As a contributing editor for ABS, I am constantly blown away by the amount of talent that comprises our readership. It is both a thrill and a pleasure to be able to bring to attention items and people I have fallen in love with that I think may interest the rest of our wonderful community of devoted art bead enthusiasts.
One such item is this Etched Metal Hinged Cuff Bracelet Kit
put together by artisan jewelry designer Riki Schumacher. Riki is a warm and wonderful woman who, in addition to having published work in Belle Armoire Jewelry and Jewelry Affaire magazines, has also taught at art jewelry retreats such as Adorn Me and private workshops.
One of her most popular designs is the Romantic Etched Metal Cuff with its unique, bold, rustic style that contains mixed metals and an antiqued finish. I see a lot of potential in these kits for jewelry designers who use art beads, not only does the wide face of the hinged cuff give us a good sized canvas for various art beads of polymer, metal or ceramic (I am picturing a Humblebeads wire-wrapped to the center of a filigree frame) but the metal itself is one that can be altered through a variety of techniques (you all know I am dying to splash it with patina!).
I recently emailed a Q&A to Riki and she kindly took the time to answer some of my questions.
ABS – I love your hinged cuff bracelet and I am so glad you are offering a kit! What inspired this design?
RS- Thanks so much! The kit was inspired by loving cuffs, and wanting to make one more comfortable. I had just learned to etch metal from Stephanie Lee, so using that to make a hinge was just icing on the cake. I had traveled to France to study with Susan Lenart Kazmer years ago, and was inspired by her simple technique in making hinges. So why not make it available to anyone who wants to make an etched hinged cuff?
ABS – Normally I avoid wide bracelets because they restrict movement, but you state in your listing description that they are adjustable and comfortable to wear? Do you wear your hinged cuff a lot?
RS- I do, because they are so comfortable. They can fit almost any size wrist, because it is adjustable. I love wearing cuffs as an accessory, to have a little touch of beauty I can enjoy seeing.
ABS – I see that the etched brass is 24 gauge, which lets me know we can punch holes in it easily. This opens up a world of opportunities to embellish our cuffs with riveting, wire-wrapping, bezels and weaving. What other variations have you made on your own Romance Hinged Cuffs?
RS – Oh, there are so many things you can do to this basic design, just like you mentioned. I love to solder on stampings as well. And adding a touch of bling, or cold connecting stampings is fun as well.
ABS – Riki, thank you for putting the tutorial and kit together.Taking the time to measure, cut, etch and assemble the parts lets us get straight to the fun part of crafting our beautiful hinged cuff.
RS – I just taught this project at my home last fall, and the woman present had a great time. I am always available for questions, and would be happy to help in any way I could. There will be a new workshop in the fall, so stay tuned for that announcement!
And to learn more about this wonderful woman, be sure to visit her blog.