Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fun with ball chain

Lately I've been doing a lot with ball chain. Yes, all the little silver beads you see are actually ball chain, not beads. I used 26 gauge wire to wrap a piece of ball chain is wrapped around a 20 gauge wire frame, adding other wireworking finishing and embellishing, such as wire loop-de-loops, bits of leftover chain, bead dangles (a great way to use those precious briolettes that always seem not right or too special to use), etc. I have two sizes of ball chain; 1mm and 2.5mm. 
The 1mm chain was what I used first, on the orange carnelian drop earrings and the purple crescent earrings. It was a bit time-consuming at first, wrapping the chain around the frame, but after I got into the swing of things, it went fast. I had so much fun, I looked around for more chain to use.  

Then I remembered some larger ball chain (the 2.5mm size) that Etsy seller ImJewelee had graciously included as a free gift in my order (she does that for repeat customers) and dug it out of my drawer. I made several more pairs of earrings, using up more briolettes (this time, a stunning pair of rose quartz kites), and a sterling silver carnelian earring drop.

Then I made a cuff and a pair of earrings with peacock pearl dangles, wrapping ball chain on BOTH sides of the wire.

The last pair is not made with red chain, but with coral beads strung onto wire and wired onto a frame in the same way. It was a bit more of a challenge, as the coral rounds tended to not want to stay in place, but having had so much practice with wrapping the chain already, it wasn't much of a stretch.

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