New directions for jewelry.
This spring and summer I prototyped adapting commercial slap bracelets to beaded cuffs. I have had requests for cuff bracelets in the past and always declined making cuffs on spec. Custom order? Sure. But cuffs made from stiff metal or prefab forms tend to have a bulky profile and difficulty fitting random clients. So I demurred, until Waylon at Lovetts Gallery gave me the push to try slap bracelets.
These are the first successes. Each was inspired by mesoamerican artifacts.
I volunteer at the Gilcrease Museum every week in the vault in the Anthropology Department. In exchange for my help performing condition statements and generally helping get the Plains Indian Artifacts up to date I have the chance to handle and learn about an amazing selection of Mayan, Olmec, and Aztec artifacts. It makes me giddy.
Celtic and Racing Stripe Patterns
I have experimented with a variety of styles.
Here is a custom celtic design made for a friend.
The Racing Stripe pattern is colorful and modern.
Piet Mondrian Inspired Slap Bracelet, flat
For those who are asking what is a slap bracelet…
Slap bracelets are metal bracelets that are milled in a manner that when flat have a curve, like a soda straw cut lengthwise. The curve imparts tension. When the flat bracelet is hit with a small force (slapped against a wrist) the tension is released and the metal snaps into a coil. The lateral tension is converted to longitudinal tension. Or, it snaps from flat to coiled around your wrist.
There has been a large element of troubleshooting with these bracelets. First, adapting a commercial product for handmade work that it was never intended to be paired with always is complicated. Trial and error reveals numerous ways to tweak the design to come up with a final method.
The biggest factor is the transition from flat to coiled. Nothing can be glued or attached to the metal base. It has to change from a long straight piece of metal with a curved profile to a flat coil. So the metal bracelet has to be in a sheath that allows the metal to move in both directions. Commercially this has meant a plastic sheath, sometimes with a rubber or lightweight fabric decorative cover.
I problem solved by cutting open the plastic sheath, removing the metal bracelet, cutting it to a shorter length, trimming plastic sheath to fit shorter bracelet, and finally fabricating my own fabric outer cover from microsuede. The beadwork is made in a separate panel, edged, and then sewn to the fabric sheath.
Concentric Circle, flat.
Now Concentric Circles are coiled.
New style, inspired by plains indian beadwork.
And on the wrist.
Last, but not least, new earrings.