Georgie was getting married and Becky and I were planning her hen weekend in Cornwall! Becky struck gold, when she found Sarah Drew’s jewellery workshop! I would definitely recommend her workshops and books!
We spent a lovely afternoon making rings and pendents made from beads, shells and sea glass from the Cornish Coast. Inspired by the workshop I have continued to make rings made from old or broken bits of jewellery, beads and sea glass scavenged from the beach.
The process for making these rings is pretty straight forward, but it takes time to learn how to work the wire, a technique I still haven’t quite perfected!
You will need:
- 20 gauge wire (tarnish resistant), cut to about 10 inches
- a bead
- ring mandrel (or other circular object the correct size of your ring)
- wire cutters and pillars
Feed the bead so it sits half way along the wire and Place the bead on the mandrel at the correct size, with the bead facing up.
Now to form the band. Wrap the wire around the back of the mandrel and bring to the front. Try to keep the wire quite tight. Wrap the wire around the bead so the wire goes either side of the bead.
Continue to wrap the wire around the bead, creating a little nest for the bead to sit in. I found wrapping on end of the wire half way around the bead then repeat for the other end to keep it nice and even. Try to keep the wire low down on the bead.
Once you have about an inch of wire left you want to twist the wire around the band. This can be a fiddle! Slip the ring off the mandrel and use the pillars to push rather than pull the wire around the side of the band.
After about three twists, Snip the excess wire on the outside of band so it does scratch you skin. You may need to use the pillars to push the twist towards the bead to keep it neat. If the band loses it round shape you can push it back on the mandrel and gentle use hammer to tap the band to reshape it!
This next ring pushes your skills a little more, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too hard!
Depending on the number of beads you use, you may need a longer piece of wire.
Start again by making the band, exactly as before, just without the bead! Keep the wire a little loose, the size of the band will reduce as you add beads and wrap the wire.
Feed a bead on to one end the wire, then wrap the wire around the band. Keeping on going, building up the ring, one bead at a time, alternating between the two ends of wire.
When you have an inch of wire left, wrap it around the band as before. If you like you can cut a much longer piece of wire and wrap it the whole length of the band. This is a particularly useful trick if your ring is too large or if you want to strengthen the band.
Check out my pinterest board for more wire wrapped jewellery ideas by fellow crafters!