I have no idea why I like working so small, I just do. It’s just what works best for me except sometimes it doesn’t. As my work gets smaller and smaller my work needs to get more consistent or things just don’t work out. I have one mandrel for coiling each size jump ring I use so all of my rings are consistent. I’m careful when I cut my jump rings that the cuts are all perfect and if a ring ends up being less than perfectly round I throw it away rather than risk having it cause a pattern to not work out.
With all that I do sometimes a pattern just comes out either looser or tighter than expected and until it happens I can’t predict it happening. I can only find one explanation for why this happens, with as small as I’m working the margin of error has become so small that even the slight variance allowed in wire of the same gauge can be enough to cause a piece to fail. I recently found myself with a good chance to illustrate this problem, also the reason I’m writing this particular blog post, while working on making examples of my snake earrings so I can list them on my store.
It’s been two years since I started making chainmaille snakes. I have snake necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. Some have seemed looser or tighter to make but all have worked until now. I recently acquired a true red that I don’t normally use but needed for one of my awareness ribbons. It seemed like a good color for a snake so I made a pair of earrings in red and teal. It came out much tighter than the pair I had already made in green and hematite but I thought the first one had come out a bit loose so I thought nothing of it until I tried making a pair in red and yellow, tried being the operative word. The weave felt too tight from the beginning and when I started making the turns in the body rings started to break. I tried to make it work but ended up giving up when I had broken half as many rings as I’d successfully woven into the pattern.
Not much I can do but say I guess I won’t be mixing red and yellow in anything in the future but man it’s frustrating to have something so small capable of stopping me in my tracks. What’s my next project?