Sunday, August 9, 2015

Off With Their Heads!

Years ago, my mother gave me a curiously interesting bracelet that she had bought at a thrift store, a bangle made of heavy gauge sterling wire with wonderfully detailed heads of bulls at each end.
The eyes are small, faceted garnets.
It's likely that the bracelet made its way to me because my mother had the same issue that I had...
those horns.
This was a bracelet that I really did want to love and wear, but the well crafted horns stuck out enough that they were a problem.
Jewelry that pokes and catches on clothing does not get worn by me and does not get designed by me.
I greatly appreciate how some jewelry designers push the envelope by crafting pieces that I consider to be works of art rather than pieces to be worn on a regular basis.
My approach is to make pieces of jewelry that I would wear....
nothing too heavy, too bulky or too pokey.
My rationale is that if I find something uncomfortable, there would almost certainly be other people who would find it uncomfortable as well.
So, after holding onto this bracelet for way too long, I decided it was time to do something.
Using my jeweler's saw, off came the heads. 
The large piece of sterling was annealed and then straightened by hammering it on one of my steel bench blocks.
My trusty sheet/wire gauge measures this piece of sterling wire at 5 gauge.
For anyone not accustomed to being concerned about the gauge of wire, that is one significantly hefty piece of sterling.
How will it be put to use?
I don't yet know but I may use my drawplate to achieve a thinner gauge since I typically work with 20 to 30 gauge wire.
Maybe I'll run it though my mill to make my own bezel wire.
And the heads?
I find them interesting enough to keep them in my workbench stash of scrap sterling as I try to devise a repurposing plan.
I predict I'll be working on that repurposing plan for several years.

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