Saturday, 10 September 2016

Back to School ...

September is here with a thump!
Schools are back, leaves are falling
and the laziness of summer already
feels like a dream-time away ...

You might feel a bit rusty with your jewellery
making, so here's a 'back to school' project
that will get those pliers and wires dancing in
your hand!

This spiral unit started life as a decorative bail, with which
to suspended beaded pendants and such like. However, it is
also very effective as a chain link. I recommend that you
have a practice run at it, with any 0.8mm (20-gauge wire) that
you have to hand and then decide how you want to utilize and
incorporate it into any of your designs!


Cut about 5" (12.5cm) of 0.8mm wire. Bend it in half and
straighten out the parallel wires. Using a pair of flat nose
pliers, begin to squeeze the doubled end together ...


Continue squeezing the doubled end, so that the wires sit


Using the tips of your round nosed pliers, curl the doubled end
around to form a complete loop.


Position your round nosed pliers just next to this first loop and
form a second loop, as shown above.


Check both cut ends are the same length (trim with your cutters,
if one is slightly longer) and using your round nosed pliers,
create a link on each of the wires, curling them outwards, away
from each other.


Hold the circle of wire in your flat nosed pliers and begin
creating a spiral. Repeat for the other side.


You can continue spiralling the wire up towards the top of the
unit, OR, as above, place the tips of your chain nosed pliers
just by the spiral and bend, creating an angle in the wire. Repeat
for the opposite side.


Repeat the angular bend, by using the chain nosed pliers
once more, so that the spirals sit at the level of the doubled
wire link behind.


Repeat steps 1-8 to create more 'butterfly wing links' and use them
as chain linking systems. Above, you can see how jump rings can
connect them together at the back to form a chain.


You can thread a chain or cord through the top link to suspend.
You could attach beads ... the variations are endless and so are
the shapes!

Below, are a few more samples to get your imaginations flowing ...

Beaded bracelet (or, you could create this just with the wire
links if you have time to make many more!).

Used as a bail (upside down) to suspend a cascade of beads
for a long necklace.

Here I have used just one for a bail, for a corded necklace.

And equally, it adds a decorative touch as a bail for
a chain link pendant.

It always works well for earring designs, with or without beads!

Why not try creating something a little 'edgy' and asymetric, in a necklace design?
(These links are spirals instead of angular bends, but just as decorative!).

I hope that takes you 'back to school' with your pliers and wires and fuels
many more original designs!