Thursday, December 16, 2010
VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR: Author, Rebeca Mojica, of Blue Buddha Boutique
Question 4: I've read that some pieces can be rock tumbled to shine them up. How does that work? Does it work on colored or coated jump rings?
Answer: Most chainmaille can be tumbled in a rock tumbler. I recommend using stainless steel shot with a bit of burnshing compound. But you can still receive excellent results sans shot. What is happening, is that the shot (and the jump rings themselves) are acting like hundreds of tiny hammers, whittling away at any minor surface imperfections, which makes your piece nice and shiny. I want to emphasize minor! If you scratch the ring, you're not going to buff away the scratch just by tumbling. If you tumble sterling or copper pieces to a mirror finish, you'll also help prevent tarnishing, as the smooth surface doesn't have as much surface area for oxidation to take place as a rough surface does.
I have tumbled every sort of colored ring, with few bad affects. The color is affected most on titanium rings. Tumbling doesn't remove the color completely, but it does alter and mute it. You wouldn't want to tumble colored ring pieces for hours on end, but for 20 minutes here and there, it's perfectly fine.
Question 5: Would you recommend that beginners start with sterling silver jump rings or can they "jump" right in using the coated rings that come in MANY colors?
Answer: Actually, I recommend that beginners don't start with sterling because of the cost. Now while I'm never one to tell people to NEVER do something, I do let beginners know that I've had more than one student who started with sterling silver, and then months later looked back at their first pieces, and were disappointed with the poor closures and felt the need to go back and re-do those projects. So it might be a good idea to start practicing on base metal (including those beautiful anodized aluminum or enameled copper colors) and then work your way up to sterling.
Some weaves (such as the Half Persians and Dragonscale) I highly recommend learning in multiple colors, because it really helps students see the pattern.
Question 6: Is it possible to learn chainmaille on your own through books and blogs or is it necessary to take a class to get started?
Blue Buddha Boutique