07 July 2008

Bulky Viking knit necklace

Earlier this spring I finally made a piece I had been thinking of for quite a while. I have made Viking knit chains in which I strung a strand of seed beads, so that the color of the beads comes through in a subtle fashion. I had a strand of large faceted rondelles of amethyst, citrine, and ametrine which needed just the right project, and I had been wanting to put them into a Viking knit chain, but as I said, the rondelles were LARGE. Up to 1.5cm for the largest. I realized one day that the perfect mandrel for this project was a cut up pool cue that I use for making Turk's head rings (learned from Loren Damewood). First I had to choose the size I wanted to make the chain on the graduated pool cue. As you can see, this meant starting the chain in the middle of one of my pieces of pool cue. Very tricky!! The other photos show the work as it progresses, and the final necklace. I have to say that after all that work I am somewhat disappointed in the result. It did not occur to me (why not??) that the gemstones were not dark enough to show through the way I envisioned. The result is interesting, but a little TOO subtle. I am not sure what I am going to do with this piece yet.

FYI: The Viking knit chain is woven with 60 feet of 26 gauge Argentium silver, and took an elapsed time of 4.5 hours spread out over 5 days. The gemstones are strung on Accu-flex beading wire.

Actually, now that I am looking a bit more impassively at the photo, the colors come through just fine and I like the effect. Just goes to show that your expectations can affect your perceptions!


Cattrix said...

I am trying trying trying to learn this Viking knit and I just have not been able to make it work,, yours are really beautiful!

Johan Combrinck said...

@ Cattrix, learning this technique is not as hard as it seems. At first i looked at it and thought i would never get it right, but after a while it seemed as natural as breathing. Just keep practicing. I used an old arrow shaft to "knit" around, and also used sticky tape to get the spacing even around the shaft. I also used fine hand-drawn copper wire, 0,3mm thick to do about a half inch starter piece before switching over to sterling silver wire that i polished before knitting with it. Joining new wire onto the project was also a steep learning curve that i had to work out for myself,but i the end it looked great.
I hope that you get it right some time, and best of luck with it.

Johan Combrinck