I finished the Gallo-Roman necklace. It took about six hours (I did take frequent breaks, so that’s some of it), and most of my 24 gauge copper wire, but that was from wrapping all the links. The time-consuming part – the links – is done. You can see some of the reason this was so time-consuming in the photo to the left. Each section required three separate lengths of wrapped beads, connected to a singular link. In addition to this, the smaller beads are quite a good bit smaller than what I normally wire-wrap, and pearls are quite a bit softer and more easily marred by errant pliers. That being said, this part is done. The bad news is that there’s still more that I need to do with it – and that is make a clasp. I have a temporary clasp (because I did wear this to the office to have my coworkers ooh and aah over it), but if I’m going to enter the piece into A&S competition, I want something that is plausibly period – and I want it to look the part. So, I want to have a clasp that looks right.
So, you see, it’s a bit difficult to find beads that look like the original’s elongated heart/spade/arrow shape. I know. I looked. You can get kind of close, but I want something that could be a near-perfect replica with the modern materials that I have available. After talking with one of my friends, who happens to be a Laurel, he suggested that I look at getting gold-clad brass sheet, cutting out the shapes, putting a crease in those shapes, soldering both sides together, and then running the wire through to complete the clasp.
I’ve never soldered. Most of the metalwork I do involves cutting and wrapping wire around itself. That being said, provided I can get assistance and help, this could be doable. Hopefully, once I learn this technique, I can move onto other ones, like piercework, which was also used in Byzantine jewellery.