30 Unique Chain Links Plus 5 New Wireworking Tips from The Missing Link

I recently wrote about my wire epiphany, when (as a non-wireworker) I became aware of all the myriad ways that wire appears in jewelry, as design elements and not just utilitarian components. Before that, I’d had a pretty narrow view of what wire jewelry can be. Looking at Cindy Wimme’s clever and inspiring new wire jewelry-making book, The Missing Link, I had a similar revelation again.

There are tutorials to make 30 unique wire links in the book (some of my favorites are shown here). While looking at them, I realized how easy it would be, using just one material (wire) and a few tools (mostly just pliers), to make jewelry that’s completely, truly handcrafted. Cindy writes, “If you didn’t realize all of the potential waiting for you within a single wire link, I hope that The Missing Link will help you see those pieces of wire in a whole new way!” That certainly happened for me, when I realized that you can easily make chain, necklaces, and bracelets by just connecting the links using more links or jump rings and adding a clasp … all of which you can also make yourself using just wire and pliers.

You could also create a single link on a larger scale and let it shine as a pendant, focal, part of a clasp, or in earrings. The design and simplicity of the wire links would give any piece of jewelry made with them a real feeling of craftsmanship and individuality, and it’s all contained in the one book, in one technique. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that after looking at any other craft book.

5 Wire Jewelry-Making Tips from The Missing Link

There’s a lot of great wirework technique in The Missing Link, too, and on top of the wire jewelry making techniques out there, I found five handy new ones:

  1. Jump-Ring-Making Tip: When using pliers, coil the wire toward the back of the pliers so the finished coil will push out toward the tip of the pliers. This way, you can make a coil of any length, even if the barrel of your pliers is short.
  2. Making Wire Spirals: Creating a well-rounded loop to start with is essential for making a good round wire spiral. Cindy recommends flattening the tip of the wire with a chasing hammer on a bench block before starting the spiral, because the tapered tip of the wire will be easier to shape into a circle, especially when working with a thick gauge of wire.
  3. Maintaining Wire Spirals: To maintain a spiral shape, create it using a heavier gauge of wire.
  4. Tumbling Wire: You probably know that tumbling wire jewelry and components will polish/shine, clean, and work harden them, but did you know that tumbling will also help soften or even remove tool marks made from hammers or pliers?
  5. Oxidizing Brass Wire: Brass wire doesn’t oxidize well with liver of sulfur, so try Novacan Black or a JAX metal darkener for creating oxidation on brass wire creations.
Get started making 30 truly unique wire links (plus 15 wire jewelry projects using them, created by Cindy and five other accomplished jewelry designers) when you order The Missing Link: From Basic to Beautiful Wire Jewelry or take advantage of our great book and eBook bundle and instantly download the eBook. It also has a detailed guide to different types, thicknesses, hardnesses (tempers), and shapes of wire, as well as the pliers and other tools you might use to work with it, making The Missing Link just as great for beginners as for experienced wire jewelry makers.

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