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Brass flower ring

Fig01
Figure 1

Use a single length of hardware store wire to bring out your inner Calder. Steel wire wrangler Brenda Schweder tries her hand (and pliers and hammer) at 16-gauge brass with an intentional naiveté that embraces every hand-hammered blow. Sea glass adds an intriguing found-treasure mood.

SUPPLIES

  • Ring 2 1⁄2 x 21⁄2 in. (70 x 70 mm)
  • Wire, round, soft, brass
  • 3 ft. (91.4 cm), 16-gauge, (1.3 mm)
  • 2 ft. (61 cm), 22-gauge (0.65 mm)
  • Sea glass from 3⁄4–11⁄2-in. in size
  • Wirework toolbox
  • Stepped ring mandrel
  • Crimping pliers

INSTRUCTIONS

Shape the flower focal
Brass flower ring 1
Photo 1
Brass flower ring 2
Photo 2

1. Using chainnose pliers, bend a 90° angle 2 in. (51 mm) from the end of the 3 ft. (91.4 cm) piece of 16-gauge (1.3 mm) wire (1).

2. Form the first flower petal curve referring to the illustration (Fig. 1) using your fingers to shape a curve about an inch (25 mm) long. Use chainnose pliers to form a point, then use your fingers to shape a mirror-image curve to the first one.

3. Use roundnose pliers to form the first inner curve between the first and second petal (2). Repeat steps 2 and 3 to create a total of five petals.

Brass flower ring 3
Photo 3
Brass flower ring 4
Photo 4

3. Use roundnose pliers to form the first inner curve between the first and second petal (2). Repeat steps 2 and 3 to create a total of five petals.

4. Locate the intersection of the long and short wire lengths (3), and create a small loop at that intersection (4).

Brass flower ring 5a
Photo 5a
Brass flower ring 5b
Photo 5b

5. Feed the 2-in. (51 mm) tail wire from step 1 through the loop (5a). Trim the tail end to 1⁄4-in. (6.5 mm). Use crimping pliers to crimp the short tail tightly around the loop (5b).

Brass flower ring 6
Photo 6
Brass flower ring 7
Photo 7

6. Use a bench block and hammer to flatten and texture the flower petals (6).
 
Create the ring band

7. Slightly hammer the remaining length to texture but not harden the wire. Brass is quite springy and stiff, so be careful not to over-harden or it will be difficult to form the ring band. Find the desired size and wrap the hammered wire end around a stepped ring mandrel five or six times in a free-form manner. End at the ring base between two petals (7). Anchor the bend to prevent the wire from unwrapping or loosening and changing the band size.

Brass flower ring 8
Photo 8
Brass flower ring 9
Photo 9

8. Use chain- or bentnose pliers to make a 90° bend at the intersection of the end of the ring band and the base of the ring (8). Trim the remaining 16-gauge wire to 3⁄8-in. (9.5 mm).

9. Create a plain loop and connect it to the flower base (9).

Brass flower ring 10
Photo 10
Brass flower ring 11
Photo 11

Adding the sea glass focal

10. Cut a 6-in. (15.2 cm) piece of 22-gauge (0.65 mm) wire. Grasping a 2-in. (5.1 cm) tail, wrap around the armature in between two petals four or five times (10).

11. Position the sea glass piece on top of the flower and wrap the wire across the top of the glass, looping another two or three times at a point on a petal on the opposite side (11). 

Brass flower ring 12
Photo 12
Brass flower ring 13
Photo 13

12. You may want to wrap underneath and re-anchor the wire to attach the glass more securely and change the position on top of the band. Cut 6-in. (15.2 cm) of 22-gauge (0.65 mm) wire for additional wrapping (12).

13. Continue wrapping over the top of the glass another five or six times for the desired effect, securing with two or three loops between each wrap (13). 

Brass flower ring 14
Photo 14

14. Wrap three or four times to anchor the end. If the ring band is loose, use an additional 6-in. (15.2 cm) piece of 24-gauge (0.5 mm) wire to wrap the ring band to the petals (14). Cut the wire close and tuck against the armature.

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