Wednesday 20 June 2012


p e n d a n t ...

Having just
finished a two
week show and
now looking
forward to a
slightly slower
pace with the
summer months
approaching, I
thought this
project was most
appropriate to
share with you.

The 'HANG LOOSE' pendant incorporates a few essential wireworking
techniques, such as spirals, hammering, making a hanging frame and a
bail. Every time you create this it will look different - just play around
with gauges and wire colours, scaling it up or down, adding beads or
wire dangles ... need I go on?, as with everything, the permutations are endless!

To get started you will need your old friends:  round nose and
flat nose pliers, wire cutters and a range of circular mandrels ...
if you have a ring triblet (or ring stick) that will do.  You will also
need a hammer and steel bench block. As for wires, I used 1mm
for the silver and 0.9mm for the blue coloured wire, but any gauge
will do starting up from 0.8mm to 1.5mm!

1.  Begin by cutting 3 lengths of wire: I used 9" (23cm) and 5" (13cm) of silver, plus 7" (18cm) of blue wire.  Place your round nosed pliers somewhere near the centre of each length and bring both ends around to form a loop.  Place the crossed over part of the loop around a circular mandrel and bring the outer extending wires around to shape the rounded sides.  Decrease the mandrel size, depending on the wire length.  (*A ring stick is the perfect tool for this, as you can shape the longest length around the widest part of the mandrel and move up the tapered end for the next two lengths).

2.  Using your round and flat nosed pliers, create spirals at the ends of each unit. Try not to make these too uniform, or of the same length and size.

3.  This is not mandatory, but it definitely helps and is a great way of "letting off steam" -  hammer the ends and edges of each of your units on a steel bench block. (*However, be careful not to hammer the crossed over areas near the top loops as this will only weaken them).

4.  Place the units together, with the loops one on top of each other and connect all together with a jump ring - or two.  

5.  Now to make the outer hanging frame:  depending on the overall length of your longest spiral unit, create a loop of wire - I used about 6" (15cm) of 1mm silver wire and shaped it around a spice jar (use any large mandrel you have to hand, such as a pill box, condiment bottle, etc...).  Use the tips of your round nosed pliers to create two small links at the ends of the looped frame.  These loops should sit at right angles to the frame.

6. If you like hammering like I do, go ahead and gently 'stroke' hammer the outer part of the frame and then thread a large jump ring through each side link and the jump rings suspending the units.  The units should hang loose within the frame.

7.  For a final flourish, create a bail to suspend the pendant from.  To make this, cut approximately 8" (20.5cm) of 0.9mm blue wire.  Find the centre and fold the wire in half, squeezing the doubled ends together so that the projecting wires run parallel.

8.  Use your round nosed pliers, to create a link at the doubled end of the wire.

 9.  Place the widest part of your round nosed pliers, or if you have bail making pliers use these (or alternatively a thick knitting needle or circular mandrel ...) and form a bigger loop, in the opposite direction next to the link in step 8.
10.  Create spirals, curling outwards, on each cut end. Continue, curling the wires up on each side, but don't go higher or, past the back link that you created in step 8.

11.  Now thread the top loop of your pendant through the back link of the blue wire bail.  (See back of pendant in image above).

 12.  And ... there you have it!  All that's left to do is to suspend the bail loop from a chain, cord or ribbon and you're ready to 'Hang Loose'!!

For variations on this theme, here are a few other ideas that you might like to experiment with:

For this version with silver
and purple wire:
I used 0.5mm coloured wire
to bind around the outer frame
to inject a little more colour,
texture and embellishment.

The version on the right, has a
central bead dangle that is attached
to the last and smallest spiral unit.

You could add a coloured, feature
bead if so desired ... or another spiral

 Or, try this version above:  I used a Coiling Gizmo to make the coiled wire sleeve which frames the inner units.


And on that note, my wirey friends, remember to hang loose and have fun creating your own version of this project!

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