Daily Wire Tip Aug. 31: Making a Bracelet from Two Components

By on August 30, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
August 31, 2010


I recently bought the book Wirework. I was very pleased when I saw the beautiful jewelry that was pictured in the book. I am attempting to make the Ornate Cabochon Bracelet. I was confused when I read over the instructions; they didn’t seem to make sense, but I told myself, “one step at a time.”

Well, I’m on step 13, and the mystery is finally becoming clear: “You actually are making two pieces of jewelry and combining them to make one bracelet”! Why doesn’t the book say so? Anyway, this page is very misleading; I feel you should highlight the fact that the Chevron is merely a frame!

-Ruth in Wickenburg, Arizona


Yes, the Chevron Bracelet Base (p. 45) is just as it is named, a “base,” to which any number of items can be incorporated. As I say in the book, the bracelet has an opening on which to attach a variety of “toppings.” The next project, the Ornate Cabochon Bracelet Topping, is an example of what can fit in the Base, which is why it is directly after the Base in Wirework.

Wirework: An Illustrated Guide to the Art of Wire Wrapping

As a progressive instructor, I wrote my book in the same manner that I teach classes and instruct on DVDs. I plan each series and class with each project building on prior projects and concepts. Each project is explained in full detail, and each section of the book has an introductory section. To be able to understand the directions, one should read through both the “Intro” section and then the design directions before setting out to make a project.

With any project, I suggest you work through the written pattern first, and then experiment and have fun making all sorts of designer bracelets!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    August 31, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I have to say that I finally noticed Wirework in Michael’s in the last few days. Naturally I grabbed it and “Whoa!” it was the one by Dale Cougar Armstrong! So, I stood against the empty register and read it. I remember that bracelet base. I had to read it twice, the second time not as a quick read and I understood that it was in fact a base for any number of toppings included the one you featured. I liked that idea because too often we are shown things to mimic rather than creatively individualize.

    My point is, Dale, as I recall, I liked the way your book instructed the reader. (I’ve been a technical writer and editor for over 20 years and I wasn’t distracted by your method of documentation or any lack thereof.) I do plan to buy the book as soon as I can.

    • avatar


      August 31, 2010 at 2:30 pm

      Sonja – thanks so much! As a technical writer and editor, I really appreciate your kind comments : )

  2. avatar

    Merilou Jenkins

    August 31, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I, too, purchased this book and made the cover bracelet. I had no difficulties and it turned out great. As a matter of fact, I have sold a couple of these at an art show.

  3. avatar


    August 31, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I owned this book too and love it! Personally, I thought it was clear since it stated in bold letters “Base” and “Topping”. In addition, there’s a photo of the “Base” bracelet on the left page, and the first paragraph (pg. 45) clearly stated that instruction for the “toppings” would follow on page 48.

    I like the instructions this way because it helps me to better imagining designs beyond what showed in the book. Thank you.

    I would like to eventually purchase the DVDs as well but budget is very tight for me since I live on disability income. The book was more affordable. Ms. Dale, are you planning to publish more wire making instruction books?

    • avatar


      August 31, 2010 at 2:29 pm

      Hi Natalie! Yes!!! I am in the process of preparing my next book – I just need a couple of clear months to actually write it : )

  4. avatar


    August 31, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Oh, yes, and do not ever use precious metal wire for your first try unless you really know what you are doing! Allow yourself to take out your frustration and confusion on copper instead of your high dollar gold filled or ArgentiumĀ®. Once you get it down pat, you can either rip the copper piece apart and use the cab for the final work, or simply keep the “practice” piece, and wear it yourself. I have actually sold a few “practice” pieces that people saw and wanted; copper is getting popular, and is still relatively cheap.

    Oh, and be patient, follow the instructions to the letter after reading them over two or three times. When trying a new pattern from a book, I often mime doing the piece before ever picking up a tool, so that when I make it, my hands have at least a clue what they are supposed to do.

  5. avatar


    August 31, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Have to agree with the other ladies on the bracelet. I totally understood what was being done and even the cover of the book you can look at the bracelet and see it is a 2-part creation.
    We all get excited about creating something totally new when we see it. I have even messed up several times by letting my eagerness get me into trouble by not reading the directions completely to understand the pattern.
    Well written book Miss Dale and I am totally looking forward to your endeavors at doing another one.

  6. avatar


    August 31, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I love this book. I did make the bracelet. Since it was my first attempt at the pattern, I used copper and brass; topping it with a wrapped ocean jasper. I love it! I also made some other items from this book. I found it easy to follow.

  7. avatar

    Gracelyn Tuoti

    September 1, 2010 at 9:56 am

    When I first received the book, I was totally intimidated by the bracelet on the cover. But, then when I read through the instructions and realized you made the base, then the cabochon, and combined them together, it made perfect sense. I just received my wire order, so I can’t wait to try this design – it’s just beautiful.

    • avatar


      September 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks Gracelyn, I believe one of the features of beautiful wire jewelry is not to be able to figure it out by just looking at it. This is a major selling point to our jewelry buying customers! So glad you enjoy my directions : )

  8. avatar


    September 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I bought the book Wirework when it first came out and have made the cover bracelet with a very large, natural emerald as the centre piece. I found the instructions very imformative and very easy to follow. Would love to get your DVDs but being a pensioner and already having all of someone elses DVDs, finances won’t permit, but will certainly get any other books by Dale!

  9. avatar

    Rachel Ison

    September 2, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I got this book and love it! Instructions are great as are the pictures. I’ve made alot of the items.

    • avatar


      September 3, 2010 at 10:47 am

      Thanks Rachel – I wrote it the same way I teach in person : )