Saturday, 2 January 2016

We've stepped into 2016!
Let's all make sure that it's filled with CREATIVITY! 
Because, that can often be a happy safe haven when life throws 
boulders in your path! (I'm talking from experience!)

With that in mind, The WireWorkers Guild (or, Wire Therapy Guild!)
will try and continue to inspire and trigger your fingers to pick up those
pliers and twiddle those wires! So, here's a quick New Year project
to dust off any creative rust that's been settling ...

I've always loved and been fascinated by Egyptian art, their architecture, 
jewellery, culture ... so, I've picked the ANKH, (a cross with a handle,
pronounced: "ank"), which was the Egyptian hieroglyphic character 
known as LIFE! 
It just seemed apt for the beginning of the New Year!

I'm hoping that this tutorial will trigger your own creativity to design
your own one-off piece. If you love wire 'weaving', this could be right up
your avenue ... if you like, 'wrapping', put some stones on it ... if you 
love 'embellishing', well, GO for it! Here's your starting point:

(1) I used approximately 12" (30cm) of 1.25mm copper wire however,
1mm and 0.8mm wire will also be O.K. for slightly smaller pendants.
Once you've cut your length, place your flat nosed pliers at the
centre of the wire and bend each wire upwards, leaving a space
of approximately 1/2"(1.5cm) for the base.
Next, place the tips of your chain nosed pliers about 1" from the base
and bend the wires out (90 degrees) on each side (as shown above).

(2) Using the tips of your chain nosed pliers, bend the wires up on
each side  until they cross over, leaving about 1/2" (1.5cm) on each
side of the base stem.

(3) Place your flat nosed pliers on each side of the projecting wires
and fold back 90 degrees, bringing each wire in towards each other.

(4) Cut about 4" (10cm) of 0.4mm wire and bind around the centre
to secure (don't worry too much about the mess, as you will later
cover it with a focal bead or stone!).

(5) Place a circular mandrel, such as a chunky felt pen, or a ring
stick and wrap the wires around to form a large loop at the top,
crossing the excess wires over on each side.

(6) Find the centre of your unit and bend both wires up at 90 degrees.
Next, trim ONE of the wires down with your cutters, leaving just enough to
form a loop that hooks and secures around the projecting wire at the top of
the pendant.

(7) You don't have to make your bail in this way ... you could just
use your round nosed pliers to create a double link ... HOWEVER, I
have used my Whammer hammer to flatten and spread the projecting

(8) And then, to form the bail at the top of the pendant, place your round
nosed pliers (or, bail maker's) on the hammered wire and form the top
suspension link.

(9) To cover the wrapped wire centre part of the pendant,
cut about 8" (20cm) of 0.4mm wire and attach a semi precious
chip or a bead into the binding (from step 4) and secure. Next,
wrap the rest of the projecting wire around the stone or bead to
create the illusion of a mount setting. * Optional: I also, flattened
and textured my wire with my Whammer on a steel block.

And there you have it! A very simple, wire Ankh pendant,
which you can attach to a beaded necklace, chain, cord,
ribbon, or key ring ...

However, don't let your imagination STOP there! How
about a choker necklace version?

Or, create it in silver wire with a bit of weaving and coiling?
Also, gold wire is perfect for anything Egyptian ...
(and maybe, add a few tiny seed beads from your stash?).

And if you're using copper (or, sterling silver), you can
patinate (or antique) the textured surface by boiling an egg,
cutting it up in quarters and placing it and your pendant
in a sealed container for about 10 minutes, allowing the
natural hydrogen sulphide released during its cooling to
darken the surface.

When finished - I usually give my dog, the boiled egg pieces as a special treat!

You can then buff up the surface of the wire with fine sandpaper,
leaving the darker patina in the recesses. For this version, I also
glued a cabochon stone to the central wire spiral and binding, to
add a little extra detail!

Well, now it's up to you to have a go!

I hope there's enough 'food for thought' or 'wire for your wavelength'
to have a crack at the ancient Ankh pendant design!

Haaaaapy Wireworking in 2016!


  1. Thank you for the tutorial and a very Happy and Creative New Year to you too

    1. Many thanks, Neena! Let's hope it's happy, healthy and creatively rewarding for both of us! xxx

  2. This is a great tutorial! I want to make one right now but it is very late at night, so.....tomorrow for sure! I love the many things that can be done with such a simple design!

    1. That's great, Lee! I was hoping for that reaction! Get inspired and have a play!

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