Tutorial: Geometric from “Creative Silver Chains: 20 Dazzling Designs”
Author: Chantal Lise Saunders
Price: $19.99 for paperback
Early in this book, Chantal writes, “Handmade links are only similar, never identical. Handmade chains can express fluid movements of shape and light, and give expression to the power of chance in creating art.” That is the exact reason I love a handmade chain. Each link tells its own story.
16g Sterling silver wire
18g Sterling silver wire
11mm Sterling silver Trigger clasp with jump ring
20g Sterling silver wire for earwires
Steel Ring Mandrel with US ring sizes
ASIC Joint Cutter (optional)
Blazer Butane Micro-Torch
Heat Resistant Tweezers
Pickle in a small crockpot
Water in a small plastic bowl
Chain nose pliers
Nylon or flat head pliers
Flat needle file
4″ Steel Block
Stainless Steel Shot – mine is the mixed shape shot
Dawn dish washing liquid – Original scent blue
This design drew my attention because of the wit and simplicity of the links. But I had some trouble with the soldering.
The directions instruct you to join all the links together and then solder them in succession. I tried that and ended up with a mess. I cut some new links and decided to solder every other one. Then, I went back and soldered the remaining links. Not sure why but that did the trick.
Forming the links in to geometric shapes was a lot of fun. I did switch up the order a little because I wanted a circle as the last link. The bracelet in the example photo (at the top of this post) ended with a square link. I thought a circle would lay better with the clasp attached.
The design included a handmade S-hook clasp. I made one but I didn’t like it. It seemed too long, wasn’t secure and it just didn’t work with the geometric shapes. I switched to a Trigger clasp I purchased from Monsterslayer a while back. That stayed closed and I thought it flowed better.
The links needed a little flavor so I grabbed a couple texture hammers to give them some spice. Then, the bracelet was tumbled for about 4 hours. It came out nicely hardened and really shiny.
I liked the bracelet so much, I thought I’d make the complementary earrings. I didn’t follow the design in the book because it was asymmetrical. It felt a little too eighties.
I probably would not wear this set together. It’s a little matchy-matchy. That is not necessarily a bad thing but they just don’t need to be worn together.
I’m really happy I made this handmade chain. Yes, chains tend to be labor intensive, but they are worth it. They don’t go out of style and if you take care of them, they last a lifetime.