Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Toodles Weave - Make a pendant and a ring

Want to learn my method, tips and tricks for such even weaving? Here is The Toodles Weave Tutorial, in PDF form. Just $6.95! Originally published in Step By Step Wire Jewelry in 2007, I have expanded the directions and added the lovely ring for your first practice project. I am available by email if you ever have any questions or need clarification. I will email the PDF to you as soon as PayPal sends notice of payment. Easy Peasy!

Come to my ArtFire Shop to purchase this tutorial.

Other samples of The Toodles Weave -

A gorgeous deep black onyx cabochon, with the most delicate ghostly wisps of white streaks running down the side.

A Very Large, rough backed Labradorite slab, polished on the face, revealing gorgeous shimmering color.

Above, the ornate side of this sterling silver and turquoise pendant.

The opposite side of this loverly Turquoise cabochon.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lansky fish hook sharpener - a favorite tool!

Lansky fish hook sharpener, like an Arkansas Stone for knives, but with 3 v-shaped channels.

I use it to smooth the ends of all gauges, from 30 to 10, they all fit. A few drags back and forth and wire ends are smoothed out. A few more drags while twisting, it's rounded nicely. Enough drags carefully aimed and you'll have a nice sharp pin. Beats cup burrs all to pieces for the kind of work I've done thus far...
This little baby was under $3 at Academy Sports and well worth the trip to find it. Here's a link directly to the page on Lansky's website, with video -

Bluddy Blogger won't let the link work, let's try this - [click here]

If the link breaks AGAIN, try searching the Lansky website for fish hook sharpener and look for this style. You want one that is a sharpening stone with V slots, not metal coated with diamond dust. That dust wears off and then you are left with a useless chunk of metal.

There have been reports of finding it at independent fishing shops and on Amazon. 

Tutorial for Standard Cuff Bracelet

Click on each picture to enlarge and better see the details.

This tutorial is for a Very Basic Method - one version of making the Standard or Basic Cuff Bracelet. There are many methods to accomplish this project. 
Explore! Experiment! Adapt!

Many gauges of wire are suitable, from 20 to 10.
Use beads - of many sizes and a number of shapes, or use no beads at all.
Use many shapes of wire - round, square, half round, or twisted square.
Use many types of metal - copper, brass, sterling, gold, whatever you are able to manipulate.
Materials used in this tutorial  -
*Four copper 14g for the base/frame wires (allow 1-1/2 inches longer than your wrist size, to allow turning under the ends.)
***Edit 4/13 --- I'm using a single 12g rather than 2 14g for the outside wires and like the cuff strength much better.
*Four 8mm cubes
*Nine 8mm hematite rounds
*Beads are strung on 18g wire 
*18g round for the binding. (I don't have a note for how much wire this cuff used. Whenever possible, I work from the coil or spool, so I don't run short, or have scrap. The tutorial uses round wire, but half round is much easier to manipulate.)
***Edit 4/13 - I love 16g 1/2 round for the bindings between beads and 18g round for the end wraps.
*A terrific clamp for heavy wire bundles*
I found this package of 4 clamps at Walmart, with the tarps and bungees. It snugs down really tight and is not too large or bulky. They are also available at many auto parts or sporting goods/camping supply stores.

Step 1
*Assembled pieces held with painter's tape*
Four 14g base wires, four 8mm cubes, nine 8mm hematite rounds strung on 18g. Tape one end or use clamps. This design is totally flexible - change the size of the wire, the beads, the numbers, where you put the binding wires, and on and on.
----You may find it easier to start with just the center section of beads - for instance here, just the 3 cubes and the 2 rounds between them - always binding between beads to hold the spacing in the frame, adding more beads as you go along.

Step 2
*Make a hook*
Wrap 3 or more times around between beads. Pull tight after each turn and squeeze the bend with your pliers to tighten it.
You may find it easier to start the binding with a longer tail. 
If your first binding wrap sux, pull it up and tighten it or cut it off. You'll get better with practice.
Press the ends down into the gap so they don't scratch or pull loose later.

Step 3
*Hook on and wrap*
Pull the wire tight as you wrap around the base, squeezing after the bend to make it tight.

Step 4
*Underside finished*
Tuck the ends inside the bracelet so they don't scratch.

Step 5
*Bend the ends together*
I find it easiest to bend both wires over the bead, (like the top wire in the photo), then bend them straight, into the finished position, (like the inner wire, second from the top)

Step 6
*One end finished, one in progress*

Step 7
*All ends shaped and laying together*

Step 8
*Ready to wrap the end - Method One*
Make a 90 degree bend in the center wire, which holds the beads. Wrap around the base wires, back toward the beads. Use pliers to hold the center wire steady when beginning the wrap, if necessary.

Step 10
*Alternate method for the end wrap - L hook*
Make two small bends, to hook over the base wires. See next photo for size.

Step 11
*Hooked over and wrap started *
This version wraps away from the beads, giving more flexibility to the final length of the cuff. The final end of the wrap wire will be hidden under the folded base wires (next photo). 
***Gently but firmly squeeze the wrap wire each time you make a wrap. 
Pull HARD as you wrap it around, but not so hard that the frame gets distorted.

Step 12
*One end finished*
Clip the base/frame wires even and bend them over, to the inside of the cuff. File all rough spots, before and after bending.

Step 13
Shape the cuff
Hold one end against a pvc coupling and bend half way around, repeat for the other end. This coupling measures 1 1/2 inch across the end, just about wrist size. Find pvc couplings at the hardware store, gray in the electrical dept and white in the plumbing dept, the same item except for color. Very large cuffs require a bit more fiddling to get the size.
This small cuff is done with 12g frame, 16g 1/2 round bindings and 18g end wraps.

A little hand shaping to get the size right and there ya go!

 Finished cuff!

Now, experiment!
Leave a comment!
Questions are invited and welcome. Leave a link to your version of the Basic, or Standard, or multitude of other names, Cuff Bracelet!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Biker Bracelet

The hooks pivot, to aid opening and closing. The loops keep the hook from sliding off. Use any size wire you like, as long as the hook is sturdy. Works well for multiple strands. How big can you go?


This one is 20g sterling silver wire, approximately 1" long. 
Hammer strategic edges when finished, to harden and flatten. BUT use great care where wires cross! They will break if you hit them excessively.