Tuesday, January 08, 2013

trefoils squared

Yes, I know the post title makes no mathematical sense. But I sort of feel like I have done a trefoil of trefoils this week. Now I think I will go on to 4-bight and 5-bight knots, or something else.

Tuesday I started with little ones  from 18-gauge and 20-gauge wire, and learned how to manipulate an overhand knot into the proper shape.

Wednesday and Thursday I made copper bezels for my safety blinkers, and also halvah (previous post).

Friday I made a big, bold knot from 16-gauge wire, with wire wrapping to hold it where eventually I must try soldering. I gave that one away yesterday to Chery.

The wire-wrapped joined ends were my innovation at this scale to make it work. Still ahead is to break out the torch and fine silver and nerve myself up to fusing, to get a true Celtic endless line.

Saturday and Sunday I worked on an elaboration of the idea, with four linked knots from one piece of wire. Yesterday I stabilized it by wrapping three big crystal bicones between the knots. One thing I learned is to NOT use 20-gauge for wrapping, no matter how annealed and butter-soft. A couple of wraps, and it has has turned into piano wire.

Finally yesterday I finished the piece with some kitchen-sink chemistry (after doing some dishes,  because the sink was full, of course). It was pretty clean and bright, but I pickled it to brighten up the 20-gauge, which had been annealed and was discolored. Then I used LOS to blacken it for contrast with the reflective crystals.

It actually came out pretty decorative, I think. Rhonda and Chery were quite appreciative when they were over here. It's on the large side for a pendant, and may be better done up as a sun-catching window ornament.

I now think I have the simplest Celtic knot pattern figured out I can go on to 4-bight or larger simple knots, or try interlacing smaller wire through the 3-dight in various patterns. Or I might try this last one with each successive knot interlaced through the tip of the previous. But that would be a lot more complex, and not as pretty as using the wrapped-on crystals to provide sparkle.

In case finishing the pendant doesn't seem to be "making" something for the day, I will note that I also made a bracelet that Rhonda wanted as a gift for a friend. However, I didn't make it from scratch. I took this necklace and re-made the clasp on about 40% of the chain to be a bracelet instead. Unfortunately Rhonda called back in the evening to say that her size estimate had been off, so she will bring it back for me to add some of the rejected links back on.

So that's the week, for wirework. A bunch of wire trefoil doodles, two utilitarian safety-blinker bezels, two heavy-gauge trefoil pendants, and a re-purposed chain bracelet. And halvah, which is about 80% gone already. It's now January 8th. On to next week!

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