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Wire tendrils bracelet

Use gold-filled and silver wire to replicate delicate garden vines

Recently, I attended a class in wire-sculpture jewelry making taught by Diane Mason at the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts in Young Harris, Ga. I wanted to find a way to replicate the tendrils seen on garden vines in gold and silver wire, so I put my newly learned wire-sculpting techniques to use and created this bracelet. I recommend practicing with craft wire before committing to precious metal for your final piece. 

See the instructions for making the wire tendrils below. For the complete project instructions, click here for the free project PDF.

Materials 

to make a 7 1⁄2-in. (19.1 cm) bracelet

  • Sterling silver wire:
    - 22-gauge (0.6 mm), square, half-hard, 30 in. (76.2 cm)
    - 22-gauge (0.6 mm), square, dead-soft, 15 in. (38.2 cm)
  • Gold-filled wire:

    - 22-gauge (0.6 mm), square, dead-soft, 36 in. (91.4 cm)
    - 20-gauge (0.8 mm), half-round, half-hard, 10 in. (25.4 cm)
    - 18-gauge (1.0 mm), round, dead-soft, 4 1⁄2 in. (11.4 cm)

Additional tools & supplies

  • Ruler
  • Automatic wire twister (or other wire-twisting tool)
  • Tape
  • Fine-tip permanent marker
  • 5 mm (3⁄16-in.) bail-making pliers or mandrel
  • Round stepped pliers with 3 mm (1⁄8 in.) and 4 mm (5⁄32 in.) steps, or equivalent mandrels
  • Bracelet mandrel
  • Knife blade

Suppliers

Toolbox: Wirework

Instructions
Wire tendrils bracelet 1
Photo 1
Wire tendrils bracelet 2
Photo 2

Make the tendrils.

(To read the instructions on creating the wire stack for the bracelet, click here for the free project PDF).  

Bend one pair of square, gold-filled wire ends flat over the nearest wrap toward the center point so they lie along the center of the stack [1]. Use your thumb and index finger to keep the gold-filled wires parallel, and pull the wire ends around to make a small curl over the wrap [2].

Use your thumb and index finger to pinch the gold-filled wires, and continue to add curls until you reach the center point. Do not cut the wire ends!

Wire tendrils bracelet 3
Photo 3
Wire tendrils bracelet 4
Photo 4

Turn the wire stack 180° and bend down the second pair of square gold-filled wire ends from the other end of the stack over the nearest wraps. Repeat the curling procedure until the curls reach the center and the ends of the two pairs are pointing in opposite directions [3].

You may need to adjust the curls so they’re even. Wrap the gold-filled wire ends around each other [4]. Continue wrapping them to form a large rosette.

Wire tendrils bracelet 5
Photo 5

Bend one pair of the gold-filled wire ends tightly down and across the back of the stack, so the wires protrude from under the opposite side of the stack [5].

Trim the ends to approximately 1⁄4 in. (6.5 mm), and use a flatnose pliers to tuck them over the front of the bracelet, underneath the rosette. This anchors the curls to the stack.

Wire tendrils bracelet 6
Photo 6
Wire tendrils bracelet 7
Photo 7

Repeat to wrap, trim, and tuck the second pair of gold-filled wire ends [6, 7].

For the rest of the project instructions, click here for the free PDF. 

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