Sunday, March 6, 2011

Product Development: It's Quite a Process

Inside the cable were many strands of fine gauge copper wire.
Pressed pennies are a new interest. I stated collecting them about a year ago and since then my mind has been filled with ideas for turning them into jewelry. They make interesting earrings and necklaces but the most intriguing possibilities are bracelet designs.
The elongated or squished pennies are malleable enough to be slightly curved to accommodate the shape of the wrist.
Used electrical wire
The challenge then is to create a band that is strong and beautiful yet lets the penny be the focal point.
I  made several bracelets using chainmaille patterns. Byzantine, Half-Persian, and Japanese 8 in 1 all lend themselves to the task.

Several weeks ago I pulled a length of used electrical wire from the trash bin in the garage. I was curious to see whether I could recycle it for use in wire jewelry.  I cut the coating off several feet of the electrical cable and discovered a bundle of fine gauge copper wire.  While unraveling the bundle into usable  portions I decided to make a bracelet band of Viking Knit. 
Viking Knit is an ancient Scandinavian weaving process that creates sturdy metal tubes from tightly intertwined fine gauge wire. It is a technique that will allow me to assemble the bracelet using cold connections .
The used wire is tarnished in it's raw state but that suits my purposes perfectly as I plan to oxidize the entire bracelet when it is complete.

Viking knit made from recycled electrical wire.


  1. I think non-jewelry artists don't have a clue what is involved with making jewelry, especially recycled products, since you have to break it down to use it in most cases. Informative post, and I love your fruit bat bracelet!

  2. Thanks Jeanne the fruit bat is one of my current favorites.

  3. Great info! Beautiful knit too!