Wire Working: Link Up Your Wire Jewelry Designs
Wirework. It’s not just for wire wrapping any more. As gorgeous as wire wrapped pieces can be (and wrapping is an awesome way to set stones if you’re not in the mood to solder), I like just twisting and shaping wire to create new, unique wire jewelry designs.
A couple of years ago, I was playing with wire spirals (as you do), and I came up with an earring design using large gauge craft wire and a couple of cat’s eye stone coin beads. Fun! And very popular. I’ve since made other pairs, and I’ve sold them all. (The first pair went to a friend I went to high school with back when dinosaurs walked the Earth – which just tickles me!)
Ah, but there’s more to the story! Not long ago, I was paging through Cindy Wimmer’s book, The Missing Link: From Basic to Beautiful Wirework Jewelry, and came across a photo of wire spirals that reminded me very much of my earring design. But these weren’t earrings. Nope, they’re links! Since she had my attention, I just had to read Cindy’s whole book from the beginning.
This really cool book teaches you to make chain links from wire in a variety of designs. In addition to the Whirligig links (the ones that first snagged my attention), there are tons of others like Bow-Tie, Classic Hoop, Lightbulb, Owl Eyes, and Curlicue links. And many, many more. Cindy gives you very easy step-by-step instructions for making all of these – along with basic techniques, tools, information on patinas and polishing, and everything you need to know about the types and sizes of wire available.
The great thing about these links is that you can hook them together to make your own special chain. Or you can use them to link together a variety of beads and/or stones. AND they make great design elements or “stand-alone” focal pieces for your design. Now, that’s versatility!
So I’ve been playing. I’ve experimented with several of the links, using them to create chains for my pendants. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m getting there!
Cindy’s book also includes some great projects using chain links that can serve as inspiration for your own designs. My favorites? Cindy’s own Grand Bazaar Bracelet and Kerry Bogert’s Magician’s Rings Earrings.
Right now, the ebook of The Missing Link is included as part of Interweave’s Crazy 8 Ebook Sale (along with a lot of my other favorite titles like Making Etched Metal Jewelry, Torch-Fired Enamel, Soldered Alchemy, and others). Plus, it’s a great time to get the downloadable version of these books – so you don’t have to flip pages while working on your techniques.
Get these metal jewelry favorites today in our shop!