Ankle Bracelet with Iron Rattle

November 1, 2010

This is a pellet bell that I cold-fabricated out of steel sheet.  Four rivets attach the domes to the hanging loop, and there is an iron bead inside.  It was more work than I expected, but would probably be OK as a production item if I had the flat steel blanks commercially laser-cut, and formed and riveted them myself.  I had no idea what it would sound like.  It doesn’t ring, but it does make a pleasant rolling-rattling noise.  It is 1 5/8 inches long.  I strung it on a hemp anklet with antique African iron beads and a hot-forged clasp.  I like the hemp/iron combination but if I want to make hemp pieces to sell, I’ll have to get some better cord – this stuff is very rough and uneven, though admittedly it was cheap and I didn’t buy it for jewelry.  It’s not uncomfortable, just ugly, and there is better material available that is evenly spun and polished smooth for jewelry use.

Iron Bell Anklet


2 Responses to “Ankle Bracelet with Iron Rattle”

  1. debra said

    Both beads and ankle bracelet are wonderful. Hemp stretches and smells and takes forever to dry if it gets wet and is always a bit itchy I think–I wonder if another fiber, or leather, might work better.

  2. ironwing said

    So far, the round leather cord is my favorite. The thinner sizes can be woven and the thick sizes look great with any kind of pendant. But they do rot eventually. It’s hard to find a natural plant material that doesn’t stretch, and none are very durable – I’ve tried hemp, cotton, silk, and linen. And the plastic-covered steel cables that are used for bead stringing aren’t very durable either.
    In my experience, any strand of beads will need re-stringing about once a year if it’s worn regularly. That’s why I don’t use a lot of beads and increasingly prefer chains (handmade only) or other all-metal construction.

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