I made a new tool!
This entertained me. I joined a few jewellery / metal-smithing forums over the past year, and one of them mentioned using a clothespeg as a useful tool.
Now, I love to get something for nothing, and also to find something that is multi-functional.
I’ve wrapped an elastic band (thanks to Judith, our postie for that) round it and then it becomes a small clamp, perfect for holding flat things. The advantage this has over a traditional ring clamp is:
a) it was free
b) it’s easy to operate with one hand
c) I can rest it on my bench peg more easily
d) smug factor – did I mention it was free?!
Smug factor is a big part of my life, and I love to get a new moment of smugness.
I made these earrings using some scrap silver and the clothespeg. I was just using up a bit of scrap, from an early bangle I had made myself – it’s a bit too skinny for my personal preference, so I wanted to recycle it into something else.
I decided to run it through my mill, and flattened it slightly. This made for a very long piece of wire with a rectangular profile and the narrow edges having a delightfully battered finish making them less precise and rather more interesting than if I had used the rectangular wire sold by bullion dealers. I then coiled it into jump rings, using my new clamp to keep the rectangular profile from twisting and my mandrels, to make a coil, sawed it us and soldered the wonky ones at either end into closed jump rings. I’ve stretched them a little with my oval mandrel, and then soldered on earwires.
Finally I added a couple of interesting hematite beads I’ve had for ages, – I bought the strand because of the shape (interestingly shaped, decent quality, sustainable /fairtrade, gem, beads are surprisingly challenging to find), shaped and hammered the earwires and then sent then for a run through the tumbler for work hardening and shine. I think they look rather splendid, even if I do say so myself.
I didn’t think I’d make more than one pair (and these are intended as the tip for my hairdresser – if only I could actually pay for my haircut with jewellery!), but I love them, so I might make some more.
I’ve been late coming to the scraphappy party so I cheated and scheduled this ready for February – if you haven’t read any of the posts from the other contributors, take a look at the links at the end of this post.
Kate (who runs it), Gun, Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen, Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna, Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Gwen and Connie