The Big Bang Bangle: How to Make Colorful Coiled Wire Bangles with Kerry Bogert

Whenever I think of wire coiling, I think of Kerry Bogert. Whenever I think of colored wire, I think of Kerry Bogert. Whenever I think of wire coiling and colored wire and lampwork glass beads, you get this! Thanks, Kerry!

  colored coiled wire bangles by Kerry Bogert
All photos courtesy of Kerry Bogert.

The Big Bang Bangle
by Kerry Bogert

Have you ever seen a piece of jewelry that works its way into your creative thoughts and you know you want to make something inspired by it–but then when you make it, it completely takes on a life of its own?

Yeah? You too?

This bangle design is the result of one such incident. I was scrolling Pinterest one fine fall day when I came across a bangle design that got my creative wheels a turning. I had to play with the concept and find my own interpretation. You'll find that's a recurring theme with me. See, ponder, create. You know, come to think of it, I might be on to something here. . . .

see + ponder + create = inspired!

Or is it . . .

see + ponder + be inspired = create!

I'll have to have my mathematically inclined hubby take a look at those equations for me to see which one is most logical.

Anyway, back to the bangle. You'll find my design wraps up pretty quickly and is a great base design for embellishing. I decided to add one of my unique faux stone hollow lampwork beads as a dangle. The shape reminded me of an asteroid caught in Saturn's rings and inspired the name, The Big Bang Bangle. What beads do you imagine for this spacey design?

Materials

wire flush cutters
coiling tool
bracelet mandrel (or other round object)
file
rotary tumbler with stainless steel shot and cleaning solution *
16g round dead soft silver wire
18g round dead soft silver wire
20g round colored copper wire (3 colors)
20g round dead soft silver wire
optional: beads to embellish, patina/LOS

* I use liquid dish soap.

Steps

 

1.    Create 3 lengths of coil. Make two any length between 2" and 3" (5 to 7.5cm) and make one that is about 1-1/2" (3.8cm). For these, I used a coiling tool.

2.    Wrap a 36" (91.5cm) piece of 16g silver wire around a bracelet mandrel (or other round object) three times. This is your core wire. I photographed this around the largest area of the mandrel but ended up stepping down a level to the second-largest area instead. Slip the wrapped wire off the mandrel and hold it so that it doesn't spring out of its loops.

3.    Slip your two longer wire coils onto the core wire. You'll have to maneuver them past your fingers while still keeping the loops from springing. Slide them along the core wire so that they are on separate rings of it.

4.    Wrap one tail end of the 16g core wire tightly around the loops of wire near the ends of the coils. Flip the bangle over and repeat it with the other tail of core wire near the opposite ends of the coils.

5.    Slide your shorter coil onto one of these tail wires and wrap the core area of the bangle again.

   
6. Trim the excess wire and file any sharp ends smooth.
 

After you complete the steps above, you'll have an area of just two core wires that are bare and unwrapped.

You could leave the bangle as is, but really, why not add a dangle?

Flat spiral headpins are one of my favorite ways to add dangles to designs. They are super easy to make, too.

Here's the tutorial for making the spiral headpins and the dangles for your bangle.

 

1.    Start with an 8" (20.5cm) piece of 18g silver wire. Grasp the wire about 2" (5cm) from one end of the wire and bend it 90 degrees.

2.    Swirl the wire back on itself so that it spirals. You might want to let go of the wire and use the pliers to lightly pinch the spiral if it isn't laying flat for you.

3.    Trim the short little tail of wire and your headpin is ready!

4.    Slide on your lampwork bead. Grasp the wire close to the lampwork bead with your chain nose pliers.

5.    Bend the wire to about 45 degrees just above your pliers.

6.    Switch to your round nose pliers and make a loop.

7.    Before closing the loop, pop the wire bangle into the loop you are creating.

8.    Grasp the loop with chain nose pliers and then wrap closed like you would a wrapped loop.

9.    You have a long tail of wire; keep wrapping it to form a large flat spiral against the back of the bead.

10. Trim the excess wire.

Now your bangle is ready for the tumbler! Tumble with stainless steel shot and cleaning liquid for 30 to 45 minutes. It will then be ready to wear. If you find it difficult to slip on your wrist, use your hands to change the bangle from a circular shape to a more oval one. I think you'll find it is an easier fit that way, plus you can keep the bead on top of your wrist.

These bangles were all polished and tumbled. As you can see, the bangles and beads survived the tumbler unscathed. Pretty sweet, huh?

 

If you like an earthier look to your jewelry, this design can be oxidized. I'm often asked if it is okay to oxidize colored copper wire; the answer is YES! It is! I wanted to show you what a bangle looks like made with copper and colored copper wire that was oxidized. This image shows exactly what the bangle looked like right when it came out of the liver of sulfur (LOS) bath. The colored wire is completely fine! I used blue and peridot wire. The peridot is twisted two-tone style with sterling silver.

 

coiled wire bangle with lampwork glass button by Kerry Bogert

For this variation, you could just as easily substitute a button in place of a dangle. Feed your wire through the holes of the button and wrap the wire around the core wire.

Can't you picture this done in aged brass with a beautiful antique button? Oh yes, someone whip one of those up, won't you?

Kerry

Aren't Kerry's colorful coiled wire bangles beautiful? She shared her wire jewelry expertise to help us create the perfect wire coiling collection, including her Wire Coiling Secrets DVD, Totally Twisted book, "Green With Envy" coiled wire earrings project video download, and a six-pack of colored copper-core wire in a color palette chosen just for you by Kerry. It's all for a special price and, like most good things, these wire coiling collections are limited, so don't miss out, get yours in the Jewelry Making Daily Shop!

Resources

sterling silver wire: Rio Grande
colored copper wire: Parawire
lampwork beads: Kabsconcepts.com

  Kerry Bogert

About the Artist

Kerry Bogert is the artist behind Kabsconcepts.com and author of Totally Twisted and Rustic Wrappings. You'll find her work featured in several additional publications including Wire Style, Wire Style 2, Chain Style, and The Missing Link. She's also the Acquisitions Editor for Books at Interweave. When she's not reading new book proposals or playing with wire, you'll find her either knitting, sewing, or cheering for her kids at a sporting event.

 

 

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