Wednesday, September 3, 2008

NECESSITY BREEDS A NEW WIRE WRAP

This may be new only to me, but I love it anyway.

One of the things I like about a car trip, if I'm not driving, is that bright expanse of free time. Really free. I can't do dishes, or laundry, or weed the flower beds. I have to sit, and if I'm going to do something, the options are limited. Reading, going over my music, crocheting, or what I did yesterday, beading.

I worked on Button Stack Bracelets, finishing three I'd already started, and almost a fourth, brand-new one. On that one, I did all the button stacks first, and then turned my focus to creating the chain to put the stacks on. Now, where was that 20-gauge gold wire...?

Oh, no! I was sure I'd put it in, but it was nowhere to be found! I stared at what I had, a spool of 24-gauge that was much finer than I'd want to use for a bracelet chain. What to do?

Ooooh. The idea was ripe for the plucking, and solved a problem that had nothing to do with the lost wire: I don't like it when the end of a wire can be felt, and when I'm doing a wire wrap on a bead, that happens all too often. Up until yesterday, the only solution was to struggle with the wire until it would properly tuck in, or file the end down if it proved too stubborn.

But what if I worked with a fine wire, doubled?

Here's what I came up with:

Gather your tools and materials--


Two sizes of wire shown for comparison

  • 24-guage wire

  • Wire snips

  • Round nose pliers

  • Flat nose pliers

  • Bead


Cut a length of wire about six inches long, then fold it in half.


Loop it over one side and pull taut

Flatten the doubled end with your flat nose pliers as tightly as you can.


Squish!

Measure your folded wire against the bead you'll be using, leaving enough length for wire wraps on both ends.


That looks about right

Start a "regular" wire wrap, working with the cut ends of the wire


So far, so normal

When you've done a wrap and a half or so, lay the ends flat against the rest of the wire length. If your wire ends are longer than the bead you're using, snip them off.


Those ends will be hidden inside the bead

Slip the bead over the doubled end of the wire, and complete the wrap. I've shown what would be the first bead in an assembly, and not left it open to accept another.


No sharp ends anywhere

If you cut your folded wire extra long, you can have extra fun.


Curls and loops



More curls and loops

I finished the bracelet this morning, and am quite pleased with it. The photo with the brown background is the truer color. There's actually no blue in the bracelet at all.


Brown Button Stack Bracelet



Same bracelet, but taken in the shade

9 comments:

Kathy said...

Gorgeously stunning bracelet lady!! My husband is a trucker & we own our own semi so many times if I want to see him I go on the road with him & I also sooo enjoy the whole "NOT" being able to do house tasks & find myself devouring a book a day, crocheting & beading & writing. Ohh and window daydreaming watching the world go by. You brought up fond memories on the road & your creations are absolutely fantastical!!!

Debbie said...

oh that is so beautiful

Mokihana said...

That's just wonderful! I've done a lot of wire-wrapping, but never with doubled wire. Thanks for a great tutorial...

Cate Holst said...

Wow, your work is amazing!!

Cami said...

I'm impressed!!

Danielle Renee' said...

You have displayed some incredibly creative ideas. Beautiful jewelry and fun to make. Fantastic! Thank you for sharing.

girl @ Silk Bouquets said...

wow, what a fantastic craft, very creative. Such a nice tutorial, so easy to follow:)

jewelry boxes for girls said...

That bracelet is gorgeous, I like the finish product, lovely piece of jewelry.

By The Sea Jewelry said...

Beautiful jewelry. I love the use of old buttons. My Nana had a huge tin full many moons ago and I remember going through them like they were a treasure.

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