What does a jeweler want to make more than anything?? (In my case, at least :) ) The answer would be: a 22k gold handwoven chain.
I’ve made chains in fine silver before and I love the process: the flexibility of the metal, the involvement in every step of the way, from making the rings to the weaving. And the end result is a truly timeless piece.
I had only dreamed of maybe one day making one in gold. But I didn’t have to dream for too long, and it was wonderful, just as I thought!
As enjoyable as it was to make, this bracelet was also STRESSFUL! The price of the gold alone adds a tension factor since making a mistake in your initial estimate (as I did, of course) might cost you hundreds of dollars in extra material, changing the estimate altogether. This is not even a factor with silver. That’s the difference between $50 versus 90 cents a gram, yikes!
Here’s a few photos from the process. [Not pictured: me sweating profusely and freaking out that I wouldn’t finish on time.]
So I finally finished this piece I made for a friend. It took me a while, and I enjoyed it so much. I’ve made a few of these for myself, but this is the first commissioned chain, and I’m glad it has a nice home with Bill.
I tried to document every step of the long process, but a few slipped through the cracks. You get the idea though, right? I like to see the progression of the metal, so fascinating.
I haven’t been too constant posting here, but I always take pictures when I work.Some of these I’ve shared through Instagram (@jimenab).
Here’s a couple weeks’ worth of images of what I’ve been doing. Hope you enjoy.
1. coils for jump rings – 2. cutting solder – 3. etsy order packaged – 4. coconut water on a sick day – 5. scrap gold to make a friend’s wedding bands, in the crucible – 6. big torch melting the gold – 7. etsy orders and gold ingot – 8. start for woven chains – 9. tomato soup
1. chain test – 2. the pieces and the chain – 3. pulling the chain to even out the shape – 4. fusing fine silver jump rings – 5. more fusing – 6. still more fusing, and how the chain should look when finished – 7. about 500 jump rings in peanut form – 8. beaded necklaces for wholesale order – 9. new brass stacking rings for the shop
I started this chain who knows when, I already forgot… These kinds of projects I do for myself because they take a lot of time & effort and, sometimes, a ton of silver. And I love the look and feel of classic handwoven chains. The ones I have I wear all the time, so the investment was paid off a long time ago.
I’ll post a photo of the stone clasp when I finish it.