black glass coins, a blackstone nugget, and loads of red bamboo coral nuggets. Nifty pewter rings from Happy Mango Beads.

Phew. Time for bed. I'm old.


  1. Absolutely stunning, Keirsten! Looking forward to seeing incorporate more fiber in your work.

  2. Your're f'ing brilliant! I can't believe what you did with the silk strings. I've got some of those, too, just staring at me! Gorgeous bracelet!

  3. these are too cool! love them... am glad you started with the fibers in your own way...

  4. Love both of these bracelets. The first one with the giant wire wrapped rings is my fave. Thats a great idea--I don't solder either.
    Erin S

  5. I'm totally in love with your fabric bracelet. What a clever and beuatiful way ro incorporate the ribbon. And the colors are awesome!

  6. Holy moley woman. That first bracelet is amazing! That second one -- I can totally sympathize. I've made one with a gazillion dangles and just wanted to heave it out the window at several points! But you persevered and look at how beautiful it is now!

  7. Just knowing what it must take to not only make all those head pins (something I have not found the courage to do yet), wrap them all (my wrist is straining just thinking of it) and patina-ing them (so much work) I am just exhausted. But I really love the way you puzzled out the first one. That is really dreamy. Thanks for sharing. These are marvelous.

    Enjoy the day!

  8. Both are absolutely inspired pieces!

  9. You always have the coolest color and stone combos around, loving the silk circles bracelet.

  10. Me again - I've got to October now (I should explain that I burned my hand on Monday, had to get it treated in hospital and now can't do much of what I'm meant to be doing - oh well. More time to peruse blogs!). This post is making me comment because - this ribbon bracelet!!! Amazing!!! You might even tempt me back to trying fibres again - I do it periodically and then decide it's just not something I can do well or convincingly. Sure I've got a box of silk ribbons and cords somewhere though....