Thursday, 17 January 2013

Chain reaction

Hello everyone, as promised I am back to share with you my recent chain making project from my silversmithing class last term. Before I do that I just wanted to share a little bit of cheerfulness as here is my daffodil yesterday.
Yes two more flowers in bloom ...and some sunshine ;0). My hyacinth is also unfolding and that glorious smell is infiltrating my kitchen. The sunshine is deceptive though as it has been freezing cold since the weekend and we did get a dusting of snow on Monday. Yesterday barely got above freezing point all day.

It's so lovely to have these growing on my kitchen side and even better to see the sun shining.

So back to chain making....for this project we were shown a great technique using square wire. Square wire is really great to work with as you can get some really interesting effects with it rather than using the more commonly used round wire.

We first had to saw off 5 cm lengths of square wire and then measured them carefully as we were going to add a "twist" to the centre of each piece.

These measurements were marked on the wire. The wire was held in a vice and 6 half turns using parallel pliers made the pattern you can see here.

I then filed the ends of the wire pieces and flattened them slightly so that I could form them into the curved ends as shown. To do this I used my round nosed pliers. These curves are used to join each piece via a jump ring. To keep them secure I also soldered them.

Here they all are with their rounded ends. To join each component together we next had to make some jump rings. These are always fun to do....

I wound round wire into a coil using a hand drill. A mandrel had been put into the jaws of the drill and this ensures equal sized round jump rings.

The coil of wire is removed and stuck to a piece of masking tape. This holds the coil steady for sawing.
Then it was a case of hand sawing through the coil, all the jump rings then fall off when the tape is removed.

Here are some of the jump rings before I tidied them up with some light filing. It was then a case putting each component together to form the chain.

I also used one of the twisted links to fashion a clasp shown in the 2nd photo on the right below.
Are you ready for a ta dah moment................
OK but this is so hard to photograph

It is a lovely long chain and much prettier in the flesh.  I showed this to my darling daughter and yes she liked it and yes she has given it a very happy home ;0) At my class now we have started making other types of chain including chain maille. These are looking really good but OMGoodness they so fiddly. It will take a few weeks to come together but I will show and tell at some point.

Today's challenge card is one I made to cheer up a very dear friend of my Mum's who is sadly not well at the moment and in hospital for another month.  I understand that it brightened up her day and that makes me very pleased.
The stamp is Tiddly Inks, Love Grows. She is such a cutie. The card base is this most unusual tea pot which I found in good old Wilkinson's. They have a great craft section in my local store. She is coloured with Promarkers and highlighted with Prismacolor pencils.
The die cut is a newbie for me, Spellbinders floral ovals which I love, love, love.
I also punched some MS butterflies and a Magnolia sentiment. The bling jewel on the lid is another winnings from the very generous Tracy of Dies to Die from.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Tiddly Inks Anything Goes
Papercrafting Journey Anything Goes
My Mum's Craft Shop Anything Goes #1
Natalie and Amy My favourite things
Crafts and Me Something new #116  I have never made an embossed floral die cut. I only got my Big Shot for Christmas and I am enjoying playing with it. It has been quite tricky to get the embossing correct, I had several wasted ovals!
Inky Chicks Anything Goes #1
Stamping Sensations Friendship
Forever Friends Fortnightly challenge #53 favourite embellishment my favourite embelli here is that lovely spotty button in the centre which I added a ribbon to.
Bunny Zoe's Crafts  Anything goes
Creative Inspirations #197 one for the girls

We have a special weekend coming up as it is my Hb's birthday on Sunday. We have tickets to see Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre in London on Friday and then on Sunday the family are coming over for a birthday lunch to help us celebrate. The only thing that could put a damper on all this is that we are forecast some heavy snow here on Friday night and Saturday. Fingers crossed that it will not affect us too much. Enjoy the weekend when we get there and thanks so much for all your visits and the lovely comments you leave me here. Keep warm.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x


  1. Love your card Jane. Hope your friends Mum is feeling a bit better. Like the chain detail. You have been a busy bee. Snow is forecast up here tomorrow so hopefully I will get lots done as well :) lou x

  2. Lovely spring pictures Jane, interesting chain work and a delightful card.

    Thanks so much for sharing with us at Stamping Sensations challenge is month.

    Hope you have a good weekend.

    B x

  3. You are clever, what a fantastic chain and I loved 'watching' you make it! I also love how you made your jump rings!
    What a sweet little card too, it would brighten anyone's day.
    So grey here this morning, they keep talking snow but none yet and that's fine by me.
    It's my sons birthday on Saturday and we have a meal out planned so no disruptions would be good!
    Wishing M a very happy birthday and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
    V xxx

  4. Sorry to hear Jane your mums not well and in Hospital for another month but looking at your card l'm sure it would cheer and make anyone happier its just lovely and thank you for joining in our challenge over at Forever Friends Embellishments good luck and hope to see you again DT Member Sandra H xx

  5. Such a sweet card Jane, sure to bring cheer to your Mother's friend. Thank you for joining us this week at Paper Crafting Journey Challenge.
    Laine xx

  6. Wow... I'm impressed with your silver-work! Just lovely.
    Also love the Tiddly project - that shape is just delish!
    Thanks for sharing your talents with us at Tiddly Inks - I hope to see more from you again soon!

  7. It was very interesting to see how you made this lovely chain and the jump rings! Your little teapot card is so sweet, Jane! Your daffodils and hyacinth look so cheerful and spring like. I hope your hb has a very Happy Birthday and wish you all a wonderful weekend!
    Helen x

  8. Beautiful flowers Jane - they're looking lovely - it's nice to see signs of Spring after a long winter!

    Your chain is gorgeous, so elegant! I bet your daughter was thrilled with it :)

    The card is fantastic too - I LOVE the shape, and the colours are gorgeous :) I'm sure it really brightened the recipient's day...I hope she gets well soon.

    Thank you for joining our Fortnightly Challenge at Forever Friends challenge blog, good luck in the draw and hope to see you again soon :)

    Tanya xx

  9. Just love your teapot card Jane! But wow to your jewellery, you are so talented and I am already looking forward to the next fiddly piece.Thanks for joining us at Stamping Sensations this month.

  10. Oh Jane.. I love watching your jewelry making adventures!! That chain is quite a treasure and your daughter is SO lucky that you're so generous to give that to her!! I would love the learn to make the Byzantine chain... is that what you're going next? I need to take a class. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  11. That is a beautiful chain and I love your flowers! I hope you can make your theatre trip! I just heard from my sister that it's snowing there. Your card is so beautiful and unique! Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Birthday! x Teje

  12. Hi, Jane!
    The first daffodils I've seen of the year! (Even if it is on your blog!) They are so bright and cheerful that you can only look forward to Spring and all it's promise!
    Love your chain, true craftsmanship (or craftswomanship, if you want to be PC!) The twisting of the wire gives it such a pretty embellishment and your attention to the finish is just fabulous! A beautiful, bespoke piece - I'm not surprised your daughter whipped it from you, I would too! Also loved your wire knitted jewellery, very clever and gives such lovely results!
    Sweet card, such pretty colours and it's always nice to know that it's been well received...I hope your Mum's friend gets well soon.
    Thanks for visiting me and it's nice to be back in Blogland! Hugs, Lisa x

  13. Wow howw I love visiting you lovely lady, you make everything intersting, congratulations on your work of art, a silversmith you shoud be, its brilliant, the card is so gorgeous too hun, I do hope your mums friend gets better really soon, love and huggles June xxxxxxxx

  14. A fabulous creation! Love your photos too. Thank you for joining in with our Friendship theme at Stamping Sensations challenge this month, and good luck!

  15. Good morning Jane!...How lovely to see your daffodils and hyacinths greet me at the top of your page...they do look so happy and cheerful!
    I do enjoy reading about your silversmithing classes ..You are so clever and the chain is beautiful (You have a very lucky daughter too!) I love the teapot design of your latest card and I'm sure it was a great tonic for your mum's dear friend.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend of celebrations for your Hb...Stay warm!
    Susan x

  16. Wow! Stunning! I will have to take a trip to Wilkinsons, I love the teapot shape and that image is adorable and coloured beautifully
    Thank you for joining in with "Use your favourite embellishments" challenge over at Forever Friends and good luck
    Julie x
    My blog
    Pennys Challenges DT member
    Fashionista DT member
    Forever Friends DT member
    Brown Sugar Challlenges DT member
    Prev OSAAT DT member

  17. Hi Jane,
    What a lovely teapot creation you made!! I like everything about it!!
    And especially the image and butterflies :)
    Good luck in the draw and thanks for joining us over at foreverfriendschallengeblog!!
    Linda- DTmember FF

  18. Hiyah Jane!
    whata beautiful card, I love the teapot shape and this will cheer your mums friend up a treat.
    Thank you for playing along with the tiddly inkers this week
    hugs Lou xxx

  19. Hello dear Jane,

    Thank you so much for showing us your chain-making, that skill of yours never stops amazing me! What a lovely jewelry that is! And the teapot-card the the prettiest!

    I hope it'll be better at yours already so you can all enjoy M's birthday tomorrow - lovely day to you all!


  20. Hi Jane love the shape of this and I am sure it did the trick. Thanks for sharing at creative this week

  21. Wow... such brilliant creations sweetie!

    What a sweet surprise to click onto your link and find your superb craftiness!

    Thank you so much for joining us at Tiddly Inks for our Anything Goes Challenge!

    Krafty Karen.xx

  22. Hi Jane, Loved your French knitting and the chain necklaces. So cool to see the whole process.

    Happy Birthday, Mr T. I know you have had snow this weekend.

    What a cheery card.

    Best wishes,

  23. What a beautiful necklace! I really enjoy your step-by-step descriptions. It's a beautiful card too. You can never go wrong with tea and butterflies, right? I hope your Mum's friend feels better soon!

  24. A very lovely card. Love the teapot. :) thanks for joining us atvtiddly inks.


  25. really sweet card love the shape thanks so much for joining us at crafts and me this week
    hugs sara x x


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Jane x