Friday, 8 September 2017


SAPPHIRE is the September birthstone and
known as the gem of Autumn.

If like me, your budget doesn't stretch to
be able to purchase the real stone, just find
a blue bead that matches!

In this month's project, I want to illustrate
how one simple bead can become a beautiful
focal piece for a necklace, with the addition
of a little bit of wire tweaking!

The materials you will need are: 0.8mm (20-gauge) wire, one
'sapphire' coloured bead and if desired, a few matching beads for
the chain and dangle drop (which is an optional extra!).


So, assemble: your bead, some wire and your usual tool kit ...


Start by threading your bead with wire and using your round
nosed pliers, create a double link at each end.


Cut a generous length of 0.8mm wire and secure this to one of
the double links.


Begin feeding the wire around the bead through the double loops,
leaving a slight gap (halo) around the bead.


Circumnavigate the wire around the bead about 3 times
(or more, if you feel so inclined!) and leave about 2"
(5cm) projecting at the end.


Place your round nosed pliers on the projecting wire (just by
the top of the bead) and form a top suspension loop.


Once the top loop is formed, spiral the remaining wire and
flatten against the top of the bead, just under the loop.


Now, the fun begins! Use the tips of your chain nosed pliers to
twist (tweak) the edges of the wires around the bead. You don't
need to go tweakingly mad, just 2 tweaks on either side will most
probably be enough!


Place any of the exposed wires at the edge of the frame on the
corner of your steel block and attempt to flatten and spread.
But, do not hammer any wires that cross over each other, that will
only weaken them ... And do watch your fingers! Ouch!!!


Once you're happy with the results, you can choose to suspend
with a 'dangle', a spiral, a tassel ... or, just leave it as it is ...


For an original handmade 'Stick Twist' chain, cut lengths of
0.8mm wire. Form small centered links with your round nosed pliers
at each end. Place each length on your block, and trying to
avoid your fingers (again!), as well as the links at each end, Whammer
WHACK-hammer the centre of each unit, to spread and flatten.


To form a twist in each of the units, hold each (link) end in your
flat nosed and chain nosed (or, 2 flat nosed pliers if you have them!).
TWIST a couple times whilst pulling! (Don't over twist, or you will
weaken the links).

And 'voila'! Assemble your stick-like Twist Links with some
chosen matching beads, together with jump rings to form a
pretty necklace chain.

Why not also create a pair of matching dangly earrings
using the Twist Links and some beads?

Experiment with other beads for different pendant designs!

Have fun with your wirey experimentations 
and if you have any requests for specific 
project tutorials, or techniques and would 
like advice on your jewellery journeys ... 
please feel to free to ask!
That's what this forum is for!