Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Trying New Techniques With Copper Wire

I'm doing more practicing with various wire designs. I saw a picture of a necklace made using what the designer called "spring links" and thought I'd give it a try. I assembled my bracelet by first making a long coil of copper wire on a Beadalon jump ring maker. Then I cut jump rings to make the double link chain portion and sections of coil for the springs between them. To make the spring link you bend up half of the final loops on the coils. It's harder than it looked, I had to toss several attempts, although I cut more jump rings from the portions that were still intact enough. I decided to stop at bracelet length, added imperial jasper ovals on embellished copper headpins and made a simple hook and eye clasp from copper wire to finish it off.

The next thing I decided to try was a simple design link of wire between bead sets with wrapped wire loops. I used round nose pliers to create the four-leaf link. It took some experimenting but I finally figured out how to make them to my satisfaction. I have a small Wig Jig, but the pegs are pretty tiny and I was looking for a larger loop as I deliberately choose a larger size for the wrapped loops since the square bead is substantial and I thought the larger loop looked better. Normally the loops I make are pretty small, so I had to keep reminding myself to start the loop lower on the nose of the pliers than usual.

The square glass beads were among my Fayetteville purchases, the other beads are small and medium black glass Druk beads and a copper disk bead with a simple black pattern I bought at Global Beads. I'm going to make it about twice as long as shown. I'll probably finish it with a final four-leaf link and a copper hook like the one I made for the bracelet.

Absent getting all the materials to solder the links on both pieces, I'm going to have to figure out how to secure the open links and jumprings somehow, because the copper wire stretches and I don't think the loops won't hold up all that well.

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