Thursday, February 26, 2009

Birthday Bracelets

The birthday bracelet that I started had a few problems. I couldn't find a clasp that I liked so I decided to make one out of silver clay. The clasp turned out well but because the silver that results when the silver clay is fired is fine silver (almost pure, unlike sterling which is 92.5% silver) the clasp was rather white in color. I want the rubber stamped design on the clasp to show so I need to oxidize it. I am waiting for the oxidizing powder to arrive, so in the meantime I suspended the construction of the original birthday bracelet and started another one.

Pictured here is the bracelet which I completed just in time to wear on my birthday. I think it is appropriate for a February birthday because two of the gemstone pebbles are amethyst, which is the birthstone for this month. The other quartz pebbles are rose quartz and citrine that came on the 7" strand of beads I purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts. I wanted to incorporate the Happy Birthday sterling silver ring in the bracelet so I decided to use it as the clasp with an 'S' hook. Between the pebble beads I strung small sterling beads but amethyst beads could have been used. The stringing wire I used was a Beadalon flexible 19 strand. French buillion wire was used to cover the ends of the wire and crimps were attached with a crimping tool. For an accent I added a large heart locket but there are many other options (charms or beads) which would have worked as well. I was really happy wearing this bracelet today because of the sweet candy-like beads. In fact, I was so pleased with the results I plan to make a similar one for St. Patrick's day and write it up for a project. Oh, remember the due date for the contest is St. Patrick's Day (March 17th). Sorry, the contest is not open to Ben Franklin employees even though we know that they are super talented crafters.

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