Daily Wire Tip Mar. 28: Keeping a Spiral Close to a Bead

By on March 28, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
March 28, 2011


When doing a spiral with wire on top of a bead, is there a way to make it flat against the bead so it doesn’t catch on clothes, etc.? I’ve thought about lightly putting some glue on, but wondered about the correct way of doing this. Thank you.

-Linda in Hawthorne, California


Hi Linda, although some people use glue, the point of Traditional Wire Jewelry Design is no solder or glue. In my opinion, using glue is the easy way out. (I am sure I will get some discussion on this!) Because you are asking, I know you are looking for a technique to help with this challenge, so here is my suggestion.

While making this spiral, don’t roll it all the way up to the beginning of the wire. Leave a bit, maybe 1/4" (5mm). Bend the finished spiral away from the bead a bit and use round nose pliers to form the underside of the spiral to fit the curve of the bead. Then use round nose pliers, on the extra length, to bend the spiral back down on to the bead. If necessary, spin it a bit, curving any unwanted extra length. After you try this, let me know how it works for you!

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    March 28, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for asking this question and for the great tip. I am working on a project this will help with. Love these daily tips!

  2. avatar


    March 28, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Thank you. I stopped doing this because they always looked weird afterwards. I’m going to try this today.

  3. avatar

    Mary Phillips

    March 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

    The other problem with glue is, what if you decide to update the piece down the road? Then the glue is something you have to remove or chip off, risking damaging the stone/bead underneath. I’ve been making jewelry for 20 years and can tell you I often remake old designs into new – it’s one of my favorite challenges (before and after).

  4. avatar

    Robin Burns

    March 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I’ve adopted clear fingernail polish as a tool on my work table. Not to glue down spirals, but to cover any tiny areas especially under the face of a ring where wire ends can be hard to tuck in and want to be rough. You might want to clean first with a bit of alcohol, especially as the piece has been handled a lot in working. Colored polish might work well to cover little areas on the colored wire that may have flaked during working (especially true of some colored silver plate wires). A very tiny amount goes a long way, however, and this doesn’t work for gluing down stones or major areas that will come under stress. As Dale said, the true purpose of traditional wire work is to use no glue or solder-but sometimes we have to improvise a bit.