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Item two in my IYHTAITE Collection (If You Have To Ask It's Too Expensive) is made from 18k yellow-green gold like the Jens Pind Linkage 5 JPL5. It is a micromaille two-sided, double loop-in-loop (2R-2L or 2S-2L) using 0.5mm wire in 3/8" I.D. rings, which can be woven in a square or rectangular profile. The latter was chosen because it looks different on the top and sides. Find it here.

The identical 0.999 fine silver version created an impressive scrap pile of failed and melted rings. Not so much. The failure rate would ensure, well, failure from not enough rings. So I scrapped everything after a few hours of work, remelted the gold with a fresh infusion of 1/4 ounce, and started again.

Attempt two, the wire jumped track in the rolling mill and basically was severed. For real? It was gold so it had to happen now. Fixing it was not worth the risk and I didn't want to work with two wires.

Remelted for a third time, the rolling mill and wire drawing machine did their job. It wasn't the coil winder's fault but the wire spaghettied...because it was gold, naturally. Fortunately, it was salvageable.

 
Never considered that possibility but it was gold so it had to happen now.
 
It would seem logical that annealed wire would have little or no springback. Despite the tensioning device, the wire was actually too soft to tension itself. Never considered that possibility but it was gold so it had to happen now. I manually tightened the sloppy coil on the mandrel and taped it solid to help with cutting.

I expected ripped and torn rings...not as bad as I had thought so it was a small victory. Managed to get the job done after WAY too much time. I inspected every ring under a loupe to weed out the obvious defectors before welding them closed.

My micro-torch worked surprisingly well. Until it didn't. The auto-ignite button broke. Yep, because it was gold. Every fused ring was inspected under magnification to purge the evil ones. Now there were four piles of rings: defective, poorly fused, outright melted, and good ones.

Once the rings were fused, the rest of the manufacturing was cooperative. As if it knew it screwed me over and was trying to make nice. This was the most challenging piece to date and it is among my best.

What's next in the 18k gold IYHTAITE collection? It will be another Jens Pend Linkage, either a JPL3 or a micromaille JPL5. Probably both eventually. Maybe a JPL7 for good measure, too.


Posted by M: December 28, 2019


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