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Create a forged-wire crescent necklace

Use basic techniques for a rich, textured surface

Create a forged wire crescent necklace

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.

Materials

  • 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

Toolboxes

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.

Create a forged wire crescent necklace smooth bend method 1a
Create a forged wire crescent necklace smooth bend method 1b
Method 1
Hold the length of wire by the ends, one end in each hand [left]. Slowly rotate your hands away from each other and down, bending the wire into a curve [right]. Pulling your hands straight down will usually make a sharp bend at the wire’s midpoint; the rotation will provide enough upward pressure that the sides of the wire will bend into a curve as well. Don’t move too fast or, again, you’ll end up with an angle at the center rather than a curve.
Create a forged wire crescent necklace smooth bend method 2a
Create a forged wire crescent necklace smooth bend method 2b
Method 2

Hold one end of the wire in your nondominant hand. Grasp the wire close to that end with your dominant hand; brace your thumb on the underside of the wire [left]. Using one smooth motion, run your dominant hand along the length of the wire, pressing upward with your thumb [right]. Don’t stop and start, or you’ll end up with bumps and uneven angles. If the curve isn’t tight enough, repeat the motion, using more pressure with your thumb.

Want to learn how to make this project? Click here for the free project PDF. 

 

FIND MORE: forging , soldering , patinas , wire , necklaces

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