I thought I would do a quick blog post about the process of making my fishing rope bracelets. I have been experimenting with this for the past few weeks and it has been an effective way of using the ghost gear I collected from the beach. I decided not to create art as such (not yet anyway) but rather allow people to take something away with them that has helped the ocean. However, I am still working on some ideas to visualise my beach rubbish – perhaps as prints that people might want to buy.
First things first… my rope needs a wash!
Although a lot of the rope was in good condition, there was some sand and seaweed bits stuck to them so I wanted to make sure they were clean before I let anyone wear them as bracelets. I put them in boiling hot soapy water to soak, then rinsed them and soaked them in cold water, then left them to dry either on a towel or on the washing line.
I began to slice the rope up into bracelet size pieces to fit my own wrist and went out in search of findings so that they would fasten. The rope I worked with was in relatively good condition, and I had lots of it which meant that I could experiment without worrying about it running out. The colours were vibrant and wearable. The first finding I tried was a magnetic tube clasp. You can get these in various sizes from as small as 4mm to as big as 10mm. So it was just a case of singeing the ends of the rope and glueing them into the ends of the tubes.
Although I really like the way these tube clasps look, they are priced at around £1.70 to £2.00 just for one, so it is not really feasible if I am making a large number. However, I am still on the look out for them available in bulk. I especially like the antique looking colours as they suit the weathered look of the rope.
As you can see there is a bit of a pattern in the colours that I found! The next type of clasp was the lobster claw, which I found ready made, although you can buy the separate jump rings and clasps and make your own. These were less easy to fasten than the magnetic clasps but still worked and looked nice. I think I would definitely use them for thinner sections of rope.
These are more pieces of rope I have to work with. As you can see the black and yellow one needs some work…it is far too frayed and loose to make into bracelets at the moment. I have been looking at how to re-purpose fraying rope, using techniques such as whipping and coating with special agents. I hope I’m successful with this because I love the colour scheme and it would be a shame to not use it.