For 10 years or more I've been making a particular type of bracelet- They are made of many different bead like components (that I design and craft by hand) and strung on a leather bracelet strap with a buckle closure.
I started making them when I was in Italy,
I came up with the idea in a funny way- first, I have to say I have never been able to wear bracelets- they drove me crazy- I just simply disliked having metal on my wrists. Well, one day I noticed that my cat's collar was looking a bit scruffy...I decided that I needed to replace it- so (instead of measuring it) I put it on my wrist to remind myself to go buy a new one.
|My sweet kitty, "Chet" 1991-2002|
And then I went on my way, tra la la throughout my day...going to the workshop, stopping at the Irish Pub for a Guinness on the way home (only a wee one, I'm not much of a drinker), doing some errands...then home, dinner, and sleep.
The next morning, I realised that I had worn that silly cat collar all day and night- never remembering it was even there. HMMMMMMM, interesting...that got my little metalsmith's mind clicking away...
Maybe it wasn't the bracelet that I disliked on my wrist- it was a matter more of comfort and flexibility.. after all, the cat collar did have studs of metal on it- but it didn't bother me at all!
hmmm, veddy intervesting! I started to think of how I could use this information in designing comfortable, wearable bracelets.Then I had my ah-hah moment.....
I guess being away from the southwest gave me permission to do something so blatantly southwestern. *shrug* who knows-
|close up of buckle closure and concho slide backings on a "vegan"rubber strap bracelet|
basically, I thought of a riff on a concho belt- using the same type of "slide" backing that enables the piece to be slid onto a belt. This would make the pieces independant of each other, allowing space for leather (or rubber/ fabric) to break up the metal backings- making the bracelet less "metal" feeling (while still being very much metal on the front side of the bracelet)plus, it added the flexibility I loved, and the leather (which reminded me of my many years as a horse back rider).Additionally, the buckle closure on the bracelet made it possible for these bracelets to be completely adjustable for most sizes of wrists.
|some components and straps available at "braceletworkshop" on etsy|
The components that make up these bracelets became "slide bead" conchos- I make them as little sculptures, sketches, technical explorations....they are unique to themselves, and I still find them to be incredibly satisfying to make, because each one of the handmade ones are an exploration. (either technical , material or artistic)
Whew- I just wanted to do a short blog post today! LOL-
all of this origins of the bracelet is my way of introducing my latest project- my new store "Bracelet Workshop" ( http://braceletworkshop.etsy.com ) Where I am now selling my bracelet straps with buckles and slide bead concho components separately, as Build-your-own bracelets.
I'm excited about this venture- I think that the store is unique and will appeal to many people- bead collectors, artists, people searching for unique gifts...and anyone who wants to have a truly unique piece of designer jewelry that they helped design themselves.
OK, I've had enough typing today- I'm heading to the studio to make some cool stuff-
please feel free to share this blog post on twitter/facebook and help me get the word out about my new shop- I'd really appreciate it
ciao for now- Maureen BZ