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Curly Irish Girl
I'm just tackling this wiring stuff and would like to learn the BEAUTIFUL viking knit - ahh, if Suzanne only lived closer! Anyway, what's the scoop on all the hardness levels of wire and when do you use which? I ordered SS jump rings and they are so soft that a focal pulls it apart!
Use dead soft! I just took a class for it and it is an awesome chain. I tried to use some artist wire to make it, and it is just too rigid. I was afraid I'd trash the drawplate trying to pull it through.
A good rule of thumb is that the smaller the wire is, the harder it needs to be. I use a lot of 12 and 14 gauge, and even in dead soft, it's still pretty stiff. I anneal some of my larger wire to make it more flexible.
However, for the viking knit, the softer the better. Get some copper to practice with (softer and much cheaper) until you get it down.
You mentioned jump rings being too soft... what size/gauge are they? I have some heaver jump rings (14 gauge) and they are nearly impossible to open or close even with tools. Most jump rings are half-hard, but if you need to harden them further, put them in a tumbler with some stainless shot and water for a few hours.
One more thing, you are opening and closing them the right way, aren't you? That can make a big difference. Here's a good tutorial...
Curly Irish Girl
I'm thinking it might be better to find a class than struggle with it on my own.....know of any? If so, please PM with the info. Thanks!
It's not that hard. I'm considering teaching it at BeadFest Atlanta. I'm already teaching a couple chainmaille classes. I just have to see if they will still take class submissions.
The good thing about it is your patterns don't have to be perfect, because when you draw it down it almost fixes itself.
But, if you haven't seen it yet, the March 2005 issue of Art Jewelry has a good lesson on it.
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