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Heart pendant and swirly earrings
Copper wire is wonderfully soft and so just right for the beginner such as myself to play with. I made these in January to try out a bit of wire wrapping for binding pieces together.


You'll need:
-Two lots of brass wire, one cut length for wrapping, and the other to use straight off the reel.
-Two equal lengths of copper wire for the heart.

-Pattern each end of copper wire as you would like.
-With the uncut brass wire wrap it several times around the top end, or 'head', of the copper wire, but don't cut it off just yet.
-Lay the piece on a flat surface. With the 'head' towards you and the 'feet' furthermost from you, take a hold of the 'feet', one 'foot' in each hand and bring these towards you in an outward arc while keeping it flat to the surface. The wire will bend, curve and finally you will see the heart shape form as you bring the 'feet' together. Tie the 'feet' together by wrapping the cut length of brass wire around it 2 or 3 times. (If you find the 'feet' are not facing the direction you want, you can cross 'em over before you finish the wrap.)
-Return to your unfinished wrapping at the top end and continue wrapping around the single wire on either the left or right side, say, about half-a-dozen times and cut. With your pliers grip the end of the wire where you've just cut and gently pull to open up the coil (you may be able to do this with your fingers).
Neaten ends and reshape as necessary.


I found that generally 2 ways to do the swirls work for me - the feed up and the feed down methods!!!!

START by making a loop with the smallest part of your round-nose pliers - this will form the centre of your pattern.

Feed up method:
-Loosely hold the wire in your left hand and feed to the pliers in your right. With the starting loop held* in its jaws rotate the pliers upwards/forwards in short movements in an anticlockwise direction (releasing the pliers at the end of each upward or forward turn and it returning to the start position) - you're creating a winding motion, feeding the wire from your left hand as you turn the pliers.

Feed down method:
The same as feed up but working in the reverse direction, turning the piece clockwise!

ALTERNATIVELY instead of moving the pliers to form the shape you move the wire....
...holding the wire in your left hand and the piece firmly* in the jaws of pliers in your right hand, bend the wire from the base of the jaws to the upper end, open the jaws and move the piece anticlockwise so the wire feed is once again at the base of the jaws. Close the jaws and bend the wire upwards. Continue on in the same manner until you reach the desired size. You may find that at first you're moving the piece just a fraction of an inch at a time.

...You can of course also do this in the opposite direction.

*Note: Hold the wire in your pliers securely enough to keep it in place without it moving, but not so hard as to leave a mark. Nylon jaw pliers would be best if you have them.

If you're doing a lot of pieces you may find using the above methods interchangeably, as well as changing hands, of help in preventing particular muscles from overtiring.

Posted by Jassie '. from Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom • Published See Jassie '.'s 15 projects »


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