Create a Perfect Wire Spiral: Free Video Class

Dec 7, 2008

The Wonders of Wire Spirals

Along with simple loops, the spiral was the first wire technique I learned.  In fact, my mom still wears a pair of earrings that I created back then with 8mm black rounds and a silver spiral dangle.  (I try not to cringe when I see them--my technique has greatly improved since then!  Of course, my mom thinks they're just perfect and won't let me redo them.  Sound familar?)

Wire spirals add a sense of playfulness to your jewelry.  As an example, take a look at two recent free projects, the Dancing Spiral Earrings project from Step by Step Wire Jewelry and Jean Campbell's wire bail for a marble.  Fun, right? 

Free Video Class:  Wire Spirals

While both recent free projects included helpful step-by-step photos, I thought you might also enjoy a free video of this technique so you could see the finer details of hand positions and movement.  

In this free 5-minute video, experienced instructor Lisa Niven Kelly walks you through the step-by-step process of creating a wire spiral. If you want to follow along (highly recommended), pull out your chain-nose pliers, round-nose pliers, wire cutters, and a few feet of 20-gauge wire before you press "play" on the video.  Lisa shows silver wire in the video, but you can use copper for practicing to save money. 

Having problems viewing this video? See it on our YouTube Channel!

If you enjoyed this video class, check out the new video classes we're offering, including Wire Jewelry Fundamentals by Lisa Niven Kelly.  I was impressed by this class--Lisa even shows you how to make your own ear wires, which in my experience is not something normally taught in a basic wire class.

Why I Love Video Classes

The best part about videos like these is that you can replay them over and over again until you get the technique down.  I remember when I was first learning how to do wrapped loops I would have someone in my local bead shop show me, think that I "got" it, and then once at home I wouldn't be able to remember how exactly I was supposed to hold my pliers.  So frustrating!  A video would have spared me the embarrassment of admitting that I still didn't get it after my second or third trips for help.  (On the plus side, the helpful folks at my local bead shop quickly learned my name!)  

What do you think?  If you can't have in-person instruction, would you prefer a video or a book/magazine?  Does anyone prefer video to in-person instruction?  (There is that added bonus of beading in your bunny slippers!)  Share your thoughts on the website.


 

Free eBook
Making Wire Jewelry:  6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily

Create 6 stunning wire jewelry projects (2 wire necklaces, a wire bracelet, 2 pairs of wire earrings, and a wire ring) with this free eBook that contains step by step wire jewelry instructions for each project.  Jewelry designs range in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and use a variety of wire work techniques, including spirals, coiling, wirewrapping, hammering, and twisting wire.  Download Making Wire Jewelry:  6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily


Michelle Mach shares beading news, contests, reader galleries, and other beady stuff every Monday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.



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Comments

Meredith@16 wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 10:23 AM
I took Lisa's Wire Jewelry Fundamentals class (and, as you pointed out, I can retake it and retake it and... as many times as I need to) along with the free class on how to make spirals and the one on simple loops. They're all great and I can't recommend this method highly enough, especially for those of us who aren't speedy learners and new to this. Now, if you asked me to edit some kind of complex, weird techno/geekspeak, I'd just dive right in but this creative stuff??? Eek!! :)
IRENE CASEY wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 10:36 AM
VIDEO LOOKS GREAT BUT WHAT ABOUT DEAF VIEWERS? NO CLOSE CAPTIONS????? THINK ABOUT THAT!!!
JudyS@93 wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 10:43 AM
I have found a way to make the small closed spiral: once you make the center you can close it in with your krimper useing the front end and this will close this together without crushing it Judy
KatyB@6 wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 11:04 AM
I like the video for short techniques, but prefer the printed page for more complex ones. That way I don't have to worry about stopping and starting the video if I can't master a step right away. Plus my computer is across the house from my favorite beading chair! And, while I'd rather have face-to-face instruction, the reality of my budget and schedule is that I can't take too many classes. Videos are great to fill in those gaps!
annh@79 wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 11:19 AM
When I either can't take the time to get out for a class or my budget is a little too tight for a face-to-face class, the video instructions are great! With the advantage of being able to stop and start the video while you work on a step, it is a great boon, and videos are a very economic way to learn new things. On the other hand, one learns more in face-to-face instruction for the simple reason that the interaction between teacher and student(s) always results in tips and tricks and new ideas coming up, the one thing that can't happen in a video. I have never completed a class in which I ONLY learned the project or technique that was being taught. And let's not forget the written instructions. I personally would like to have written instructions available to use in concert with either video or face-to-face instruction. I do a little teaching myself and always make sure that I have detailed written lessons to go home with each student. For me, they each have a place in my learning repetoire. I wouldn't want to do without any of them - video, face-to-face or written instruction. Happy Holidays to one and all.
slavetobeads wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 11:40 AM
I think they are great !! Bring them on!! Thanks The Slave to Beads
BeadsNWire wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 11:41 AM
Totally agree with Ann H. I personally am a very visual learner. I utilize any and all mediums through which this craft can be learned. I acquire much through the classes I take, and YES... those handouts from the instructors are VERY important to me, as is the verbal exchange during our time together. Online videos are another excellent jewelry learning mechanism and I'm quite thankful to those who produce them :-)
Meredith@16 wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 11:56 AM
Lisa's Wire Jewelry Fundamentals comes with a .pdf handout of all the instructions and photos, so that's an additional plus. I don't think the free classes have printed material with them...
DorothyH@10 wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 12:54 PM
I love the videos - it's the only way I learned to "bead" because the instructors are so detailed oriented. They answer questions before they are asked. And we see the technique close up. It's also cost productive & a convenience to those who are not near a live class. Great invention!!!
DorothyH@10 wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 1:06 PM
Oops - just noticed that is a Beaducation video - the best group of instructors assembled ever. They are generous in their response to one's questions (even if it's a free class). Any product ordered from them is received in record time.
bari450 wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 2:54 PM
Videos work great for me. I don't have access to classes here in the mountains. I've had the opportunity to take only one class on the very basics of beading and the rest I have gleaned from videos and written instructions. When written instructions accompany the videos learning is so easy. Keep the videos coming!
Linda Marie2 wrote
on Dec 8, 2008 9:08 PM
I Love Videos- it is so easy to just go back and see what you have to do next. In print it sometimes hard to understand. Please keep them coming.
EleanorJ@8 wrote
on Dec 9, 2008 5:39 AM
This is wonderful. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. Up to now I've just admired other people's work but not known where to start. Now I've just made my first ever pair of spiral earrings and, spiral headpins? The world is now my oyster!
Loyce wrote
on Dec 9, 2008 1:22 PM
This is the best demonstration of spiral making I have seen yet! Thanks for the fine video. Love short videos.
on Dec 9, 2008 7:49 PM
The best! I've been trying to get that closed spiral and when I would squeeze the end I would always get an oval..........now I knowI Also the viking chain video is great I kept going through instead of after the first row it is under the loops. It is the visual tutorial that helped me catch on. Thanks
lvleong wrote
on Dec 11, 2008 10:59 PM
Videos are great because you can really see the detailed hand motions that are often critical to successful jewelry work. And, not only do you see the instructor's hands, you see them at the same angle you see your own doing the same moves and not across from you, as in a live class. So, there is definitely a place for video classes in my repetoire.
on Dec 14, 2008 5:51 PM
I don't care for videos for the same reason someone mentioned above - you have to be able to hear them. If they had captions, you would not be able to watch the video while you were reading the captions. With print instructions, I can print them off, carry them with me if I so choose, and easily go back to a step I want to see again. I can take print instructions to my work table and work with them at hand - something I cannot do with a video - I must remember it, then go and try to do it, then, if necessary, go back, start the video again, and wait for the part I want. Too tedious.
TM44Ross wrote
on Jan 20, 2009 8:04 PM
Having a live person demonstrate and teach techniques is preferable but you have to go to them (get out of your bunny slippers). If I don't "get it" after two or three times attempting the technique and having the instructor repeat the process, I stumble along until after class because I don't want to hold up others in the class who do get it. Video is great because I can see it and replay it as many times as I need. Books are the third favorite source for instruction but not always is the instructor clear in explaining the technique or process and the photographs do not help. The bottom line is really the instructor and the presentation of the instructions whether in person, on video or in a book.