Single Bead Wirework Pendant




Introduction: Single Bead Wirework Pendant

About: Master student Industrial Design & Science Education and Communication at Eindhoven University of Technology As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

When I get an idea for a pendant, I sketch it out and make it. Sometimes it turns out just the way I want it to, sometimes it doesn't. This is the perfect example of a pendant that didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.

This pendant was the first attempt for my christmas gift exchange. Because of that, I couldn't just stop after a failed attempt. Luckily, my second try turned out just the way I wanted it to. The instructable on that pendant can be found here.

You may be wondering why I am posting an instructable on something I consider a fail, but instructables are there for others to learn from. In every step I don't just tell what I did, but also what I should have done.

Step 1: Sketching

I personally think it is really helpful to have a sketch when making a pendant, simply to get a better idea of how possible your pendant might be.

A bit of explanation to go with my sketch: The two circles are to be joined by weaving wire between them. A single bead dangles in the middle from a piece of chain.

Step 2: Materials

After making the sketch, you can quickly make a list of all things needed:

- a mandrel/two round objects the right size

- wire, two different gauges (gauge 20/0,81 mm and gauge 26/0,4 mm)

- pliers

- a bead

Step 3: The Basic Circles

Take two parts of the gauge 20 wire and bend two circles, one just slightly bigger than the other.

Step 4: Cutting Off the Ends

This is where it starts to get dodgy. I cut off one side of the wire at the overlapping point, hoping the two ends would align just the way I wanted them to. As you can see in the last picture, the last part of the wire is just not right.

What would have been a much better technique, is cutting both wires at once, at the line shown in the second picture. That way (also a way to create jump rings), the ends will align much better, giving you the roundness you want.

Step 5: Wire Wrapping

To prevent the ends of the wire from separating while I was wrapping, I took a bit of clear tape and wrapped it around the joint. I then wrapped the 26 gauge wire around the outer circle and started wrapping. Almost as soon as I started wrapping, the tape started moving, not holding the ends together at all.

You might ask yourself, why did you try it with tape? Well, I wanted to keep the pendant as attainable for everyone wanting to make it. But, just solder the ends together, that really is the best solution here.

Step 6: More Wrapping and More Failing

After noticing the wire wasn't staying on, I took it off. As I continued wrapping, the ends of the outer circle started separating more and more. This made it impossible to get a nice and clean wrap.

Again, if I would have soldered the connection, there wouldn't have been any problem here.

Step 7: Working Away the Ends

After wrapping about a fifth of the circle, I tried to work away the wire in the coil, something I did successfully before. But, the wirework was too widely spaced for this to go unnoticed.

Step 8: Out of Wire

Of course, while I still had to wrap about a quarter of the pendant, I ran out of wire. I cut off the wire and flattened the remaining bits.

There isn't really a way to prevent your wire from ending, best option is cutting off a very long piece to begin with.

Step 9: Filling the Void

Since I needed to wrap the remaining part and add the bead, I decided to combine those two. Using a bit of wire and my mandrel, I shaped the wire to fit into the remaining void of the circle.

I should just have stuck with the sketch here, by wrapping with a new bit of wire and adding the chain with the bead afterwards. This would have saved me from doing a lot of unnecessary steps.

Step 10: Make It Fit

Using the mandrel, I shaped the wire to make the bead go in the middle of the pendant.

Step 11: More Shaping

Continuing last step, I shaped the wire until I had a place to put my bead.

Step 12: Adding the Bead

After a lot of shaping and fitting, I used round nose pliers to create a setting for the bead.

Step 13: Wrap It Up

Once the bead was added to the setting, I wrapped the wires on both sides around it to prevent the bead from just falling out.

Step 14: More Views

To give you a better impression of the way I wrapped the wire. around the bead, I took pictures from multiple angles.

Step 15: Last Modifications

Now I could finally test if my finished setting would fit. After making a few small modifications, (it was a few mm too wide) it fitted perfectly.

Step 16: Thinking About the Jump Ring

To make sure the jump ring can be added, I started my final bit of wire wrapping by coiling around the outer circle a few times.

I had originally planned to do this for the inner circle so I could add the chain, but I'm glad I was still able to use the technique.

Step 17: More Wrapping

After the coiling bit was finished, I just continued wrapping like before.

Step 18: Adding Some Swirl

After wrapping a bit of wire, I took a look at the pendant and decided I didn't like the look of the bead yet. I took the end of the wire used to set the bead and gave it a bit of a swirl.

Step 19: Final Wrapping

Once I was satisfied with the way the bead looked, I continued wrapping. Due to me not being focussed anymore, it got really sloppy and just doesn't look right.

Step 20: Ending the Wire

To give the pendant a bit more of a continuous look, I coiled the wire around the top bit of the bead setting a few times before cutting off the wire.

This is something I think I would have wanted to do for the original sketch as well, but then with the piece of chain. I really think it makes the pendant look more complete.

Step 21: The Jump Ring

Lately I haven't really used jump rings to end a pendant, but these '8' shapes. They are really sturdy and just as simple to make/use as a jump ring. Simply add it to the empty place on the pendant and it is done!

Step 22: And That's It

So, after all those mistakes, I did learn something from making this pendant:

Don't try to use a simple substitute for soldering. It won't turn out the way you want it to.

After all, I think I created an okay looking pendant, I hope you found this instructable useful!

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    6 years ago

    Yeah I'm not seeing mistakes. I see unintentional and perhaps unanticipated successes.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I think it's hard to see past what went wrong if you still have the image of the original idea in mind, therefor making those things to be considered mistakes :)