Lifestyle, fashion and beauty

Monday, November 5, 2012

Jewellery making with wire


Yesterday I had a lovely day shopping in central London, meeting friends for brunch and then seeing some lovely views of London over drinks. I will include those in later posts, but I wanted to share with you some goodies I bought from my shopping trip.

I have been an avid jewellery maker since I was younger making all sorts of bracelets, earrings and bracelets from beads and threads. I am a dab hand with a needle, but have never ventured into wire jewellery making. After discovering some videos on YouTube and some magazines at my local newsagents I set about buying the tools required and thought I would have a go at it myself. The best way to learn is to try it right?!

I went into Beadworks in Covent Garden and spent a fair amount stocking up on supplies, there was just so much I wanted to buy! But I had to hold myself back, and just buy enough for a couple of starter projects.

The tools I bought include a mini-pliers starter pack, which include round-nose pliers, cutters and chain-nose pliers, 20 and 28-gauge aluminium wire, seed beads, hook eye wires, earring and chain fasteners etc. I also bought two bags of mixed beads, which I was in two minds about, but on opening them they had loads of different beads that were useful to start with.

I had seen a couple of videos on crochet jewellery so thought I would start with this for my first project since I have been learning to crochet again and already had a crochet hook. For this project I used a 500mm aluminium hook with the 28-gauge wire (the 20-gauge was too malleable) and after chaining a couple of stitches to start I started adding a couple of beads on each chain, adjusting them and the wire as I went along. The key is to add more than the amount of beads you think you will need to the whole wire before you start up to the spool, and to keep the chains big and loose to allow the hook through. The loop can be adjusted, and beads moved around after you have made the chain.

After one crochet-chain

After two crochet-chains and twisted together.
I made two lengths of chain as a base, then twisted the two together so the wire was not as visible as the beads. I then got a length of wire – probably twice the length of the bracelet I was making – and added beads along the whole length. This was the filler row, and I used it to fill in any gaps, by pushing beads in and wrapping it along where the wire was visible, or there were holes. When I got to the end I wrapped the end wires together, then went back along the bracelet bending the wires and pushing the beads in place to make it fit together so it wouldn’t come loose. I then created an eye either side, with a loop, and added the fastener to finish it off.
Overall, it has become a lot chunkier than I intended, and I didn’t have a set design when I started, but made it up as I went along. I had intended to have three lengths of crochet-chained beads and then plait them together, but I wanted to hide the wire for this design. Maybe it will work better with a smaller sized hook.

And although I like the fastening, I think it might be too dainty for this chunky design, so I might change it to a bigger one when I get one.
But anyway, that is my first attempt at wired jewellery making. What do you think? If you have any tips do let me know as I am a beginner and would appreciate any comments!
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