Monday, 27 June 2011
As there is a HEATWAVE
here in the U.K., I reminisced on
my wonderful summer holidays
on the Greek Islands in year's
gone by ... and thought I would
share this classic bracelet design
with you ...
THE GREEK 'KEY' DESIGN
This motif originates from the
River Meander, a river with many twists,
mentioned by Homer in Iliad. 'Meander'
was the most important symbol in Ancient
Greece, symbolising infinity, or the eternal
flow of things. As you probably already
know, many temples and objects, especially
pottery, were decorated with this symbol.
The Greek Key symbolises the bonds of
friendship, love and devotion, therefore,
it is the perfect bracelet to make for someone
who is special to you!
Also, I'm about to do some filming for
BEAD TV on the subject of
MAKING CHAIN LINKS .... so
do keep a keen eye out, as they will
be uploaded in the next couple of weeks
and there's gallons more inspiration and
ideas coming up there!
This one didn't make the film titles, I used the
variation below instead:
Anyhow, are you sitting comfortably?
Bead mat, round, flat and chain nosed pliers
poised for action ... and some 0.8mm (20-gauge)
wire at the ready, not to forget those wire cutters ...
Well here goes -
1. Working from a spool of 0.8mm (20-gauge) wire, use
the very tips of your round nosed pliers (or if you prefer,
the tips of your chain noses) and create a tiny hook at
the very end of the wire.
2. Using your flat nosed pliers, squash the doubled
end together ... SQUISH!!
3. Using the tips of your chain nosed pliers, create a right
angled bend in the wire, pulling and straightening the
projecting wire as you bend it.
4. Once again, using the very tips of your chain nosed pliers
(or round nosed pliers) create a second right angled bend
in the wire, pulling and straightening the rest of the wire
as you go ...
5. Once again ... using the tips of your chain nosed pliers -
positioned just after the last bend - create another right
angle in the wire, pulling and straightening the wire as
you go ...
6. Now you've got the idea!! Just keep creating these
angular bends - it's really up to you how large you want
to make each chain unit, but I made about 9 bends in
*(Just a tip - if you make the units too big, you could
have problems later where they could catch on things
7. Using your round nosed pliers, position them at the
last bend and bring the wire around to form a back-loop
that is parallel to the top of the square.
8. Now cut the unit off the wire spool, leaving just enough
of a tail to create a link.
9. Create a link at the end of the wire, curling
it back towards the unit.
10. Create about 11 more units in a similar way
(or as many as you need for the length of a bracelet)
and connect them together as shown above. (If you feel
the units are weak, you can gently 'stroke' hammer
them to work-harden and temper them.
11. Now all that's left is to make a fish-hook clasp, or,
use a ready-made one and it's ready for wearing!
Equally, use jump rings on each side to attach to a
ready-made chain so that it can be the front of a
HAPPY WIRE WORKING !!
Thursday, 9 June 2011
As all you
to again ...
and again ...
is no exception
and as I have had so
many recent requests
for the pattern,
here is a tutorial to
show you how it's made.
TO GET STARTED ...
All you need are
round, flat and chain
1mm silver plated wire,
2 or 3 choice
coloured wires in
0.4 or 0.5mm gauge,
a focal bead, and a
1. Working from the end of your
1mm spool of silver plated wire,
use your round nosed pliers,
to create a circular link.
2. Hold the link firmly in
your flat nosed pliers and
continue curling the wire
around to form a open spiral.
3. Once you've created the
open spiral, bend the wire
back towards the base of the
spiral and using your wire
cutters, snip it off the spool,
leaving just enough
projecting wire to create
a small link.
4. To complete
the outline frame:
use the tips of your
round nosed pliers
to create a small link
at the end of the wire
and connect this
to the base of the
5. Cut a workable length of
your chosen coloured wire
(say approx. 10"-25.5cms)
and secure it to the centre
of your spiral frame.
Begin weaving this in and
out of the framework
securing it to the top and
base frame wires as you
6. ... Keep weaving
the wire around the
framework ... and if
you run out of wire,
just cut another length
and continue where
you left off ...
7. Once you've
wrapped the spiral
frame in one colour
wire, you can use a
second or third
coloured wire to
wrap as an overlay.
You don't have to double-
bind this to the top and base
of the frame as before,
just wrap it around more freely,
and sparsely over the top of
the first wire.
8. Now for your centre
feature bead! Cut a length
of coloured or 0.4mm/0.5mm
silver plated wire and thread
this through the middle of
9. Pull the wire through
and around to secure it
into place (rather like
sewing!) and if you're
left with extra, just
add this to the
10. Once the bead is
secured, use your flat
nosed pliers to twist and
'tweak' the coloured wires
around the framework,
creating kinks on the wire.
11. Attach your brooch
finding with wire (either
the fine coloured wires or
0.4mm silver plated)
and then wire it onto
the back of your brooch
frame, securing it firmly
12. If you wish you,
you could wire some
small seed beads
around your focal
Try experimenting with different colour schemes and vary the sizes!
OR ... use beads instead of coloured wires to create
visually colourful creations ...
How about an Earrings and Necklace set ...
The combinations are ENDLESS and will keep you
busy for hours!!
(This is when the housework will get left,
the washing load will double,
the ironing pile will become a 'mountain',
the kids will be allowed to watch more
videos than they should ...
and supper will have to be something
very speedy and quick to make:
like omelette, baked beans and salad!).
However, you'll have some lovely brooches to show for it!