My Gallifreyan inspired jewellery journey began a few years ago with paper pendants, painted to look like metal. Why? I thought that making them out of wire would be way too complicated. A few months ago, however, I happily proved myself wrong and made a wirework Gallifreyan pendant. But I wanted something else, something more. Instead of scaling the project up, I decided to scale it down.
The result of that decision is this project: wirework Gallifreyan rings. While they most definitely have their flaws, I absolutely love them. Working on this scale makes it really tricky to get all the elements of the translated text in, so I've had to make choices about what parts I was going to leave out.
The two rings I made say oblivion and solitude, though technically it's objivion and sojitube. While designing them I had to make a choice: leave out the dots needed for some of the letters, creating an amazing looking design, or force them into the design, which is pretty much impossible to do in a way that still looks good.
Before moving on to the project itself, a small announcement:
Last week, I started my own blog: trandoth. On there, I share a bit of what goes on behind the instructables, kind of a behind the scenes actually. The posts range from sketches, to works in progress, to fails, to anything basically! For this project, for example, I posted the results of the first attempt yesterday!
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Step 1: Materials
To make your own Gallifreyan ring, you'l need:
- wire, gauge 30/ 0,2 mm and gauge 22/ 0,6 mm
Step 2: Choose, Write and Adjust
The first thing you'll need to do is choose a word to write. You could also try a phrase, but I wouldn't recommend it, simply because of the size of the ring. Once you've picked out a word you want to use, write it! The top paper shows my brainstorm session of words, next to the rough Gallifreyan sketch of the word I ended up using.
Once that's done, take a good look at your design. Is everything you drew possible to execute in wire? If not, you might need to shift things a bit. If your word contains lines, think of ways to use them to make your design stronger. The bottom paper shows the way my design looked after rethinking these things.
Step 3: The Right Size
Trace the top of your mandrel to create a small circle. Draw your altered design in this circle. Use a pen to trace the main outline. This shape will be made out of a single piece of wire.
Step 4: Bending
Take your wire and wrap it around the top part of your mandrel. Check if it lines up with your drawing and decide where you're going to start. In both designs, I started at the corner of a semicircle. Follow the lines you traced in last step. It doesn't need to be perfect, as long as the outlines still line up with the circle shape.
Step 5: The Outer Circle
Bend a complete circle around the top part of your mandrel. Try and see if the outline you made in last step fits inside it. If it's too small, carefully bring it down on the mandrel. Repeat this until the sizes match up perfectly as shown. Once that's the case, cut off the remaining wire, but don't throw it away yet.
Step 6: Useful Ends
Pictured above are the pieces left after making the first two parts of the ring. These pieces can be used to make some of the smaller circles needed for the design. This way, the cut off parts won't go to waste.
Step 7: Fill It Up
Bend all the remaining pieces. To see whether the size is right, simply lay out your pieces!
Step 8: A Quick Note
I already mentioned it in the intro: the spelling isn't as perfect as I'd want it to be. This step is meant to show you why. The first picture shows the small silver beads I use for my Gallifreyan pendants, next to a bunch of these tiny beads I found. But, tiny turned out not to be tiny enough! For the correct spelling, I needed to add three of them to the little circle shown in the second image. I think it's safe to say it looks better without them ;)
Step 9: Connecting
When it comes to connecting a first part, I'd recommend looking for a part that doesn't include too many circles. This way, you'll be able to wrap quite a bit of the design together and prevent the layers from shifting later on.
Cut off a long piece of the thin wrapping wire and wrap it around both wires as shown, making sure they stay next to each other. When you reach a part of your design where you need to add a circle, simply wrap it around all three wires a few times. Continue normally after adding it.
Step 10: The Beginning
There will be a point where you reach the beginning/ end of the wire. Try not to stop wrapping here, but join the two parts by letting the wire make a bit of a jump. It doesn't matter if this creates a bit of unwrapped space between the two ends of the wire, as long as both sides are secure. After that, just keep wrapping and adding circles where necessary!
Step 11: An Other Type of Circle
Sometimes you'll need to add a circle on top of a wire, instead of simply next to it. Wrap until you reach the side of the circle, then cross this point diagonally in both directions. Wrap underneath the circle until you reach the other side. Repeat the crossed wrapping for this side.
Step 12: Time for a Line
Your design might also include a line. To make this line, wrap to the starting point, straighten out your wire and let it go to your end point. It's possible to wrap it around another piece of wire once if you cross it, this will make the line a bit more stable and less likely to move around.
As you can see, I ended up using that same wire to connect the small circle to the other circle. Things look a bit dodgy at this point: I was still trying to somehow incorporate the circles in my design (it didn't work out).
Step 13: The Last Circle
For this circle, the same steps can be followed as for the first one. SImply keep wrapping until you need to add it, join it in your wrapping progress and continue normally afterwards.
Step 14: The Ring Part
The look I was going for with this ring is a bit of a signature ring look, with a much smaller back part that slowly becomes wider along the sides.
To realise this design, you'll need to measure the diameter of the Gallifreyan circle (1,8 cm for me) and know just about what ring size you need. For my middle finger, this is a circumference of just under 6 cm. Take that number and multiply it with 2,5. This is approximately the amount of wire you'll need to cut off for your ring.
Step 15: Starting Off
Take the piece of wire with the length determined last step and carefully start bending the ends towards each other in order to find the middle. Take your flat nose pliers and hold down the middle. Bend the sides as shown. Once this is done, carefully bend them back to create the shape shown in the last picture.
Step 16: Make It Fit
Remember those measurement you needed? Take the circumference and subtract the diameter of your Gallifreyan circle. Divide this number by two. This left me with 2,1 cm. When placing the circle in the ring part as shown in the first part, this means you'll want at least 2 cm between the beginning and the circle.
If it's too close to the beginning, bend the wires towards each other. If it's too far away, bend the wires further apart.
When it's just right, bend the ring base around the top of the mandrel as shown. Adjust the size of the circle until your Gallifreyan design fits inside.
Step 17: Putting It Together
Use the thin wire to connect the circle to the ring base. Give it a few wraps around the ring base itself at the end and at the beginning to keep the circle from shifting.
Step 18: Connections and Lines
As you can see when comparing my design to what has been made so far, there are still a few lines missing. I wanted to combine making these lines to connecting the circle and the ring.
Start at the beginning of the line, but be sure to have a piece of wire that's long enough to wrap with. Straighten it out as good as possible and wrap the final part.
Step 19: Shaping It
Place the side of the ring base on the mandrel, at the approximate right ring size. Take into account that the top part of this ring won't get bent, so sizing can be a bit off. Bend the first side, followed by the other side. Keep bending the sides until the ring fits you perfectly.
Step 20: Finishing Up
To end the ring, let the ends go through the middle as shown and turn them around to lock the ring into size. Check to see whether the size is right. If it is, coil the ends around the ring base a few times, cut off the remaining bits and clamp the ends down to the ring base.
Step 21: The End Result
It's quite a bit of work, but once it's finished you are left with something amazing and unique! These are most definitely the most complicated and time consuming rings I've ever made, and they were absolutely worth it.