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Friday, 28 April 2017

Fibre Ropes

Hi Everyone
I have good and bad news today ! If you visited yesterday, you will know I was working on fibre jewellery and more specifically making fibre ropes. The good news is that I've developed a great preparation process for making good quality ropes, consistent in shape and strength. The bad news is - I didn't get the three stranded pieces completed and have changed my mind again re the fastening - such is the life of a Maker ! However, I've got a plan. 
I'm going to develop a series of thinner ropes for the stranded versions and will use the versions from yesterday as a layered necklace, wearing individual necklaces in various colour combinations - together. I think the layered approach will allow for more versatility re necklaces colours and will form more of a statement piece.
My breakthrough came with the preparation of the fibre ropes. Previously, I had simply rolled the ropes into shape from layers of fine merino wool. This approach is fine but doesn't always (easily) give a uniform rope. In my new approach, I used a blending board to construct rolags and then developed the ropes in the usual way from the rolags ie using soap and hot water to wet the wool and then rolling inside a sushi mat.

My photo story shows the series of steps taken to develop the ropes. I need to experiment a little more with sizes. The rolag is developed on a 12x12ins. blending board and the final rolled rope is about 24ins. long. The final length has something to do with the amount of wool on the board as well as how tightly the rolags are wound. I'd like to be more informed about these factors to design the right size roped for my stranded necklaces. Also - at this stage, I'd like to stick with the metal clasps (see yesterday's example) for closing the necklace rather than using my initial press stud option. I will report further on my experiments next week.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend.