Hand-crafted Knot Jewelry:
Decorative Marlingspike Seamanship rendered in precious metal.
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The bracelets that I do will normally be bangles, as that is the easiest way to deal with them. However, it is possible to form them snugly around the wrist after they're slipped over the hand, if one goes about it in the right way. This requires some dedication, as the procedure will take a bit of time, and it also demands a certain degree of commitment, since once it is fitted directly to the wrist it is no longer possible to remove it casually. This doesn't mean it can't be removed at all, of course, but every time the piece is reshaped it will become further work-hardened, and it will be more difficult to change its shape.

Note that bracelets worn in this fashion will have a great deal of open space, as opposed to being densely woven. A densely woven bracelet to be worn snug about the wrist is impractical, since I would have to make it in place. It could be done, but I haven't tackled the engineering issues involved. It might also be painful, and it would certainly take several days, possibly a week.
Here's a shot of my wrist with a bracelet snugly compressed around it. 5x29 silver bracelet compressed to fit a wrist
I will gladly perform the fitting in person, if possible. I will provide as clear instructions as I can for doing so on your own, but I can't be held responsible for damage caused by inexpert manipulation by others.

A bracelet that is expected to be fitted will be annealed before shipping, and will be soft and malleable. It takes very little bending and twisting for the metal to start to work-harden, so it should be handled gently until you're ready to put it on. The first step is to check to see how well it slips over your hand - it will be much easier to start the compression while the work is free in your hands than it will be after it is on your wrist.

You might want to recruit someone else to help you, once you slip it on. In order to reduce the size to that of your wrist, you have to one-handedly pinch around the perimeter of the band, but if you are placing it on someone else it is much easier to just encircle the band with your two hands and gently squeeze it into place. Once it is close to the right size, of course, it is easy enough to put your other hand most of the way around and compress it further. Keep the pressure as even as you can, frequently checking to see that no part of the piece is much wider than the rest. (It is up to you, of course, how wide and how evenly distributed that width will end up.)

At the last stage, as it is becoming tight around the wrist, don't hurry the process too much. Place the thumb and forefinger about an inch or so apart and pinch the bracelet as though you are trying to grab a bit of your arm through it. You'll find that the section between your fingers will become a little bit shorter and a bit wider. Keep moving, it will look better (in my opinion) if it is even. Once you can get your entire hand around it, thumb on one side and fingers on the other, just start squeezing it down.

Once it is the right size, I find that the easiest way to make it smooth is to place a shoehorn between your wrist and the inside of the band, then just press the band against it with your thumb, shifting around to get all the high spots and low spots out of it. Ideally it will conform to your shape without having any loops sticking out (or in!) further than the others.

(This site last updated on 12-11-2017)

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