Free Project: Modern Wire and Crystal Bracelet

Beautiful Bangles and Cuffs

Before I learned to make my own jewelry, I almost never wore bracelets because my wrist wasn't the "normal" size carried in stores.  Wire bangles and cuffs, with their one-size-fits-many styling, were the exception.  Even though my jewelry skills mean that I'm no longer limited to these styles, old habits die hard.  When I attended the annual Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver last summer, I bought only one piece of handmade jewelry—a steel bangle bracelet!

Two of my favorite wire cuff bracelets ("Grapevine" and "Encrusted Cuff") are in the beautiful book Wire Style and, surprisingly, both are by the same designer, Jodi L. Bombardier.  I asked Jodi, a regular contributor to Step by Step Wire Jewelry, why she was attracted to this style.  She said, "I love random-looking jewelry. Although there is a pattern for both pieces, they still are really freeform. I feel this style of jewelry allows the designer to be more creative while working with wire. This might sound funny, but it feels so good to not follow 'the rules'—guess it's still the rebelling teenager in me!"

Jodi makes a terrific point.  Not only is this type of bracelet easy to customize with different beads, but it requires less precision than a classical wire bracelet where all the wires need to be lined up evenly and bent at exact 90-degree angles.  If you're the type of jewelry designer who stresses about perfection, try today's free Loop de Loop wire bangle project from Step by Step Wire Jewelry as a way to relax and play with color. 

Congratulations Ancient Modern Challenge Winners

Thanks to the creative souls who entered the polymer clay bead challenge to celebrate Ronna Sarvas Weltman's new book, Ancient Modern. Ronna and Jewelry Artist editor Merle White awarded sets of Ronna's handmade polymer clay beads to:

First Place
Doris Schenck
Celestial Planet

Doris used a combination of pearl, metallic gold, black, Alizarin Crimson, translucent, and green composite leaf to create her pendant.  The judges remarked that the "gold surface effects look like comets passing over a distant planet."

Second Place

Kelley Pounds
Cosmic Canyon

Kelley combined sky blue pearlescent clay with an overlay of gold and translucent clays. She sandwiched foil painted with random drops of alcohol ink between the gold and translucent clay layers. After curing the bead, she buffed it and painted the gold foil wings with Kato clear liquid clay and cured them with a heat gun for a high gloss. The judges mentioned the unusual dragonfly bead embellishment that was full of "whimsy and fun." 

For the latest contests and challenges, check out the contests page.  The new Stringing challenge is listed, plus two opportunities from Beadwork for your design to be in the pages of the magazine.

New Free Project

Loop de Loop Bangle
Allison Hoffman

Make a fun wire bangle with crystals and two sterling bangle bracelets.  Connect the bracelets with silver craft wire and leftover crystals from your stash for an affordable accessory perfect for summer. This project from Step by Step Wire Jewelry will be free for a limited time.  For 50 more wire bracelets, necklaces, and earrings, check out the bestselling Wire Style book. 

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