14 Sep 2008

Shaggy Loops has been my bag baby!

My jewellery making often goes in phases – many times just through the practicalities of getting set up for one kind of working and wanting to maximise on your time by utilising the materials to hand and equipment prepared. You also get into a flow of thought and movement and once working well at something, feel reluctant to move to something new until you feel that particular vein of creativity has been exhausted for the moment. Other times, it doesn’t go that well and moving to something entirely different is completely necessary.

Some techniques need more time and undivided attention and some are easier to pick up and work on in short bursts. That’s just how it has been lately. I’ve had so many commitments on my time – work will insist on interrupting the serious task of creating – that I’ve not been able to get a good run on things that need more attention, despite having a head full of ideas, bursting to take form on my workbench. I always tend to keep some projects on the go that I can work easily on my lap – I often take a work bag with me when out and about and if I find myself with time to kill, can get on with something. I tend to do most of my wrapped loop bracelets at these times.

I recently got a commission for a custom coloured Shaggy Loops beaded chainmaille bracelet. It’s a technique that is simple enough to do – certainly much easier than most chainmaille weaves – but is perhaps fiddly and time-consuming more than technically hard.

As I’ve been busy, it has been an ideal technique to satisfy my daily need to grapple with pliers and metals and make something new as it’s easy to work with in a small area without the need for much equipment and can be picked up and worked a few minutes at a time while waiting for a pot to boil or someone to answer the phone. It has also been true this session, that whilst working on one thing, this is what personal callers have seen in process or recently added to my shops and it has generated further interest and I have two extra orders on the strength of what has been on my work mat at home. Last month I did several beaded heavy weight and oxidised copper Byzantine bracelets in succession.

I very quickly get seduced by the colours of the larger seed beads I use with this technique and sourcing them, putting colours together and planning the weave for the most pleasing colour effect is a very enjoyable part. It’s also a very therapeutic thing to do – I find myself so mesmerised by the counting of beads and rhythm of placing the colours in sequence and opening and closing rings – that I suddenly find myself totally absorbed with the beeds and loops and totally lost in the repetition of the work. It’s very good for just emptying your mind.

Some days you feel the need to hammer, or twist wire, or string beads. Some days, the absorbing technique of a bit of chainmaille, is what hits the spot. So for the last few days, Shaggy Loops has been my bag baby.