"For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.
On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun."
J.R.R Tolkien, The Hobbit
When going through the pieces of sea glass I found on a beach in Denmark last summer, I could only think of how amazing this piece would look in an elvish-style piece of jewellery. While I had initially planned for this to be a ring, somewhere along the way it turned into a bracelet, and I'm happy it did!
Step 1: Materials
- Wire / I used silver plated copper wire of 1 mm and 0,6 mm (e.g. here and here -> link coming later, can't seeme to find the right type at the moment!)
- a piece of sea glass
- a mandrel
- Superglue / make sure it's suitable for glass and metal
- Jump rings / optional, you could also bend them
- Lobster clasp / or any other kind of closure
Step 2: The Top Wire
Take the 1 mm wire and, starting at approximately 5 cm from the end, bend the first curve using one of the wider parts of the mandrel. Carefully start shaping it a bit more to get to the curve shown in the last picture. From the other side of the curve, measure a distance equal to the one on the side where you started and cut off the wire.
Step 3: The Bottom Wire
For the bottom wire, once again start with the 1 mm wire. Instead of measuring a distance, hold the beginning of the wire at the point where the top wire ends. Hold the wire at the place where it has just crossed the piece of sea glass. This will be the part you need to bend.
The tricky thing with bending wire around sea glass is that you can't simply use pliers for everything - doing so could damage your glass. Because of this, I also wouldn't recommend using wire thicker than 1 mm, since that's already a bit tricky to bend.
Bend the wire around the back of the sea glass and back to the front to let it continue its way. Be sure to remember the orientation of the sea glass.
Step 4: Inner Wires
Cut off two pieces of equal length. I cut mine a bit shorter than the full length of the piece, which gave me plenty of wire to work with.
Use a pair of round nose pliers to bend the middle of the wires. Don't make them completely round, try to let the wires go away in an angle of approximately 90 degrees.
Step 5: Joining the Main Wires
To make this part of the process a bit easier, take a small piece of the 0,6 mm wire and wrap it around one of the sides a few times as shown, joining the top and the bottom wire. For the other side, cut off a longer piece of wire and start coiling it around both wires for a bit. When the wires start getting further apart from each other, switch between coiling around the top wire and the bottom wire a few times.
Step 6: Adding the First Inner Wire
When the distance between the top and bottom wire is about the same as the size of the circle, make a few coils along the circle. Be sure to do this on the top side of your piece. After about four coils with the circle added as well, continue on the top wire.
Step 7: Wrapping Up
Add the piece of sea glass and bend the bottom part of the inner wire around it. After that, continue with the thinner wrapping wire on the top part.
Once you are at the point where the top wire meets the inner wire again, keep wrapping both wires for a while.
Cut off the inner wire right at the top. Stop wrapping when you're still a bit away from that middle, but don't cut off the thinner wire yet.
Step 8: The Other Side
Repeat these steps on the other side, again making sure to have the wrapping wire on the top side of your work. Bending the bottom part of the inner wire around the sea glass is a bit trickier here, it might take a few attempts to get it right.
Step 9: Finishing the Top Part
Choose one of the wrapping wires you didn't cut off and wrap it towards the point where you stopped wrapping the other wire. It's easiest to pick the longest of the two for this. By doing this, the thinner wires end at a different point than the thicker wires,making the connection stronger. End both wires and use a pair of flat nose pliers to clamp down the ends.
Step 10: The Wirework Result
To end the wirework part, cut off the ends of the wires around the bottom of the sea glass and - carefully - press them as close to the glass as possible.
Step 11: Curving
Now this is where it gets interesting. Carefully curve the entire piece you made to let it fit around your hand as shown, especially the ends. Even curving the part with the sea glass a little bit will change the way the wires sit, so be careful not to let the sea glass fall out. If it's indeed not as secure as before anymore, don't worry, it'll be fixed in a few steps from now.
Step 12: Ending the Wires
To end the wires, use round nose pliers to bend the ends into a little loop. My ends weren't equal, so I just decided to bend them as you can see in the third picture. You could, of course, also start by making both ends of equal length.
Step 13: Superglue
As I said, we'll fix that loose piece of seaglass! Apply superglue to the back of the piece, where the wires sit against the glass. Be sure to let it dry completely before moving along.
Step 14: Time to Bend Some Eights
This step, however, is perfect for when you're waiting for that glue to dry. Bend a bunch of little eights for the chain. To get them the same size every time, I just used the lowest part of my pliers.
Step 15: Layout and Assembly
The chain consists of three different elements: 8 loops, jump rings, and a clasp. The second picture shows exactly how I connected the different pieces.
Step 16: Adding and Changing
To make up for the difference in loops at the beginning of my wireworked parts, I used both an 8 loop and a jump ring per side. If you made both of them the same size, using only jump rings will work just fine. Add the piece of chain to it. While doing this, I noticed it was probably goind to be a bit too short, so I added a few extra jump rings.