Happy New Year, fellow chainmaillers! It's been a busy, exciting time for us at the studio. Not only have we moved since the last newsletter came out, but we've also hired a new weaver and Inventory Assistant, and are actually looking for yet another Inventory Assistant to help us stay caught up! (Side note: Is being surrounded by tiny metal rings all day your idea of a dream job? If so, job listings will be viewable here
as long as they remain available).
As I type this, I'm madly preparing for Tuscon—weaving tens of thousands of rings into jewelry, preparing a wholesale catalog, planning my booth display, and packing a huge box of kits and instructions to sell. I've already heard from some folks who will be stopping by the booth I'm sharing with Spiderchain
. I look forward to meeting you! And, as eager as I am about the show, I'm also looking forward to the time when the dust settles and all the show boxes are unpacked, so I can step back, reach out to my muse and design new pieces for the summer season.
I wish everyone the best in 2008—much happiness, health and success to you all!
Weave Variation - Zig Zag
The Zig Zag is a variation of Japanese 6-in-1. Imagine a 3-row 12-in-2 weave (like the Mini Lace bracelet) with every other ring missing from the outer rows. That leaves Zig Zag: a flexible weave perfect for both bracelets and necklaces.
: Familiarity with basic Japanese Weaves and/or comfort working with small rings
Aluminum Ring Sizes
: H18 (18g 3/16" / 3.6 mm)
with D20 (20g 1/8" / 3.2 mm)
We've tried the weave in aluminum and stainless steel, and would presume it would work well in jewelry brass and bronze. However, due to the softness of copper, the weave might be too tight in this metal. The tripled rings might instead need to be doubled, or the inner diameter might need to be upped to E20. We'll make some sample patches and post the verdict here.
Silver Ring Sizes
: H17 (17g 3/16" / 3.6 mm)
with tripled D20 (20g 1/8" / 3.2 mm)
and doubled D19 (19g 1/8" / 3.2 mm)
The decision to use D19 and D20 is just because Rebeca is a perfectionist, and those size combinations seemed to yield the best fit. You could use D20s for all the small rings, if you prefer. It certainly makes weaving simpler!
|All large rings are doubled. Small rings are doubled or tripled, depending on position. The doubled rings connect the base chain (and are oriented in a straight line all the way across your piece). The tripled rings create the zig-zag.
1. To start, weave your center strip as long as the final length needs to be (save room for the clasp). Each pair of large rings has 6 small hanging rings, 3 on each side. The first and last pair of large rings will only have 3 hanging rings.
2. Here's a hint for adding rings: scoop up 8 small (If using colors: 3 colored rings + 2 middle/plain rings + 3 colored rings. If using silver: 3 D20s + 2 D19s + 3 D20s). Before closing....
3. ... go through the 2 middle rings (the doubled set) from the end of your weave. Close the large ring, and don't forget to double the large ring by passing a new large ring through all 10 rings (8 you added in step 2, plus the 2 you just went through in step 3.)
|Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your piece is as long as you'd like. From the beginning pair of rings, you can attach your clasp directly (as shown in the bracelet photo at the very top of this article). Or, you can attach another 2 large rings (see the leftmost set shown in Step 4 below) and lead to your clasp from there. If you'd like, attach your clasp now and make sure your bracelet fits before moving on to step 4.
4. Now you'll begin joining the hanging rings. Start with the first set of 3, and join them with the next set of 3 hanging on the same side. Use a large ring to go through all 6 of those rings. Be sure to double the large ring.
5. Do the same thing with the next available hanging rings (on the other side of the weave).
6. Continue the pattern until you reach the end.
It's fun to play around with color combinations for the hanging rings. If you are using multiple colors, you might want to sketch out your pattern first, so you have a guide to follow as you weave.
We've updated the class calendar
for January through March, with a few April classes listed as well (more will be added in the coming months).
at Ayla's Originals
Contact the specific store or gallery for a schedule or to register for a class.
Classes at Blue Buddha's new studio!
Now that we've moved, we have enough space to hold small classes (up to 6 students comfortably, 7-8 if we squeeze!) Additionally, we are excited to host one or two Open Studio sessions per month. No formal instruction will be given during Open Studio, though you will probably find yourself learning from and teaching those sitting next to you at the table.
Upcoming classes and Open Studio dates:
: Thursday, February 21, 6:30 -8:30 $30
: Saturday, January 26, 12:00 - 4:00 $50 for class with base metal rings; $135 for class with sterling supplies
Hodo (Sidewalk) Bracelet
: Thursday, March 6, 6:00 - 9:00 $40 for class with base metals rings; $130 for class with sterling supplies
Rondo à la Byzantine
: Sunday, March 9, 10:00 - 5:00 (includes 1 hour break) $80 for class with base metal rings; $225 for class with sterling supplies
: Thursday, January 17, 5:00 - 9:30; Tuesday, February 19, 5:00 - 9:30, Saturday, March 1, 1:00 - 6:00 free
To register for classes at Blue Buddha Boutique studios, please call 773.478.3767.
The countdown has begun!
In June, Rebeca teaches three classes at the Bead&Button Show
in Milwaukee, WI. She hopes to see some of you there!
Newest Supplies and Coming Attractions
We've got several new findings to post during the coming weeks, including more base metal pendant bails, brass earwire, anodized niobium earwire, base metal spring clasps, and a new luxurious sterling silver toggle.
All brass in 20g, 18g and 16g is now jewelry brass, an alloy that looks more like gold than the yellow brass we previously stocked. The 22g brass is still yellow brass; we'll transition that later in the year. Any remaining yellow brass is being liquidated on the sale page
. We just slashed prices nearly another 10% on those rings.
Other recent additions to the Supplies
Throughout the year we will be adding more rings and products. We are very excited to be resizing all our base metals and standardizing the Inner Diameters by taking springback into account.
Softer metals will be coiled around slightly larger mandrels, and stiffer alloys coiled around smaller mandrels. For you, this means that a G18 aluminum ring will be the same as G18 copper and G18 steel. Nifty, indeed! More about this as the transition takes place.
We will also begin in-house anodizing of titanium so we can offer you this metal in a variety of colors. For local students, we'll host a couple of "do-it-yourself" anodizing workshops so you can create a small titanium piece (earrings or pendants) and color it during class!
Feel free to contact Rebeca as always with questions or comments.
local: 773.478.3767 toll free: 866.602.RING (7464) email@example.com
All content written by Rebeca Mojica, Blue Buddha Boutique artist & owner.