regarding heavy cuffs…i do not think they are usually designed to “bend”. At the Santa Fe Indian market, years ago, I was taught the “correct” way to put on a cuff…if i recall correctly, you slip it on at the soft part right above the wrist bone (on the hand side)…i think…someone please correct me if i am wrong…
all the bracelets i tried on were way too big…and i could not find what I was really looking for…cornrow inlay… so I ended up using my narrow cuff as a template and had a cuff custom made for me, in 18k gold, by Alvin Yellowhorse (he is an amazing jeweler!)
Hi Julie I would not have the patience for reposse, I like to model very quickly like sketching. Yeah thick cuffs are sort of like split bangles so they gotta fit just right or your wrist is going to hand up on the gap.
Julie…A cuff bracelet should not have to bend to put it on or take it off. If they do, then it is the wrong size and it will eventually break. We make cuffs in different lengths by 1/4" increments. The typical range is 5" - 6.25", but I have made them smaller and a lot bigger. Once you determine the right length and shape for your wrist, you should be able to roll it on with no trouble. As you say, just above the small bone that sticks out of your wrist. Start one end into the fleshy area above that bone and roll the gap around your wrist until the cuff is on. The gap will range from a bit less than an inch to a bit more and the length of the cuff before it is bent will be about an inch less than the circumference of your wrist. These measurements will vary depending on how tight you like to wear your cuff and the thickness of the cuff. Also keep in mind that, if you wear more than one, your wrist is tapered and gets bigger as you move up your wrist. I have a section on my website that talks about fitting a cuff bracelet…Rob
Wow! Not my opinion of the Native American tufa cast cuffs. They go pretty good on ebay, $200-$300 and up for signed NA pieces.
As far as the jewelry courses at colleges go, colleges now take a dim view of teaching techniques, so the courses are likely to be “a stupid lets be artsy type of affair,” which wouldn’t interest me, either. I think that if Rob’s granddaughter wants to learn jewelry techniques, she will probably have to take courses somewhere else but at college. There are lots of workshops and jewelry schools, as I’m sure Rob knows…
Julie you’re correct about a proper way to put a bracelet on. I sold jewelry long before i learned to make it. Indian/Native American style bracelets are a great example. Feel your wrist, Where the wrist joint is is the slimmest part of the arm. You slip the bracelet sideways over that area from the inside of the wrist. It may squeeze the flesh a bit, but it should not have to be forced on. If it slips on way to easy, it is way to big. DO NOT bend the bracelet. Over time it will weaken and I’ve seen the results years to decades later of the heaviest bracelet breaking in two. It’s normal for those who have not been taught how to put on or get the proper size to bend and squeeze the bracelet. Have the maker make an adjustment but leave it alone after that.
The saddest repair I ever made was for a veteran. He had a twisted solid copper bracelet that was signed by one in his group in Viet Nam. That person who signed it didn’t make it home. Over the years of wearing the bracelet, it had weakened right in the middle. When it was brought to me to repair, it literally fell into two pieces. I told the man I would have to solder in some new copper between the two pieces to help strengthen it. I rand the new copper on the sides along the whole length of the piece. As he put it on after repairs, I watched him slip it on then go to bend it to fit tightly on his wrist. I warned him the repair wouldn’t hold if he continued to do it. It took 12 years before he came back to me. He told me he would rather repair it as needed than to not feel it tight against his skin.
I would add to Brother Rob’s comment that what I think is a good fit is often not what the wearer feels. I have noticed that folks who wear chains often like a looser fit and those who wear wrist watches are often looking for tighter fits.
And then there is the customer that buys one size only, fits it into the mix on her wrist, crushes them to fit and never takes them off.
royjohn…I share your opinion. I do agree, there probably is some clunky cast NA jewelry just like there is clunky jewelry of any type. I am constantly amazed at old NA jewelry for what it is and the conditions under which these artists worked. Our father, who learned to make silver jewelry from Cecil Dick while working at the Chilocco Indian School during WWII, described what they were able to do with simple hand tools and blow torches. Dad passed these stories and what he learned down to Don and me. More modern NA pieces are equally amazing even if they have the use of modern tools, materials and techniques. Take a look at The Art of Stamping by Matthieu Cheminee and you will see some wonderful pieces made with simple homemade stamps. I am currently a fan of Chris Pruitt’s work and especially his tools. The world of jewelry is huge. I only wish that I had started to learn engraving, chasing and repousse sooner…Rob
Greetings. The cuff I made is in the vault but next time I am there I will get a photo and measurements. Pretty sure the center area hovered around 1mm and the rim maybe 3-4mm.
Will also check how I got it on. It definitely was snug getting on but once my wrist was in, it was a custom fit.
I just see jewelry as a small scale sculptural format, that has good good properties which will enhance my ability to share the type of work that I like to do. I also work in fashion and wall art, Here is another piece I have done that is on the other end of the thickness spectrum from the sketch above. But in general, Widlizrd to answer your question, my work or personal style is based on an in the moment improvisational composing.
I could be totally wrong here, but I’m having difficulty seeing this cuff as weighing 18 oz. I make large pieces [cast] and looking at your illustration I’m doing an “eyeball” guess.
If you are not going to mould this piece for future production, you might be able to get down to 1+ mm with ample spruing. I’d also look into reducing the depth of the inner opening walls to cheat some mass out of the piece. Good luck.
I was just recalling CAD videos regarding the Jali tool, to make very intricate cutwork designs…the instructor was saying that with the prices of gold increasing, where people once used a thickness of .80mm or .60mm, they were now using even .40 and .30mm (for earrings, ring undergalleries…)
i suppose for a larger piece such as a bracelet, it should be thicker
but the point being that the thinner thicknesses were castable…
i have not personally experienced this…just found it interesting…