Going back to the very beginning, bangle style bracelets were the very first thing I ever learned to wrap more than 20 years ago; what actually started my addiction to wire.
At the time, I was heavy into leather work and Native American style jewelry. I made leather and bone jewelry; custom saddlebags for motorcycles; and yes leather whips upon request. The tooling and sewing were taking an awful toll on my hands, and I needed a new creative outlet. A very dear friend, who owned the bead shop I haunted at the time, suggested wire wrapping. My hands were so bad, I told her, I didn’t think I could do it. I was seriously drawn to it, but it was several months after her initial suggestion, that I decided to give it a try.
She (Millie), sat down with me one night after the shop had closed, and showed me how to make the basic bangle. I still have the very first one here somewhere in my stash. The bracelets above were the next ones I made on my own (the Labradorite on the left was second – the Cloisonne’ on the right my third). The Scarab bracelet in the center was the first attempt at branching out beyond the basics. I was hooked!!! The wire was not near as hard on my hands as I thought it would be – I doubt I would have cared or stopped if it was – I was in love! The Cloisonne bracelet by the way, my Mother snagged as soon as she saw it – she was my biggest fan and snagged most all my “firsts” of any design :)).
Those first few months I couldn’t make enough of them, and after wearing one to work, everyone seemed to want one. I was averaging 10 to 15 bracelets a week, just for the people in the office where I worked.
The only drawback, was the way Millie had taught me to construct them was extremely difficult. Planning took soooo mmuch time, to get the right number of beads, and the wire just right to get the bracelet length right. Those of you who have my Swarovski Bracelet Tutorial, know I don’t construct them that way anymore. The modifications didn’t happen overnight – I experimented with many, many different construction techniques before I settled on the one I currently teach. Please don’t get the wrong idea – there is nothing wrong with the traditional way to make them, I just thought there had to be a better, prettier, and definitely easier way. Sadly Millie has long since passed away – I would have loved to show her how the basic bangle had evolved.
Though I’m definitely a “ring girl”, the bracelet is still one of my favorites to teach. The way I teach the construction now, it’s almost impossible to get the length wrong, and if you do, easy peazy to fix it.
I even experimented with tension setting a faceted stone in this style. Definitely one of the pieces I ran across that I’ll be revisiting…..
Well I’ve bent your ear enough for today, so I’m off to get some “chores” done LOL, and hopefully get some wrap time in!
Thanks for stopping by – Take care and…..