That is me and wire wrapped bead chains. When I first got hooked on wire jewelry, bead chain bracelets was one of the first things that I made and started selling. They look great stacked together or with other bracelets. I haven't made any in quite a while, but had to revisit how to make wire wrapped bead chain for the hand chain bracelet tutorial I made last week.
And guess what?
To be blunt, I kinda sucked at making these chains after all this time! It's been a bit devastating to realize how rusty some of my basic wire work skills have gotten. My loops used to be perfect and my wraps were tight - if that's how I wanted them. I'd also mastered double wraps and messy wraps and beaded wraps - all of the variations.
And ugh! - I was struggling to make my basic loops round and neat for the tutorial.
So, this week, I went back to my old habit of making bead chains while watching my daughter's softball game. I hate that it takes so many tools, but aside from that, I just need a little wire and tub of beads. It's nice that I bought the set of Lindstrom RX jewelry tools that come in the little case. I just grab the case, throw in a coil of wire and zip it closed and bring a tin of beads.
This chain is rather petite, since it uses 24g sterling silver wire and 3mm turquoise heishi beads.
I've improved a little after making roughtly 2 feet of chain. I also tend to make bead chains assembly line style - which I find to be a lot quicker. It's all of the same steps, just doing one step for a group of the links instead of finishing one link at a time. I find it to be much faster since you use one tool a whole bunch of times - instead of switching tools constantly
In other news, I've been starting to work on my Fall/Winter Jewelry Collection - which I typically have done by August 1 every year. I'll write a post about what goes into planning the collection soon. I'm feeling a lot of pressure about being so far behind, but I only do one or two home shows for the holidays so I think I'm still good.
And you can bet, I'll be brushing up on my wire skills until I feel like they're back to where they should be.