How do you use aspect ratio?
The aspect ratio of any given jump ring tells you what weaves are possible with that particular ring size. Understanding AR can mean the difference between a smooth, successful project and a LOT of frustration.
Each weave has a range of ARs that work well. For some weaves, such as European 4-in-1, this range is wide. For others (ie, Jens Pind), the window of ARs that work is very tiny.
If a jump ring's AR falls below the range of workable ARs, the jump rings are too "thick" and the weave is either impossible to weave or impractically stiff. Rings whose ARs fall above the range of appropriate ARs are usually weaveable, but are likely too loose. (See our answer to What is aspect ratio? for a visual example of how AR affects a weave.)
Let's say you weave a piece using one ring size and you love how it looks, but you want to duplicate it in a thinner gauge. All you need to do is find a ring size that has a smaller wire gauge, but the same or nearly identical AR as your original ring. Or, let's say you've made a piece in base metal but want to create a precious metal version. Simply look for a sterling silver ring that has a similar inner diameter, and a nearly identical AR as the base metal rings you used.*
To help you, we have calculated the ARs for most of the rings we sell. The following charts list the ARs of our rings as well as which rings work for the most popular weaves:
- Base Metal Stats & Uses - use for Aluminum (including Anodized Aluminum), Bronze, Copper, Jewelry Brass and Stainless Steel
- Sterling Silver Stats & Uses - Use for Sterling Silver and Niobium
You may also find the Weave Ideas category of our blog useful for finding and comparing weaves for some of our most popular sizes. If you are looking for suggested ARs for particular weaves and cannot find them on our stats & uses charts, we refer you to Zlosk's Aspect Ratio Table, which is quite comprehensive.
*If your piece uses other components (such as glass rings or beads), or if your piece uses multiple ring sizes, things get a bit trickier. Rebeca covers some of these issues in her AR classes (Chainmaille Q&A and Conquer AR Once and For All!); if those classes aren't currently offered, feel free to set up a private or small group lesson to tackle these concepts.