Are you ready to put your wire wrapping
skills to the test? This fantastic Gypsy Wire Bangle by Janice Berkebile is just the thing for you! It takes a little bit of practice to get your wire coils perfectly even, but it's worth it if the result is a striking bracelet like this one.
If you don't like the bright dichroic glass beads, this bracelet also looks great when made with gemstone beads, natural beads like bone or seeds, or even dangerously fun with glass spike beads! Mix it up any way you like for a unique piece of wrist candy that you'll be looking at all day.
- 33 foil-lined 6-8mm dichroic glass rounds
- 5 green 9x10mm pressed-glass ovals
- 38 assorted silver bead caps
- 12" of sterling silver 14-gauge wire
- 6' of fine silver 18-gauge wire
- 38 sterling silver 1" ball-end head pins
- Liver of sulphur or blackening solution
- Round-nose pliers
- Chain-nose pliers
- Long round-nose pliers
- Chasing hammer
- Pounding block and pad
- Measuring tape
- Jeweler's rouge and buffing tools (optional)
1. Base Wire. Use the widest section of the jaws of the long round-nose pliers to form a simple loop at the very end of the 14-gauge wire. Use the marker to mark 11 points on the wire, one every 1/2".
||Figure 1: Making the coiling-wire loops.
||Figure 2: Making the clasp.
2. Coils. Leaving a 1 1/2" tail at the start next to the simple loop, coil the 18-gauge wire tightly around the base until you reach the first mark, about 13 coils.
3. Loops. Hold the round-nose pliers at the top of the base wire, so the coiling wire is about 3/4" from the tip. Coil the wire in the opposite direction all the way around to the other side of the base wire, forming a figure eight (Figure 1).
Work coils and loops for about 6". Bend the coiled base wire into a circle and fit it around your wrist to test the size; keep in mind that the clasp will take up about 3/4" from the ends of the coils. If in doubt, make the bangle smaller -- you can always add jump rings to extend it.
4. Clasp. With the coil tight to the first base loop, use the chain-nose pliers to make a 90 degree bend at the other end of the base wire to lock the coil in place. Use the widest point of the round-nose pliers to turn the end of the base wire into a simple loop that will interlock with the first loop (Figure 2). Cut off the beginning tail and the excess coiling wire.
Pound each base-wire loop with the head of the chasing hammer, then flip the hammer over to use the peen side to distress the metal.
5. Head Pins. Use 1 head pin to string 1 bead and 1 bead cap; form a wrapped loop that attaches to one of the coiling-wire loops. Repeat to attach three bead dangles to each loop. Add an additional pressed-glass oval/bead cap dangle to every other coiling-wire loop.
If desired, place the bracelet in a liver of sulphur or blackening solution. Rinse and buff.
If one of your jewelry-making resolutions for 2013 is to improve your skills at wire wrapping and working with wire, why not get yourself a subscription to Step By Step Wire
magazine? You'll get six great issues full of beautiful and inspirational wire jewelry designs, plus everything you need to know like wire basics, tips, techniques, and tools! Subscribe to Step By Step Wire magazine
and get all wired up in 2013!