Before you start the bracelet, you will need to be aware of how to cut the frame wires. First you need to measure your wrist in centimetres to discover your bracelet length (BL).
Then cut three frame wires using the following calculation:
Inside wire = (BL x 2) + 8cm for hook and spiral
Middle wire = (BL x 3) + 20cm for the decorative swirls at either end
Outside wire = (BL x 3) + 23cm for the decorative swirls and to make the eye for the hook
- 1mm frame wire
- 0.4mm weaving wire
(14 x bracelet length)
- 4 x 6mm beads
- Liver of Sulphur (optional)
- 0.7mm and 0.3mm weaving wire (for extra projects)
- 2mm beads (for extra projects)
- Be careful not to accidentally reverse the weave during this project, especially if you put it down for a moment. From the front the weave should have a regular 3-3 pattern, while at the back you can see the weaving wire periodically crossing all three frame wires.
- If you have problems poking your weaving wire through when sewing your decorative elements in place, push a pin into the weave and wiggle it in a circle to enlarge the gaps in the weave.
Cut your frame wires using the formula described above. Then measure and mark a point 10cm from the left on the middle and outside wires and 4cm from the left on the inside wire. Starting at the 10cm mark you just made, and leaving a 12cm tail that you’ll use later, coil the weaving wire three times around the outside wire (OW) in an anticlockwise direction. Leave the weaving wire sticking up at the back.
Add the middle wire (MW) just above, making sure that the two 10cm marks are aligned. Continuing in an anticlockwise direction, coil the weaving wire three times around both wires. Now add the inside wire (IW) above. Bring the weaving wire up the back of all three, then coil it three times around the top two frame wires. On the third loop, poke the weaving wire forward between the two wires (IW and MW).
Continue the weave by looping three times around the lower two frame wires (MW and OW), then take the weaving up the back of all three frame wires, so that you’re in a position to coil once more around the top two frame wires, then push the weaving wire through between IW and MW once more. Repeat this pattern until a ribbon of weave covers the bracelet length (BL) you measured earlier.
To make the eye, loop the weaving wire three times around IW and MW, then coil it three times around MW. Repeat twice more so that the weave continues on IW and MW, but leaves OW bare. Make sure the frame wires still line up then bend the woven ribbon back on itself. Follow with the bare wire, but leave a gap for the hook to go through (approx. 5mm). Resume the same weaving pattern as before.
Continue weaving until you have equal lengths on either side of the curve. Finally, coil the weaving wire three times around OW before cutting and tucking it in. Use the tail you left in Step 1 to tie the two sides of the bracelet together. Maintain an anticlockwise direction and loop the tail around each of the six frame wires in turn. Repeat twice more, then coil, cut and tuck in the tail’s end to finish.
Using the two 10cm lengths of frame wire you left bare in Step 1, create some decorative elements at the end of your bracelet. Swirls, spirals, zigzags – the design is up to you. You can also choose how to finish the ends. You can ball them up with a torch, or simply cut them with flush cutters. Once complete, use short lengths of weaving wire to sew the ends to the bracelet to prevent them moving.
Now take the remaining outer pair of frame wires and curve them back on themselves and then swirl them around the body of the bracelet, adding a bead to each wire as it sweeps across the front. Make sure that the decorative wires are pinched closely enough to the body of the bracelet that the beads cannot slide around to the inside of the bracelet. If you want your bracelet to have a sense of symmetry, place the beads one-third and two-thirds of the way along the bracelet.
At the end of the bracelet, add some more decorative elements using the same techniques as in Step 6. Create the bracelet’s hook with the two remaining inner frame wires. Make a simple decorative loop with the first, then bring the second wire parallel to it before sweeping it around into a hook with a loop at the end. Make sure that this loop is small enough to pass through the eye you created in Step 4.
Cut off the hook’s excess wire and hammer the shank to make it solid. Now wrap your bracelet around a bracelet mandrel (or similar object) to make it round. Use your hands to shape the woven parts and a mallet to shape the bare wires where they overhang the woven parts – just make sure you don’t hit the beads! Add a patina if you like, then settle back and admire your handiwork.
Make a pendant and earrings
Start 2cm from the left and create a ribbon in the same way you created the bracelet, substituting the eye part for the pendant’s two bails. Bring the two ends of the ribbon together at the heart’s point and fold the 2cm lengths over the longer frame wires to anchor them in place. Sew all the layers together, then use the leftover frame wires to form the decorative arcs.
Make straight ribbons and use the centre frame wires for the ear wires. Curl the other frame wires into decorative swirls.
Laurel Guilfoyle, Karen Caine
- Date 20th Mar 2017
- Tags Project
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