The Watercolor Paper Bracelet is a uniquely original and beautiful jewelry object to create, and I have developed a variety of bracelet types based on different structural designs.
The type that I am featuring in today’s discussion is particularly nice because of its flexibility and ease of size adjustment. The bracelet itself is made up of unit forms that are interconnected with a cord. The cord can be any material of your choice, as long as it is fairly strong. Because the bracelet consists of smaller, interconnected unit forms, it is easily sized to fit any wrist, and the interconnection of its unit shapes with a flexible cord makes it comfortable to wear.
Although I used a simple rectangular form for the basic unit shapes of the bracelet that you see illustrated here, there is absolutely no limit to the design possibilities for the braclet’s interconnected shapes. When designing the bracelet, I encourage you to look at nature for inspiration, the shapes of flowers, stones on the beach - we are surrounded by the raw material for one’s imagination to build upon!
Also, look at the work of other artists. I particularly like artists of the early 20th century. Joan Miro is one of my favorites; in his paintings he created wonderful forms that can easily be translated into shapes for jewelry. See one of his works here at the Museum of Modern Art website – http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=33050
Sometime during May I’ll be releasing a video on how to make this bracelet.
A word about the tools that I use: when I construct my jewelry I often use professional jewelry equipment and tools, but improvised tools can work just as well.
This bracelet requires each individual unit form to be given a slight curve, and to accomplish this I use a bracelet mandrel. A bracelet mandrel is a conical shaped steel forming tool that approximates the shape of the human wrist, and is excellent to use when making bracelets.
Professional tools can be expensive, therefore I always try to introduce my students to solutions that employ readily available materials and improvised tools. Improvised tools often work as well as expensive professional versions, but are easy to come by (often lying around the house) and cost nothing. To achieve the slight curve in each unit form of this bracelet, a coffee mug or a length of plastic pipe would have worked just as well as the expensive bracelet mandrel. Watch for my new video coming up soon for a step-by-step guide in making this bracelet!
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