Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Wire-work rings

I've been playing with making wire-work jewellery for a while. Things had been a bit random as I couldn't really work out how to use it to it's full potential. Mostly I had been french knitting with it - adding beads to give the impression that they were floating inside a wire cage.

Then I heard about the wire coiling gizmo. I'm sorry that this sounds a bit like a corny television commercial, but I was genuinely blown away by this little gadget. When I bought it, I asked my husband to fix the frame onto a piece of wood to make it more stable for me. He willingly obliged, and determined to do a professional job, he spent two hours doing it!
He then asked me what the gizmo did. I ran up a coiled coil bead in about a minute and a half (at my first attempt too - it's a simple thing to use!)

As with many of these crafting gadgets, it's slightly addictive, so I spent a few days making up coiled coil beads and miniature coiled links. These links have been used on necklaces and will be featured in a later post. Again I began to run out of inspiration, when I saw a technique to make coiled wire rings. This blue beaded one is my first attempt. I made the mistake of using the larger coil, which made the ring shank a bit bulky. I also felt the wrapping of the ends was a bit messy, so I disguised it with a couple of E-beads on each side.

I made a second ring, using a smaller coil and an amber chip, and used the ends of the wire to create a feature wrap on top of the bead. Unfortunately I do not have a photograph of this one. I gave it to a friend as a present for her fortieth birthday.
But it put me on a bit of a roll! This ring is made from 0.6mm purple coloured wire, with an acrylic bead from an old broken bracelet. As you can see, I've continued to use the idea of wrapping the end of the wire to create a feature around the bead. My appetite for this style has been whetted! I have lots of ideas for recreating this style of ring using a variety of different stones and beads in the middle, and I've invested in a ring mandrel so that I can properly shape and size the ring shanks.

The lilac ring is available for sale in my Etsy shop.

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