Introduction: Wirework Twisted Ring
Twisted rings - they are probably the easiest type of ring I make. They're also the most important type of ring I make. My first project I posted on here with the technique was what really got me taking my jewellery projects more seriously. It was also the project to which I owe an introduction to the type of wire I use and pretty much all my tools, including the pliers I still use.
Every now and then, I find yet another design to make with the same technique. Whether it's a way to incorporate different styles with one technique, or give a workshop at a Maker Faire, the end result always seems to be unique. This is the first time I didn't purely use the base wires for the ring band, but also added wirework to it.
Step 1: Materials
What you'll need to make your own ring:
- wire / I'm using silver plated copper wire (e.g. this one) ; 1,0 mm for the ring base and 0,35 mm for the wrapping
- fake suede lace
Step 2: Cutting Wires
Start by cutting off two pieces of the same length of the thicker wire. For a ring of size 5,5/6, I used 15 cm. It's no big deal if they aren't exactly the same length, just make sure that they are both long enough.
After that, cut off a piece of the thinner wire as well. I don't actually measure this, I just cut off a piece that seems about right (and, having made wirework projects quite a lot before, my indications usually aren't too far off). Don't worry if your piece is too short, you can always add another piece of wire. If I'd have to make an estimation, though, I'd say I used a bit less than a meter, somewhere around 80 or 90 cm.
Step 3: The First Coil
Carefully fold your wrapping wire in half to find the middle. Place it around one of the wires for the ring base and wrap it around as shown.
Step 4: Adding Layers
Take the piece of fake suede and place it between the sides of the wrapping wires. Add the third wire as well, but on the other sides of the wire as the lace. Start by working with one of the sides of the thinner wire. The wire working pattern consists of alternating coiling around the main wires and letting it go from the back to the front of the suede lace.
Step 5: Keep on Going
Keep repeating this pattern for the remaining parts of the base wires. Try to keep a clear view of the sides of the lace the wire is on - it's quite easy to lose track when wrapping. Once you find the right rhythm of the wrapping pattern, it's fairly doable to keep going but losing track is still a risk.
Step 6: Rough Ends
When you have a few centimeters of base wire left, stop wrapping. These last bits will be used to secure the wire in the end.
Step 7: Shaping
Place the middle of the wire wrapped part on the right size of the mandrel. Shape the wire around the mandrel to get the shape of your ring. This will probably be a bit hard to bend - the wire is quite thick already without the wirework.
Step 8: Twisting
Hold the ring at the right size at the mandrel while carefully bending one of the sides down over the other. Bend the other side up to lock the sides. Keep bending further until the sides are perpendicular to the ring base in order to be able to properly work away the wire.
Step 9: To Fit or Not to Fit
At this point, feel free to take the ring off the mandrel - by twisting the sides around each other you also lock the size of the ring. That means that it should be able to fit you right now. If it doesn't, the best thing to do is to carefully unlock the sides and redo last step.
Step 10: Working Back
Looking at the ends of the ring, the wirework might extend slightly further than the ring base. If this is the case, unwrap part of the wire until it doesn't extend any further than the ring base. Folding back the suede can give you a better view of what's going on.
Step 11: Getting Rid of the Extras
Bend the ends of the wire to the inside of the ring and use your pliers to clamp them down. Cut off the part of the lace that extends beyond the ring base as well.
This and the previous step can be repeated for both sides of the ring.
Step 12: The Final Touches
To finalise your ring, cut off the ends of the wires you bended to the inside and clamp down the wire to let it fall slightly into the ring band and prevent it from sticking out. With wires left sticking out, you risk hurting yourself when putting the ring on and taking it off.