Thursday, February 13, 2014

Elise's Bracelet


In October, 2009 during the week long Golden Week holiday celebrated in the People's Republic of China we visited Siem Reap, Cambodia to see the Temples at Angkor. Siem Reap is a lovely town and the Temple complex is amazing. We took so many photos that we ran out of memory in the camera.
I thought that I would share some of my photos with you.

When we were at the airport departing Siem Reap for the beaches of Thailand, we perused the airport shops. My daughter fell in love with the crystal studded name letters that were in one shop. She carefully picked out the letters she liked to spell her first name and they put them onto a bracelet band.

Sometime in 2010 after we returned home to Beijing the bracelet band broke. I had just taken a jewelry course that introduced me to the world of handcrafted jewelry. I was in the beginning steps of learning how to work with wire and I wanted to try and make a new bracelet. So I took some silver craft wire and twisted it and made a new bracelet for the letters.

Fastward to McLean, Virginia, early January 2014. I was in the study hunting for a black toner cartridge when I found the bracelet at the back of one of the drawers. Somehow after moving across the world it had found a new home there and been forgotten.

I looked at it and cringed, as I remembered remaking it back in 2010. I  knew I could make a better bracelet. The crystals in the letters are in a gold colored metal. So I took out a sheet of brass and carefully cut a rectangle. I then carefully filed and filed until all 5 letters fit snugly on the brass. Next I had to think about a bracelet to attach to the sheet. My daughter didn't want a mixed metal bracelet so sterling silver was out.

I remembered some brass wire I bought at the hardware store and started making a chain. I started out with some mobius flower links and then made some Idiot's Delight links. Then I tried to make a hook clasp. During this process I realized how much I dislike working in brass and I also noticed that the wire was not good quality. So I ditched the brass and used what I had as a prototype for new chain made in gold-filled wire.

Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and learning is one of our treasures from Siem Reap. Here he is holding the finished bracelet.