Sunday, 12 February 2012

Rotational symmetry

This is a recent reworking of the early bracelet that you can see in the photo behind the title of this blog. This one, like the original, is mainly made from beads which my sister had bought for me in Covent Garden, London. (I do miss London sometimes, it's an amazing city.) It was a nice bracelet, and I liked that it draped nicely around my wrist, but I had overestimated the length, so that what with the drape and the length, the original bracelet used to keep falling off my hand when I wasn't looking. And whenever I was walking along holding my small son's hand, the bracelet would always transfer itself onto his arm, which probably got us some odd looks while walking around town.

To shorten it, then, I decided to take out the long, light-blue (almost lilac) foiled lamp-beads from the original version. This immediately made the bracelet much lighter to wear. Now all the beads were round except the crystals, so I took the crystals out, too. Then I changed the symmetry from mirror symmetry to rotational symmetry, which gives a slightly less formal look. Now, though, it was too short, so I added some dark wooden beads to add a contrasting note without adding too much weight. Despite the colour contrast, the spherical shape and surface-shininess of the wooden beads is similar enough to the other beads that they seem to sit quite happily with the cool blue and silver colours.

Toggle-clasps like this are good for bracelets because they are pretty secure, and they are easy to fasten with your other hand. But if the clasp is wider than the diameter of the largest bead in the bracelet, then the clasp won't want to flip over when the bracelet slides up and down your wrist. This, together with the fact that I used slightly stiffer beading wire here than I usually do, makes it feel much less drapey than the original; it feels almost bangle-y but sits much more snugly than a bangle would, so that it only rolls a little bit up and down my arm, and never falls off anymore.

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