Thursday, 9 December 2010

Gift 3: Japanese Ball Necklace

When I was much younger my family went to a re-enactment day at a Castle, (I can't remember which one it was, far too long ago!) my brother bought a bag of jump rings to make some chain maile. It was great fun to play with, he made a wrist cuff (bracelet!) I was so jealous and always wanted to try it myself but never got around to it.

As I had lots of jump rings left over from my sparkly earrings I decided I would make some chain maile earrings as well.  This did not work well, the wire was far too thin and flimsy so they lost their shape and looked silly.  Oh well, I will have to get some thicker jump rings before I try this again. In the mean time I still really wanted to make something chain maile and found a gorgeous necklace called a Dodecahedron Pendant or a Japanese Ball.


I looked everywhere for instructions and was just about to give up and try and dissect the design myself when I found the website M.A.I.L. the Maile Artisans In League.  It has hundreds of brilliant ideas and tutorials.  The tutorial for the Japanese Ball was very simple but the jump rings I used were a little too large so it didn't fill out to sphere.  I ended up using a coloured bead on the inside to pack it out and this actually looked really nice.


The design used 2 jump rings in the middle with single jump rings holding them together around the edge, but I have seen lots of designs where they use the ratio 3 in the middle and 2 around the edge. I think this will make the design a lot more ridged and hold its spherical shape better.  Before I make any more I also want to find some stone beads, like the ones on the charm stone bracelets we had at school to place in the middle.


So that's it on the gift front this year, I have told my friends they can only choose 2 out of the 3 as I won't have time to make more!!  It seems funny giving my friends gifts that they have decided themselves, but in a way I'm glad they will get things they really want and will cherish.