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(showing articles 121 to 123 of 123)
(showing articles 121 to 123 of 123)

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  • 04/10/17--03:13: EASTER CHICK
  • EASTER is celebrated in so many different ways around the
    globe! So, however you like to celebrate, it's always nice to
    be able to create a decoration, or a gift to mark the event.

    In the past, I have created projects for wire 'egg' baskets,
    beaded egg pendants, rabbits, etc, etc... and to add to that repertoire,
    here are some little wire CHICKS!

    The kids or grandchildren will love to get involved in this,
    especially the pom-pom-making from the wire coils!

    STEP 1

    Create 2 wire coils out of 0.4mm wire, each about
    1"-2.5cm in length. You can use a Coiling Gizmo
    for this, or a chunky knitting needle.

    STEP 2

    Stretch the coils out, retaining some curliwurliness!

    STEP 3

    Create a small circle at the ends of each length and begin
    forming a small spiral around with the curly wire.

    STEP 4

    Wrap the rest of the curly wire around itself to form a
    ball - just like you would bind a ball of string. You have now
    created the 'head' and 'body' pom-pom for your chick!

    STEP 5

    To make the EYES and BEAK: choose 2 beads for
    the eyes, cut about 3"-7.5cm of 0.4mm wire, plus
    a short length of 0.8mm wire - which can be formed
    into a 'V' shape. Hammer the very end of the 'V' shape
    to work harden.

    STEP 6

    Using the tips of your round nosed pliers, create small
    links at the very ends of the 'V' shape that sit at right 
    angles to the 'V'.

    STEP 7 

    Take the 0.4mm wire (in Step 5) and loop it around one
    of the links of the 'V'. Then pull it through tightly and
    repeat through the second link.

    STEP 8 

    With the wire threaded through both links, pull it tightly
    and bend the projecting wires upwards (from the 'V'). 
    Thread each projecting with an 'eye' bead.

    STEP 9 

    Push the projecting wires (of the 'eye and beak' unit) into one
    of the pom-poms and secure the ends within.

    STEP 10 

    To make the 'legs': place your flat nosed pliers at the centre
    of a short length of 0.8mm wire and bend the ends down on 
    either side. Place the unit on a steel block and hammer the ends 
    until they spread and flatten out.  Cut about 4"-10cm of 0.4mm
    wire and wrap one end around the centre of 'leg' unit, leaving
    at least 3"-7.5cm protruding straight, in the opposite direction.

    STEP 11  

    Push the protruding straight wire through the 'body' pom-pom, 
    followed by the 'head' pom-pom, and finally a bead (of a similar 
    colour to your wire).

    STEP 12

    Using your round nosed pliers, create a wrapped link at
    the top end of the bead with the projecting wire

    STEP 13

    To make the WINGS: you can use 2 rice shaped beads on
    0.4mm wire, threaded vertically through the body pom-pom. 
    (Alternatively, you can create beaded loops with small
    seed beads on each side).

    STEP 14 

    Secure and the second bead 'wing' on the opposite side
    and adjust the shape and positioning.

    Here's the Chick as an Easter Pendant!

    Or, you could create a pair of Easter Chick earrings!

    Or, suspend them from ribbons as decorations!

    You can also create the wire pom-poms of the 'head'
    and 'body' by rolling fine, coloured wire into balls
    within your hands!  As always, there are no rules
    when it comes to creative wirework! Just use this idea
    as inspiration and a stepping-stone to create your own
    versions ...

    Wishing you all a very

    0 0
  • 04/22/17--05:00: CATS!
  • One of my passions is teaching wirework!
    I think it's because wire is such a versatile material,
    which means that I am always still learning and trying
    to develop new designs and techniques. Through teaching,
    I can share what I've learnt and evolve with new ideas...

    Recently, I had the pleasure of teaching a lovely
    South African lady called Alwine, who is currently living
    in Switzerland. She flew over, having booked a weekend
    workshop with me and shared her lifetime dream,
    of one day ... setting up a Creative Retreat in Provence,
    France, running jewellery classes! Such a wonderful

    We covered many different wire jewellery techniques
    over the two days and amongst the designs she was
    keen to create, was a CAT design.  Unfortunately, our time
    ran out to fit that in, so I now dedicate this tutorial to:

    After lots of experimentation (as shown above!), I decided that
    the top right hand cat design had the most appeal.  The head is
    created separately to the body, which means you can make
    cat 'head' earrings and and if desired, attach a 'body' for a brooch
    or pendant. The design also works well secured  onto a greetings
    card, for any of your cat lover friends!


    1. I used approximately 6"-15cm of 0.8mm wire and placed
    my round nosed pliers near to the centre of the length to
    form 2 complete (eye) loops. Make sure the projecting wires
    are straightened out on each side, angled in opposite directions.

    2. Place flat nosed pliers next to the projecting wires (of the eye
    loops) and bend back down on each side, to form the triangular

    3. Place a cylindrical mandrel such as pen (I used my 8mm
    bail maker pliers), under the 'eye' loops and curve the wire
    around, back towards the top of the head to form the
    'cheeks' on each side.

    4. Place the tip of your round nosed pliers at the end of one of
    the projecting wires and create a small link. Then, continue
    to spiral the wire around this link until it's positioned at the
    centre, forming the cat's 'nose'.

    5. Thread the leftover projecting wire through the small central
    link of the 'nose' spiral and form a second spiral (this one tight,
    without a central hole).

    6. Curl the spiral right up to the 'nose' (in step 4) and flatten it
    over, so that both spirals sit on top of each other.

    7. To form the 'whiskers', cut 3 lengths of 0.4mm wire (say about
    2"-5cm each). For each length, thread the wire through the central
    link of the 'nose' spiral (you might have to lift the flattened top
    spiral to wiggle the wire through!). Secure the wire on each side
    of the frame with a couple of wraps and then cut off any excess
    and neaten the end.

    8. Repeat the above, to create two more whiskers.

    9. Using a dab of glue (E6000 is my favourite!) you can attach
    seed beads, or flat back crystals over the 'eye' and 'nose' areas.

    Above, are some earrings I created for my young nieces.
    The ones on the right, are the same as the tutorial.
    (The other cat silhouette earrings are made out of one piece of
    wire with the centre crystal beads wired on with 0.4mm wire.)

    If you wish to create a body for the cat, here are a couple of
    shape suggestions:

    Create a wire outline out of 0.8mm wire and secure to the
    cat head, as shown.

    If you wish to create a brooch with either design, I suggest that
    you scrunch some 0.3mm wire and 'sew' this into the body
    frame, so that the brooch pin finding cannot be seen.

    The outline below, is another shape option.
    You could even wire stripes to it with 0.4mm and colour
    them in for a card design, or, weave them in with 0.4mm wire.
    I hope that Alwine's request for a CAT design has also given 
    YOU some inspiration! It's not purrrrfect, however it
    might trigger your own versions.

    P.S. if you prefer to make a dog, you could always omit the whiskers!

    0 0
  • 05/19/17--06:11: GOLD FISH
  • Before I dive into the little fishy project that I've
    prepared for you, I want to tell you about a few
    other bits of flotsam and jetsam floating around
    on my ocean bed ...

     I'm currently creating pieces for an exhibition and sale,
    that I partake in annually, for SOUTH EAST OPEN STUDIOS.
    This is where artists in this area of Kent, open their own
    studios (garages, sheds, spare rooms, conservatories, etc...)
    to the public at large for the whole month of June.  I like
    collaborating with a group of artists, which means we
    can be open all the time, show a varied and exciting range
    of work from painting, sculpture, textiles, glass, printmaking
    and of course, jewellery, plus we all enjoy a natter with tea and
    cake thrown in! So, please do drop in, if you're in the area ...

    But, if you in the London area, I will be running a one day
    WireWork Masterclass at the LONDON JEWELLERY SCHOOL
    on Monday 26th June from 10am-4.30pm.
    Bookings are NOW being taken and spaces are limited, so I urge
    you to book as soon as you can!

    If you miss this opportunity, I do also run WORKSHOPS from my
    own studio in Kent, so all is not lost!

    In the meantime, here's a little tutorial to keep your wireworking
    fingers busy and active. You can scale it up as a piece of home
    decor, or create it into a necklace or earrings ... I will leave your
    imagination to it's own devices ...

    STEP 1

    Depending on the size of the fish, cut a length of 0.8mm
    wire - I used about 6"-15cm. Place your chain nosed pliers
    just past the middle of the length and bend a kink. Re-position
    the pliers next to the kink and bend back to form a 'v' indent.

    STEP 2

    Hold your pliers on one side of the 'v' indent and bring the
    wire back around, so that the ends cross over (to form the
    fish's tail).

    STEP 3

    Spend a little time reshaping the frame with your fingers
    and if one of the tail ends is longer than the other, trim with
    your wire cutters if necessary.

    STEP 4

    Cut a short length of 0.4mm wire and use this to securely
    bind the cross-over area of the tail. (Optional: Leave about 
    an 1"-2.5cm of wire projecting on each side of the 0.4mm 
    wrap ...).

    STEP 5

    (Any leftover wire from the wrap, can be created into a small
    spiral and flattened over the join.) Next, use your round nosed
    pliers to form circles at the ends of the fish tail.

    STEP 6

    Keep spiralling the ends to form the tail. (Optional: Place the spiral 
    curls on the edge of your steel block and hammer to flatten
    and work harden.)

    STEP 7

    Working from your 0.8mm spool of wire, create an open spiral
    which fits into the centre area of the fish frame. Securely bind the
    spiral into the frame at the top and bottom, using 0.4mm wire.

    STEP 8

    Once the spiral is secure and in place, cut off excess 0.8mm
    wire, leaving just enough to create the 'eye'.

    STEP 9

    Using the tips of your round nosed pliers, curl the wire in
    the opposite direction to the main 'body' spiral until it
    touches the top of the frame, to form the 'eye'.

    STEP 10

    Secure a small seed bead into the eye loop with a short length
    of 0.4mm wire (or, you can glue one in place!).

    And there you have it! One fish down! Create these as pendants and
    experiment with different ways of decorating the central sections:

    Or, create a few more, to make a long statement necklace:

    Try it silver ... copper, or coloured wires! Here's one that I made earlier
    in silver with matching earrings:

    Enjoy the fun of creating your own!

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