September 16, 2009

My First Box Chain Bracelet - 16 Gauge Copper Jump Rings

I don't know why in the world I've been so shy about attempting chain maille.  It only looks complicated ~ as I learned when I received a packet of more than 200 beautiful handmade 16 gauge copper jump rings from a good friend, found a free online tutorial, and braced myself for the challenge. 

Now, that's not to say it was smooth sailing from jump ring Number 1.  I hit a snag or two right off and had to go back and start over.  Then a couple of jump rings jumped out of my pliers and are still in hiding.  (Joe says that's why they're called "jump" rings. Hehehe.)  Well, it's too late for a change of heart now, guys, I finished it without you.) 

Once I got the first 3/4 inch done, I saw why it's called a "box" chain -- it really does appear to have eight corners and six straight walls! 

I was off and running ~ and kept pace for quite a while.  Then, when my chain reached 6 inches, it just stopped growing.  No matter how many jump rings I added, it still measured 6 inches.  Hmmm ... Oh well, just kept going and all of a sudden it was over 7 inches long. 

Yeah, just like that, it was time to think about a clasp.  I decided on a 16 gauge copper toggle with matching keeper loop that I'd made a few weeks ago and set aside for some undetermined project.  (I really LOVE making my own clasps!!!)  Attached it, and that was that! 

I'm wearing my new bracelet right now ~ and thinking it's so comfy I could sleep in it!  Maybe I will.

My forum buds tell me Byzantine is easier.  Okay, bring it on!  I'm soooo ready.  Who knows?  Maybe even those two jumpers will come out of hiding.... 

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