When I began making jewelry, I started by learning basic construction techniques. It’s where all beginners start, after all — with a select few techniques, simple forms, and a few essential (but inexpensive) tools. But a limited number of techniques does not translate into a limited number of design options. With just the basics, I was able to explore variations on simple forms and create rich, textured surfaces. This necklace is a perfect example. The construction is straightforward, the forms are simple, the techniques are all entry-level — but the result is a striking and richly dimensional piece.
For instructions, click here to download the free project PDF.
- Sterling silver wire: 12-gauge (2.1 mm), round, dead soft, 70.6 cm (27 3⁄4 in.)
- Sterling silver chain: 64 cm (roughly 25 1⁄4 in.)
- Sterling silver jump rings: 16-gauge (1.3 mm), 5 mm inside diameter (ID), 4
Additional tools & supplies
- Fine-line chisel
- Small glass bowl
- Liver of sulfur gel
- Wooden tweezers or tongs
- Nail sanding block
How to make a smooth bend
When it comes to bending wire, we often head straight for the pliers. But it’s actually easier to get a smooth, even bend in your wire just by using your hands. There are two simple methods for getting an even bend in your wire.
Always remember to straighten your wire before bending it. This may seem like a strange piece of advice — why bother, if you’re just going to bend it anyway? But starting with an uneven piece of wire will give you an unevenly bent wire. Starting with straight wire is the best way to get a smooth result.