Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday :: Bobbers

 I love fishing. 
You put that line in the water and you don't know what's on the other end.
Your imagination is under there. 
~Robert Altman

One of the calls for submission for the Summer issue of Stringing Magazine was Upcycled Jewelry. Basically, using materials that are not traditionally meant for jewelry. When I started making jewelry that is exactly what I did, re-purpose and re-cycle. In fact, that is where my company name, Tesori Trovati (Italian for 'treasures found') originated.

I made this necklace for their consideration, but it was not selected. So I thought I would share with all of you a little tutorial of sorts to get you thinking about new sources of inspiration.

Whenever I get stuck or feel uninspired, one place that always intrigues me is the hardware store. We have one of those little mom-and-pop shops that has a little bit of everything and all of the bits are stored in those mysterious little drawers. I like to walk the aisles, peeking into the drawers and discovering what is there. I always come home with a little baggie of something and put it in a box with all the other hardware store trinkets. Sometimes these things show up in my work directly, and sometimes I am just inspired by their shape or construction.
Barrel Swivel with Coast-Lock (mine are a different metal tone)

On one such trip, I discovered items that are meant for fishermen. Little baggies containing what looked like wire wrapped beads. I don't fish, so I wasn't exactly sure what they were for, but I thought that they looked cool. Turns out these are called barrel swivels with coast-locks. In reading online about them, I can tell that they are used in tying bait to hooks and they swivel so that the line does not get tangled. The gold color of mine would flash in the water attracting the attention of the fish. One end has a wire wrap closed hook called a coast-lock. I quite like the look and the usefulness of this coast-lock and will attempt to do that in some wire real soon.

Adding to these. I decided to add a little flash with some external tooth locking washers, square nuts and some tiny brass washers.

And here is the instruction to make this quick necklace that looks like you spent hours on the wire wrapping! (Resources at the end of the article).

First, open the coast-lock by squeezing it gently, and add a tiny brass washer. Open a second coast-lock and attach it to the same washer. Before closing both of the coast-locks, add an external tooth locking washer for a little movement and flash. Continue making sets of the barrel swivel links for a total of six barrel swivel links.

For the beaded sections, cut galvanized steel wire into 5" lengths. Create a loop on one end and string on a barrel swivel link before closing it and wrapping the wire securely. String a Czech glass bead, a brass washer, a square nut, a ceramic round, a square nut, a brass washer, and a Czech glass bead before closing the loop and adding the next barrel swivel link.

Continue connecting the barrel swivel links alternating with the beaded links. This necklace doesn't need a clasp, as it is long enough to fit over your head, but you can always pinch open one of the coast-locks if you need a clasp!


These beads from Jennifer Heynen of Jangles looked just like bobbers or floats that you see fishermen using, and so that is what this necklace is called. Bobbers!

Just slip it on and start fishing for compliments! ;-)

What items can you find at the hardware store to inspire your designs?

12 barrel swivel with coast-locks - your hardware store or fishing tackle shop
6 external tooth locking washers - your hardware store
18 brass washers - Objects and Elements
12 Czech Picasso finished fire polished faceted grey glass rounds
24"galvanized steel wire - your hardware store
6 ceramic rounds - Jangles


Anonymous said...

Miss Erin that is just so creative! I will have to ask my Dad (the family fisherman) if he has any of those swivel things! And you're right, the Jangles beads are just like fishing floats.

Keith@ Vintage Crab Jewelry and Crafts said...

I love your necklace and I think it was worthy of the magazine. Try other magazines because everyone needs to see this beautiful work of art! Very cool!

Crazie Eddie said...

I've used swivel hooks in my stained glass windchimes for years - they give so much more movement that any other method I've tried. I guess it's time to move them to my jewelry too! Very clever and very attractive...

Empty nester at last said...

Love the post. I too love using unusual things in my jewelry. I have made earrings from fishing lures. I just make sure to cut out the hook and instant earrings....thanks.

Jennifer Jangles said...

Hi Erin,

First of all thank you for using my beads, second I love fishing lures! I used to wear fishing lure bracelets in middle school that I made. Come to think of it, I wonder if that was my first jewelry making attempt.

But most all, I am going to steal that quote, it's awesome. You always find the best ones!

Love Love Love it!

Shai Williams said...

Thank you so much for the great idea and the tutorial!