Monday 1 November 2010

The WireWorkers Guild


This technique for creating
wire rings, is one of my
favourite units for linking.

I often demonstrate this unit
in my workshops or wherever
I am teaching, as it is a good
example of how a bundle
of randomly wrapped wires,
when hammered,
fuses into a solid mass.

Below, you can follow how to create
the 'O R B I T A L' unit
which can be used in a variety of
ways ... some of which are shown below.
However, I am sure you will also be
able to come up with your very own
unique examples too!

YOU WILL NEED: 0.8mm (20-gauge)
silver-plated or sterling silver wire
(alternatively: experiment
with copper first).
Round and flat nosed pliers,
wire cutters, hammer and a flat,
steel stake and cylindrical mandrel
(I have used a piece of wooden curtain pole!).

1. Working directly from a
spool of 0.8mm (20-gauge)
wire, wrap around the
cylindrical mandrel to create
at least 4 complete rings.

Cut the wire off the spool using your wire cutters, leaving
at least 6" (15cms) to 8" (20cms).
A smaller coil will need less,
whilst a larger diameter coil
will require more ... this
is totally personal to you.

2. Take the short cut-end of the wire and use
this to wrap around all the coils to secure

3. Use the long tail of wire to bind and wrap around
the diameter of the coils. You can do this very
randomly and you can also choose to leave a gap
between your wraps - which can later be used to
suspend a threaded bead, or chain.

Wrap all the wire and neaten the ends.

4. Place the wrapped wire circle onto your steel stake and
using your hammer, "stroke" hammer it until it is completely
flattened and work hardened.

Here are some different
examples of ORBITAL
frames:(from top to bottom)

*Large with diameter
completely wrapped

*Wrapped with one loop

*Loosely wrapped

*Some loose wrapping with
'tail' for threading a bead

*You can also choose to
wrap a second coloured
wire on top, to create a
two-tone frame!

(Above) Here's an example of how you can use the
Orbital unit. Suspend with a tassel of chain and
beads and connect onto a cord, or chain for a
fashion statement necklace.

... here's another example of a simple pendant,
created with a bead suspended from the inside.

As Christmas approaches ... turn the unit into a 'Xmas
Wreath'. Bind it with small seed beads onto 0.4mm
(28-gauge) wire and suspend with a bead, or wire bow
on the inside!

This loopy frame, which had a tail of
wire, is threaded with a bead and
suspended on each side with matching
beads and a chain to complete into
a simple necklace.

Here's one of my favourite Necklace and Earring
sets. As you can see above and below, beads can
be wired within the circles or between them.

I've even created a belt, similar to this!

The variations are endless - just have a play with
different designs...

... and earrings to match!

Try wrapping 'rays' of wire to create my 'Solar Plexus'
design with pearls.

Finally, here's my 'Summer Meadows' Brooch to
infuse a little sunshine into your lives now that
the season's are changing ...

I hope that's given you all
a little inspiration
to play with your
wires and pliers.

Have fun experimenting and going ORBITAL
and completely around the bend!


  1. Thanks for sharing this Linda and that's my "project for the day"! I've just finished an "upcycled" or "recycled" necklace from broken necklaces which was inspired by you ...I can't find the picture or project now ...maybe on your Facebook page? So sorry not to get along to the Big Bead Show but sounds as though it was great loss!

  2. What a great technique, simplistic but so versatile. Thank you, I look forward to experimenting with this.

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