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Free-form wire brooch

Leave your pliers on your bench and work your wire by hand

Play as you make this brooch! The novelty of working sans pliers is a great impetus to let your imagination and fingers do their thing. This technique works equally well if you follow a pattern or work it freestyle. Either way, the result is a piece with a graceful visual cadence. Making curves with doubled fine-gauge sterling silver wire ensures that the brooch will be visually delicate, but structurally durable.

I used 6 ft. (1.8 m) of 24-gauge (0.5 mm) sterling silver wire for the brooch and 2 ft. (61.0 cm) for the pin head. At 48 ft. (14.6 m) per ounce, 24-gauge (0.5 mm) sterling silver wire is still an affordable material to play with. Use the templates and photographs as guides, but have fun adapting this technique to your own preferred shapes and patterns. You’ll get a different look by changing the size, number, and shape of the loops.

Materials

  • Sterling silver wire:
    - 24-gauge (0.5 mm), round, dead-soft, 8 ft. (2.4 m)
    - 14-gauge (1.6 mm), round, half-hard, 6 in. (15.2 cm)

Tools & supplies

  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers: chainnose (optional), roundnose
  • Painters tape (optional)
  • Sandpaper: 400 grit
  • Needle files
  • Polishing cloth

You’ll be able to use the gallery below to form the shape of the brooch body, however you’ll need the full instructions to make the entire project. Click here to download the PDF, which includes a guide to the wraps you'll use.

Tip!
Wrap the jaws of your pliers with painters tape to avoid scratching the wire.
FIND MORE: wirework , wire , brooches

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