December 23, 2016

soft thick rope grommet bracelets 4078

Found some nice soft cotton rope which is about 1/2" diameter, three ply construction. The fibers are a white cotton (probably bleached) so it's really well suited to making traditional grommets. The cotton is very soft so it's a comfortable finished bracelet that has some natural stretch to enable these to fit on over a larger hand.

They are finished with traditional coach whipping detail at the overlap.
 Here's what these look like when worn. The larger size material makes a nice nautical style statement.

Here are some other grommet bracelet designs you might like:

ultra-slender rope bracelets

collection of colorful grommet bracelets

really BIG rope grommet bracelets
Three closely spaces sizes were made in this initial run:
7 1/4" (184 mm)
7 1/2" (191 mm)
8 1/2" (226 mm)

More grommet bracelets in the ETSY shop in the grommets section (color, size, variety…something for everyone here!)


design and photographs copyright 2016

December 21, 2016

salvage cord rope bracelet 4080

Found materials are always a source of inspiration for making something out of scrap or other discarded stuff. So it is with this wider design (13x9x2) plain weave slip on cuff.

The cord was found along a roadside construction zone. Lengths of this cord were used to guide large concrete placement machines. A series of vertical rods with adjustable outriggers supports a length of this cord. A guide wand on the machine follows the string ensuring that the shape of the concrete pour matches the exact shape of the stretched cord.
 The cord was soaked in a vinegar solution to remove the cement residue then washed and dried. The cord is somewhat stiff as the braid is a tightly laid synthetic probably some kind of polyester or polypropylene.

Size is 8" (203 mm) inside circumference about right for an adult hand - no natural stretch to this one due to the high density cord.

A bit of this cord remains in my collection for custom work.


Here are some other designs made using reclaimed or recycled materials:

fiber bangles 

carpet pad bracelet

up cycled plastic fiber bangles


design and photographs copyright 2016

December 19, 2016

black and blue adjustable bead bracelet 4087

 Hand twisted hemp four ply cord and two oversize glass beads make a simple adjustable bracelet (or anklet).

The hemp cord is made on a small rope machine like this. The glass beads have large oversize holes that can accept two passes of the cord.

An overhand knot secures the loose ends.


 The adjustment is simply a matter of sliding the beads on the cord to achieve the desired size. This design can expand to 13" (331 mm) and shrink to as small as 6 1/4" (158 mm) so it can fit over a smaller foot to be worn as an anklet or an average wrist.

More examples of handmade rope here

Similar hemp cord bracelet

beaded hemp toggle bracelets 


This and similar designs are available in the ETSY shop in the toggle bracelets section or you can request a custom design.





design and photographs copyright 2016 

December 17, 2016

button toggle rope bracelets 4074

 These simple rope bracelets were designed for a custom order and a series were made out of the yellow ochre cord- the custom dye process always require some additional material to test color outcomes…

A heavier four ply cotton cord is used. A small button is secured to the open ends of the cord with  high strength nylon thread.

The loop is formed and secured with a waxed thread coach whipping detail. A second coach whipping is added near the button
 Finished size is 8" (203 mm) inside circumference about right for an adult male wrist.

This versatile design can be produced in a variety of sizes. Button design and color can be matched to a wide choice of dyed cord.

The coach whippings can be made with the traditional wax thread as in this example or cotton floss can be substituted using the same concealed end technique.
Some other designs you might like:

Fishtail braid bracelet

Suede pillow bracelet

wrap bracelet with dragon tooth button

Check the ETSY shop in the toggle bracelets section for availability of this design and other related designs.

design and photographs copyright 2016

December 2, 2016

double loop rope bracelets made from hand twisted rope 4061

This double rope bracelet is an example of what can be made with a firm four ply segment of handmade rope. The cotton yarns are rigged on the rope machine and held under tension while twisted hundreds of times, then laid (plyed) together using the spreader tool to control the lay.

The four strands are themselves composed of a pair of yarns so the finished rope is made out of  eight cotton yarns. (Spinning a yarn may be slang for how a story is told but it also is the technical description of rope manufacturing.)
Controlling the tightness of the lay so that the finished rope has some stiffness means these little slip on bracelets hold their shape quite nicely. The thickness of the finished rope is about 4-5 mm.

The cotton yarns are compressed evenly so the finished rope is round in section. The overall segment length is about 74". This is a convenient length for my basement workshop, greater lengths are possible with more time and patience.


The finish is a traditional coach whipping detail here made with a pleasing light yellow ochre waxed thread. The loose ends are relayed around the barrel of the whipping and fed through parallel to the rope, then trimmed off.

Look for this and similar designs in the ETSY shop soon.




design and photographs copyright  2016 

November 30, 2016

pvc color experiments with MEK solvent dye

For those of you who follow this blog you will recall the work done with re-purposed PVC taking different forms. The bone bangle series and some of the re-creations of neo-primitive forms all rendered in brilliant white (or off-white as the case may be) which happens to be the natural color of this type of plastic.

Here now some examples of color that are possible with PVC. These early experiments are performed using a MEK solvent and a handful of dye colors.
Left to right:
Bronze + Brown
Bronze + Orange
Red + Bronze + Brown
Red + Brown

The color is applied in two steps with the piece spending a few minutes immersed in the first dye bath, then another period in the second.

The piece is then set out to dry allowing all the solvents to evaporate leaving the color chemically bonded to the plastic.
This is the Red + Bronze + Brown piece that has been buffed post-immersion to remove some of the surface in which dye is embedded.

More effects: the hard surface of the PVC takes the color more sparingly than the abraded surfaces. Textures telegraph through the solvent process.  More later….



design and photographs copyright 2016

November 28, 2016

Hand laid twisted rope collection 4065

 A small collection of four hand made rope segments created from cotton yarn and waxed cotton cord. Made on a small rope machine these segments are used to make rope bracelets and double loop bracelets.

The cotton yarns are mostly hand-dyed in small batches then hand twisted into the finished pieces you see here.

The layout pattern code is 4 (pairs) each with 2 (strands) of yarn = "4x2"or an 8-ply cord.


A 4x2 cotton ~6 mm
B 2x3 navy and teal cotton ~3 mm
C 4x2 taupe cotton ~6 mm
D 4x2 waxed cotton "natural" ~ 4 mm

All about 72" to 76" length

An interesting property of four pair cords is the square section that emerges in the layup process. Each pair of twisted yarns nests with the other three creating a distinctive square section.
Look for handmade toggle bracelets and other designs in the ETSY shop soon. Some of this material is also available in the supplies section of the ETSY shop. You may also request a special run to meet your craft project needs.


design and photographs copyright 2016

November 27, 2016

wrap rope bracelet or necklace of hand twisted rope 4064

 Hand twisted rope made from cotton butcher twine in four pairs creates a 4 mm square rope that is easy to work into a multi-wrap bracelet. The pair of holes in clay button secures the loop ends of the yarns.

The rope machine is a small bench top size which can create finished segments of about 76" length. These wrap bracelets are about 42" not including the loop.

The waxed thread whipping secures the loop.
 Here are some other wrap bracelet designs you might like:

handmade rope with dragon tooth button

handmade rope with cork buttons

blue handmade rope wrap bracelet with button

wrap bracelet or two loop necklace  
This design and other hand twisted rope ideas can be found in the ETSY shop. Special orders are available for custom sizes and colors.





design and photographs copyright 2016

November 11, 2016

double rib bangle CPVC bracelet modern primitive design 4038

Lightweight CPVC is hand carved exposing the porous core material in the flared interior edges and center. The hand shaped form has a lot of subtle texture from the finishing process. The center recess forms two ribs that meet in a teardrop connection adding a pleasing elliptical shape.

Size "large' 8" (203 mm) inside circumference
Some other designs you might like:

massive white PVC cuff bracelet 3754

petroglyph bangles G H 3737

petroglyph bangles E F 3737

eroded PVC bangle 3672

large bangle bracelet 3560
This and other similar designs can be found on ArtFactSite your source for traditional design in contemporary materials.




design and photographs copyright 2016 

November 9, 2016

two oval stained bangles 4056

 The third group in the stained PVC experiment is this pair of square chunky bangles, one very thin the other more substantial. Together they make a pair.

The wider bracelet is made from CPVC which means it has a low density core with two surfaces. The core is more porous and you can see it absorbs the dye creating a more saturated color.

The thinner bracelet is solid PVC so the dye penetration is generally less resulting in a lighter color.
Shape is an oval 2 1/4 (57 mm) x 2 5/8 (67 mm)

Some other designs you might like:

thin oval bangles stained PVC 4058

small stack of plastic faux bone bangle bracelets with dyed color 4057

large bone bangle bracelet 4028

thick bone bracelet PVC cuff bracelet contemporary primitive design 3752


This and other pvc bracelets can be found on ArtiFactSite your source for traditional forms rendered in modern materials.





design and photographs copyright 2016 

November 7, 2016

geometry of PVC bracelets 4054

This post shows how to make different size bracelets from a single piece of PVC pipe.

The first picture shows an array of bracelets from the circular (upper left) to the oval (lower right). These shapes were sliced from the circular pipe at increasing angles.

This cutting generates a series of oval shaped sections that are then finished off with buffing to create a smooth surface.
 The 90 degree (or 0 deg angle)  cut produces a 2 1/8" (52 mm) diameter circular shape. About 6 3/16" (162 mm) circumference

A series of cuts at increasing angles produces ovals of increasing interior circumference
The 45 degree cut produces a 3" (76 mm) diameter oval shape (the short diameter is 2 1/8") and 7 3/4" (197 mm) interior circumference



design and photographs copyright 2016

November 4, 2016

thin oval bangles stained PVC 4058

One of the properties of PVC is the innate strength of the material. These two bracelets demonstrate how thin this material can be sliced to make some very lightweight jewelry.

The color is achieved by immersing the finished pieces in a dye solution. The solvents dissolve the surface of the plastic enabling the dye to penetrate creating a permanent color.

The bracelets are finished with a light buffing burnishing with a felt tip on a hand held rotary tool.
 These oval shapes are 7 1/2" (192 mm) interior circumference. These are less than 1/8" thickness but are strong and flexible.

Some other designs you may like:

small stack of plastic faux bone bangle bracelets 4057

super thin stackable bracelets 4029

bone bangles sculpted slender bracelets 3463

These and other similar designs are available on ArtiFactSite your source for ancient designs made in modern materials



design and photographs copyright 2016