Wire wrapped pendants are elegant additions to any jewelry collection. Learn how to make your own wire wrapped pendants to bring out your unique style.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Make Wire Wrapped Pendants
Hi. I'm Jeanette Caines, head instructor at Jewelry Arts Institute. Here for about.com. Valerie Bloom, my apprentice is here, to help us learn. We're going to make this fantastic wire wrap pendant.
Tools Needed For Wire Wrapped Pendants
- 14 gauge fine silver wire
- Thin fine silver wire – about 24 gauge for doing wraps
- round nose pliers
- flat nose pliers
- ring mandrel
- center punch for making our links
- charcoal block
- white soldering board.
Shape the Wire Wrapped Pendant
I'm going to file both ends to a gradual taper. Nothing too ultra sharp. That's going to give us our nice graceful curve when we bend it around with our round nose pliers. Now that I have a graceful taper, I'm just going to use my round nose pliers to curve in the ends. Just like this. Ideally, you want to try to get both sides to match. That's really the tricky part. If you need to stop and anneal it in between and work on it some more that's ok. There we go, I think that looks good. I'm going to go ahead and anneal and then I'm going to bend. Annealing is what softens the metal after you've been bending it or hammering it or just basically stressing it. You need to soften it up again. I'm going to let it cool for a minute, I'm going to dunk it in the water and then I'm going to bend it around my ring mandrel to put my large curve in. I'm going to steady myself against the bench and then just use my fingers to press this around. I'm going to continue sliding it down so that I get a nice plump curve shape. All the while bringing the two curved ends closer and closer together until I can get them to touch. Just like that.
How to Solder the Wrapped Wire
My next step is I have to make my jump ring to fit on the top. I use a center punch for that, just to wrap it around like this. I'm going to cut it. I'm going to solder it shut. And then, I'm going to solder it to my other piece. Just like any other soldering, it's really important that I get the seams really nice and tight together. I'm going to put my soldering seam directly on top of my piece of solder. And put a little flux on from the top. That's where my heat's going to go. That way when the solder goes, it's going to fill right in the seam. There it went. I'm going to pickle my jump ring now for about 3 to 5 minutes, until it's nice and clean and none of the crust is left over from my soldering. My jump ring is now nice and clean and round. I have it laid out right next to my other piece and I'm going to cut a couple small pieces of solder, I'm going to ball them up, and put them right on top of the seam. In certain cases I like to use little balls of solder because they sit there and they behave themselves actually better sometimes then the little squares do. I ball them up just right on my board. Just like this. That way I can dip them in the flux and I can put them right where I want them. Paste flux is very concentrated, so I don't need to use a large amount. When I solder, I am going to hold the torch in my left hand, which is not my dominant hand, because with my right hand I want to have my tweezers ready in case something moves. Things will often move when you solder.I'll dry it a little gently at first. Give it a little push, make sure they're really touching each other. See that, how it will just sink right in between. Every time we solder we need to pickle for a few minutes to clean it up and get it ready for the next step.
Bead the Wire Wrapped Pendant
I'm going to take a slightly larger jump ring- this is really the part that the chain is going to thread through. I'm going to slide it through just like that. I'm going to close it up with my flat nose pliers and then I'm going to solder it shut using the same method I did to solder the other ones shut. Valerie's making head pins. It‘s really just a wire with a little ball on the end to hold our beads for our wrapping. I'm going to use pearls for this pendant, but you can use any beads you like. So Valerie has wrapped her beads on there. You could wrap as many as you like- just a few or enough to cover really the whole pendant. And the only thing left is maybe to shine it up a little bit and then you can put it on. This pendant is simple but elegant and you'll be done in no time. Thanks for watching. To learn more, join us on the web at About.com.
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