Thursday, March 3, 2011

Anglican Rosary Technique - Such as It Is

You know how things sometimes sneak up on you? I just sold another Anglican rosary, which means I'm down to one in my Etsy shop. The one that's left is a star performer when it comes to people marking it as a favorite, but no one's bought it.

I have a number of bead combinations I've set aside for making Anglican rosaries, but when I go to start a new project I always find something else to do. Probably because, the way I make them, they're technically a little more difficult than other rosaries. If you look at the picture below, you can see why: there's a spot where three wires come together but they have to be joined without using a center.The bead that joins them has one hole with two openings, just like most beads.

When I started doing online research into Anglican rosaries (because I'd been asked to make one for someone) I found a couple of methods for making them. But I didn't like the way either of them looked, because the crimp bead came at a visually bad place. One method placed the crimp bead at the center of the rosary's body, which means the bead that should be centered is pushed off to the side. In the other method, the crimp bead ended up just to the side of the juncture, which also throws off the symmetry.

So I came up with my own technique, which is to make the rosary body in one piece, thread both ends through the bead that becomes the juncture, and put the crimp bead directly below it, holding the two wires together. The wire hanging below becomes the stem.

Sounds fairly simple, right? But it can take a lot of effort to get both wires feeding evenly through the juncture bead so that the stem is perfectly centered. Holding the rosary while I attach the crimp bead doesn't work, because I need both hands to hold the wires even. If I try to do it with the rosary lying flat, one end always creeps off when I adjust the other one. I've found it to be easier if I hold or hang the rosary in mid-air so I can adjust both wires as they feed through. But then I have to close the crimp bead when the wires are exactly right, with the crimp bead also hanging in mid-air. It feels a bit like hunting - waiting for the proper moment and then bang.

There may be an easier way of doing this, but I haven't found it yet.

Another reason I tend to put off making Anglican rosaries is that although one of them, as a whole, takes less time to make than a five-decade Catholic rosary, because of the way they're assembled I like to make one in one sitting, without a break. So I need to have a period of time when I'm pretty sure I won't be interrupted. A "regular" rosary can much more easily be set down and come back to later. 

Here's my one remaining Anglican rosary (I will be making more). It's made from three sizes of sodalite beads, with the large invitatory bead having a carved design:

Remember that if you enter coupon code BLOG2 at checkout, you receive a 20% discount from the listed price on anything in my Etsy shop.

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