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Monday, February 25, 2008

25 February 2008

I've just been taking a short break from the fibres to make a pendant for a metal/wire swap on Beading Forum dot com dot au. I can't post a photo of it yet, because we haven't swapped yet, and it'll be a surprise for the recipient. As soon as my swap partner receives it though, I'll put a photo up here (expecting mid-late March).

The swap specifics:
no particular theme, but the creation MUST include at least 1 pearl..

Make a pendant with a Pearl incorporated to the value no greater than $5 (cost of materials) -it can contain any form of metalwork (wirework, chainmaille, smithing and anything else you can think of) in any metal (precious or other including craft wire), with or without the addition of stones.

I think it'd be safe to say that it was the first time in about a year that I lit up my gas torch to work with metal, without giving away any hints to potential swap partners. The partners haven't been assigned yet, but only the senders will be told who they're sending to.

It's also got me thinking about buying some glass and mandrels with my next supplies/tools purchase to do more torch work and start learning to make glass beads.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

12 February 2008

A couple of weeks ago I finally got my first spinning wheel - an Ashford Traditional.

spinning wheel

and have spent my spare time since then spinning fibres starting with some silver-grey melanian wool (below right), my own hand carded/hand dyed alpaca fibre plied with cotton(below left) and a wool fibre labelled as lumpy "lollypop" wool.

then ordered some soysilk fibres, bamboo fibres, "black diamond" bamboo fibres and latte (milk) fibres. Some of the white soysilk I random dyed with 2 shades of pink, a shade of bright blue and a shade of turquoise, then spun it into this -

I also blended some of the "black diamond" fibre (below left) with some melanian wool (below right) and hand carded to the mix in the centre below.

Below are the results of spinning up those fibres -

left is pure black diamond fibre, centre is the melanian/black diamond blend, right pure melanian wool.

I'm probably about halfway through using the black diamond/melanian blend, the remaining pure black diamond fibre & dyed soysilk fibres, so I'll probably be busy doing more spinning for another week or 2 before knitting up some of the yarns into scarves.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I make jewellery from wire, with most of the chains being viking knit or chain maille weaves, usually using sterling silver wire and occasionally solid 9k gold wire. I sometimes experiment with new weaves and teach using copper wire.

Some of my techniques in viking knit and other techniques I use with metal are transferred and refined from fibre & textile crafts that I have done for a number of years.

I have also been learning to spin yarns from fibres such as melanian wool, merino wool, alpaca wool, bamboo silk, soy silk, black diamond bamboo silk & silk latte. Some of these fibres I have blended, others are hand dyed and the remainder are natural colours. The yarns will be used for patterns I'm developing for knitted jackets, scarves and hats.

When I have spare time, I also sometimes hand dye cotton fabrics to use in quilting, which I usually do entirely by hand.

Direct links to my websites

Cas Designs
Handmade Jewellery, Textiles & Fibre Crafts
Flickr Photo Gallery

SRAJD #99 (Self-Representing Artist Jewelry Designer)