Hand-crafted Knot Jewelry:
Decorative Marlingspike Seamanship rendered in precious metal.
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This page is left almost intact from when I was working on the chain pictured below. You'll find it mentioned elsewhere, and probably with better pictures, but some of the work on this page appears to me to be worth keeping.

Rather than make this page even longer than it is, I put the completed chain on a page all by itself.
Here is a close-up of the new chain. It is made with extremely small five-lead six-bight turk's head rings, tied in succession along the length of the the chain. Each knot intertwines with the previous one in six places, all around the edge, and must be completed before a new knot can be started. The rings have an internal opening about a tenth of an inch (0.10") in diameter, and the outside diameter of the chain is about fifteen hundredths. (0.15") chain closeup
chain slider This is as much of the chain as I have a picture of so far. Weeks of work, and I'm still not finished with it as of May 22. You can see that I have it strung on a fine chain, like a slider. I take it off while I add further links to it, then clean it up and thread the small chain back through it. By actual count, there are thirty-six links in this section. The completed chain will consist of one hundred and thirty-six links.
Each link consists of about three inches of wire, so the entire chain will have over four hundred inches of wire in it, all of which was made by me, step by step, from the pure gold to the mixing down to 18K, to the rolling out and drawing down to a diameter of thirteen thousands of an inch. Just the tying of the knots themselves will take well over two hundred hours before I'm done. In addition, I've worn out half a dozen jigs, some of which took me over six hours to make by hand as I was developing the process, and I've melted down and re-drawn the wire from a couple of dozen links that were spoiled while being tied, or melted while being soldered. I won't try to quantify the loss of blood along the way beyond noting that, while hard to ignore, it was not actually life-threatening.
To illustrate the kinship between the chain and the other knots that I tie, here is a shot of the end of the chain, with one unattached link next to it, and a second unattached link that has been rounded out and stretched in order to show it in ring form. pieces of chain
Here's a more recent (2011) picture that shows the ends linked together with jump rings, two per loop, twelve altogether.
The ends, joined together.
For my students who are interested in creating a similar chain, I've done a much larger version, using regular finger-ring size rings, so that the steps are easier to follow. Here's a Youtube video.

(This site last updated on 12-12-2020)

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