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Freeform Waves

by: Jennifer Tough

A few folks have asked for more wire working inspirations. I'm planning on working on some more in depth projects, but for the inspirations I try to keep them fairly simple.
I think this is a good beginner project, as there really is no right or wrong way to do it! You will need a few basic tools to get started, some imagination, and that's about it. If you're nervous about practicing on sterling silver wire, feel free to substitute Artistic Wire. Artistic Wire does not harden up the same way, so your bracelet will have a bit more give to it.

Allow yourself 2 feet of both 20 gauge sterling, and 16 gauge sterling.

Starting with the 16 gauge wire - Use your round nose pliers to create some freeform shapes. The only rule is that the shapes must provide enough space to fit two wires through, and be secure enough so that the wire wrapped beads don't slip off. You'll need about 5 of these depending on the length of your bracelet. Once you've made up your shapes, it's time to work harden them.

Work hardening stiffens the sterling wire so that it holds it's shape. Take out your bench block, and a chasing hammer. It's time to hammer away the frustrations of the day (this part is the most fun!) The goal is to flatten the wire somewhat, and harden up the design so that it doesn't change shape.

Now it's time to take your beads of choice, and wire wrap them to each shape. Starting at one side, work your way to the other end of the bracelet. The last link on each side of the bracelet should be a metal link.

The last step is to create a hook clasp that will match your  bracelet. Take about a 2" piece of wire - On one side, using the largest part of your round nose pliers create a small loop. Just above the loop, wrap the rest of the wire around a pen, or some other sort of round object to create the hook. You can either cut the remaining wire flat, or as shown in the pic with a little loop at the end.  Hammer this piece flat as well, and thread it into one of the loops you made on the end of your bracelet.

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Although we do not have the bench blocks currently in stock, we do normally carry them in the store. Check your local jewelry supply house for a steel bench block.

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Qty: 2 impssw16gads Sterling Wire - 16ga / 1.3mm Round - Dead Soft (foot)

(allow 2 feet)

Price: $ 12.40
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is unavailable.
Qty: 2 impssw20gahh Sterling Wire - 20ga / 0.8mm Round - Half Hard (foot)

(Allow 2 feet)

Price: $ 5.95
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Qty: 1 s23266 Tools - Hammer - Chasing Slightly DomedPrice: $ 19.95
In Stock
Qty: 1 s23260 Tools - 4 piece Plier Set - Revere (Set)

(Although it is not necessary to invest in an expensive set of tools - I highly recommend if you are planning on doing a lot of wire work these are just so, so worth it! Fabulous quality tools.)

Price: $ 165.55
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is unavailable.
Qty: 4 s19933 Window Beads - 11x10mm Flat Square - Aqua Haze (Strand 15)Price: $ 9.50
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