A Simple Decorative Strip

by Jamie Hall on March 2, 2010

Just a little something. I couldn’t vouch for the historical provenance of this technique, but I’ve seen the design at various times, and it’s eye-catching and simple.

In some of the pictures, you may notice that the metal is a bit copper-coloured. This is because I very foolishly contaminated my pickle, and copper-plated the silver. What I have taken care to do is keep the jig in the same position in each photograph.

The jig is simply a swiss clamp with the shanks from two broken 2.3mm drill bits – the size and distance of the shanks is obviously going to make a difference to the size of the strip. Try to keep the wire as tight as possible, and bend it as far over as possible – you’ll have to flatten it afterwards, so don’t worry too much about making it level.

This could be done with round, square, flat or oval wire, but I would expect the oval or flat to make it harder to bend the shape evenly. I’ve used the technique to add simple decorations before, for example around the ends of a torc. Looking at it again, however, has set me thinking about what else I could do with it. If the bends were compact enough, it might be possible to solder the strip around a bangle or ring, and then use the loops as cells for setting stones or enamelling. Stone setting would be more functional with square wire, because it has corners to burnish down.

If a heavy gauge wire was used the strip could be formed into bangles with no other support needed, but the jig would need to be correspondingly larger. Another possibility would be to make an adjustable jig, so that the strip can taper inwards or outwards smoothly.

{ 1 comment }

chishapaszczyk April 29, 2012 at 10:58

Thanks for the idea, I think expanding from what you said about soldering a narrow strip between the loops, and the archs protruding.. you could also implement wire knitting or even chain mail from the protruding archs.

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