In which Chrononaut Mercantile describes how bring one of their handmade Age of Steam pieces to life. If you want to try this at home, you’ll need:
• A beading needle
• Waxed thread
• Watch movements
• A small piece of stiff leather
• Some seed beads
• Any other beads or crystals you want to use for accents
• Jump rings
• A clasp
First, reclaimed watch movements are hand-selected for personality and beauty; they’re easy to find on eBay, or at a flea markets or pawn shops. They are epoxied onto a leather backing, then the backing is cut around the watch, leaving a 1-2mm edge (back and front, below).
Next, Japanese hex-cut Delica beads are sewn onto the backing. We find that using a pair of pliers to pierce through the leather cuts down on aggravation and prevents you from stabbing yourself.
Then a peyote stitch is used to circle the watch body with beads. The stitch is a kind of off-loom bead-weaving and creates a flat, interlocking mat of beads. It’s hard to explain, but here’s a great set of instructions, with pictures, and here’s a video that shows how to do the stitch (part one, part two).
The back, after a few rows and then completed:
The front, in the same stages:
Then the outside of the woven edge is embellished with Swarovski crystal and additional seed beads. This is an opportunity to use your artistic judgment, as each finished piece should vary based on the size and shape of the watch movement.
Finally, we attach soldered sterling silver jump rings to each watch body, again with a peyote stitch, and the clasp is attached. After hours of focused attention to detail, it’s time to polish your goggles and head out to show off your hard work:
Chrononaut Mercantile founders Heather Kahn and Jeff Witkavitch combine years of experience working with beads, fabric, leather and reclaimed materials to translate a world of imagination into reality. Their creations include jewelry, handbags, luggage, cloaks and capes, jackets, belts and accessories to outfit a variety of looks, from Victorian gentleman to gentleman pirate. Their Age of Steam line is marked by the liberal use of black and espresso leather, brass findings, brocade and the intricate detailing of the Victorian age. So focus your spyglass on Chrononaut Mercantile as they share tips about making and prepare for their site launch on the 31st of October.