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Silver stream wire bracelet

Silver wire and sponge coral pair up in this attractive bracelet and pendant set

Gracefully flowing silver wire streams around coral beads like water around pebbles in this duo. Simple things radiate great beauty, and that rings true in this instance.

Made only with silver wire, beads, and an optional silver centerpiece, the techniques used for shaping the wire are what take center stage. The clean, clear lines of wire are interrupted by colorful pieces of sponge coral; a simple clasp design gives the bracelet a straightforward elegance. The pendant is draped with strands of spiraled silver wire—the perfect companion to accompany the bracelet.

With the right mix of desire, patience, and tools, creating intricate wirework jewelry is possible for artists of all skill levels. Test the waters of this project to see if wireworking strikes your fancy—if so, there are vast possibilities and styles out there for you to explore.

SUPPLIES

Bracelet

  • 66 inches (1.7m) of 20-gauge, sterling-silver, square wire, half-hard
  • 24 inches (61cm) of 20-gauge, sterling-silver, half-round wire, half-hard
  • One 20mm round sponge coral bead (or bead of your choice)
  • Two 8–10mm round sponge coral beads (or beads of your choice)
  • 1 sterling-silver dragonfly charm (or silver embellishment of your choice) 

Pendant

  • 12 inches (30.5cm) of 20-gauge, sterling-silver, square wire, dead-soft or half-hard
  • One 20mm, round sponge coral bead (or bead of your choice)
  • 1 sterling-silver dragonfly charm (or silver embellishment of your choice)
  • 1 small sterling-silver bail of your choice
  • 1 sterling-silver chain
  • Ruler
  • Wire cutters
  • Polishing cloth
  • Masking tape
  • Pin vise (optional)
  • Marker
  • Flatnose or chainnose pliers
  • Roundnose pliers
  • Nylon jaws pliers (optional)
  • Bracelet mandrel or other large curved object
  • Ring mandrel or other small curved object
  • Epoxy or cement

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the wire. Cut the following quantities and lengths of 20-gauge square wire: one 16 1⁄2-inch (41.9cm) piece, five 8-inch (20.3cm) pieces, one 3 1⁄2-inch (8.9cm) piece, and one 6-inch (15.2cm) piece. Cut the following quantities and lengths of 20-gauge half-round wire: two 6-inch (15.2cm) pieces and four 3-inch (7.6cm) pieces. Straighten and clean the wire pieces using a polishing cloth.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 1
Step 1
Bind the wire bundle. Find the center of the 16 1⁄2-inch (41.9cm) wire and bend it in half. This will become your outer wires. Line up the five 8-inch (20.3cm) pieces of wire in between the outer wires. Wrap thin masking tape around the loop end of the wire bundle to help keep the wires straight.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 2
Step 2
Measure 1⁄4 inch (6.35mm) in from the loop end and mark this spot across the wires. Make a small hook at the end of a 6-inch (15.2cm) piece of half-round wire, place the hook on the mark that you made, and make six wraps around the wire bundle, moving toward the center as you wrap. Once you’ve made six wraps, cut and tuck the end of the wire underneath. Begin and end on the underside of the bundle so the cut ends are positioned on the back of your work.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 3
Step 3
Use flatnose or chainnose pliers to grasp the five wires that are in between the looped wire. Bend these wires back onto the wrapped binding that you just made, creating a hook. Press the edge of this hook down onto the binding.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 4
Step 4
Spiral selected wires (optional). For added character, you can choose to either spiral the two outermost wires or the center wire that will run through the center of the beads. Spiraling is done using a pin vise. If you choose to do this, be sure to use flatnose or chainnose pliers to secure the binding while spiraling to prevent any unwanted twisting elsewhere.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 5
Step 5
Add a second binding. Measure 1 inch (2.5cm) from the end of the first binding and make a mark. Create a three-wrap binding at this mark using a 3-inch (7.6cm) piece of half-round wire. Cut and tuck the end neatly underneath.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 6
Step 6
Add a small coral bead and third binding. With the wires that are extending out from the binding, bend the three outermost wires from each side out at 45-degree angles. Run the remaining center wire through an 8mm sponge coral bead, pushing the bead as close to the base as possible.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 7
Step 7
Grasp one of the three-wire bundles with your hand, and form it evenly around the bead. Now grasp the three wires with flatnose or chainnose pliers so that the tip of the pliers is positioned across the area where you would like to create a bend.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 8
Step 8
Bend all three wires at a 90-degree angle so they are parallel with the center wire.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 9
Step 9
Repeat on the other side. Bring all wires together on the other side of the bead and make a three-wrap binding around them.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 10
Step 10
Add the center bead and fourth binding. Using the process from the previous step, slide the 20mm sponge coral bead onto the center wire and form the wires around it on each side.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 11
Step 11
Make a three-wrap binding on the other side of the center bead.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 12
Step 12
Add a small coral bead and fifth binding. Slide an 8mm sponge coral bead onto the center wire, form the wires around it on each side, and make another three-wrap binding.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 13
Step 13
Add the final binding. Place a mark 1 inch (2.5cm) from the previous binding. Create a six-wrap binding at this mark. Use chainnose pliers to bend the five center wires back into a hook shape, as done on the other side of the bracelet. Cut these wires flush. Press the hook down onto the wraps. Leave the two outermost wires extended out.
Silver stream wire bracelet Step 14
Step 14
Create the clasp. Cut the outer two wires flush with one another. Use roundnose pliers to form the wires into hooks.
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