Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm, Contemporary Wire Jewelry. Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry. I love to play with all types of wire and beads! This necklace design is an experiment that came out well.
Lightning Storm
by Tracey McKenzie
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Technique(s): Wrapping
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
I love to play with all types of wire and beads! This necklace design is an experiment that came out well. Here in Australia, the storms can be absolutely amazing, and often inspiring. By changing the colors and the arrangements of the beads (for example, adding beads to each strand), you can alter the design for something that inspires you. (Many thanks to my Facebook friends for naming the original necklace!)

Materials

16 Gauge Round Dead Soft .925 Sterling Silver Wire
H8-16D
  • Lesson Quantity: 48.00 inches
  • Purchase Quantity: 2.00 25FT
  • Price: $109.86
  • Gold Club Price: $82.39
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26 Gauge Round Dead Soft .925 Sterling Silver Wire
H8-26D
  • Lesson Quantity: 5.00 feet
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 5FT
  • Price: $2.18
  • Gold Club Price: $1.64
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Silver and white seed beads (size 10 or 11)
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
Focal bead 40 x 10mm
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
Or other focal bead of your choice
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Tools

Flat Nose Wire Plier
G2-506
  • G2-506
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $32.95
  • Gold Club Price: $24.71
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Marker -extra fine
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
12 Inch Stainless Steel Ruler
G7-30
  • G7-30
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $2.97
  • Gold Club Price: $2.23
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Scotch 3/4 Inch Painters Tape for Taping Wires Together
G13-5
  • G13-5
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $5.97
  • Gold Club Price: $4.48
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Bench Block Helper with Steel and Nylon Blocks
DAP-500.30
  • DAP-500.30
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $29.95
  • Gold Club Price: $22.46
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Flat Face Chasing Hammer
HAM-161.00
  • HAM-161.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $14.97
  • Gold Club Price: $11.23
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Medium Rawhide Hammer 1 1/4 inch - Pack of 1
G3-7
  • G3-7
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $24.95
  • Gold Club Price: $18.71
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C.H.P Milano Italian Flush Cutter, 5 1/2 Inches
PLR-487.00
  • PLR-487.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $14.97
  • Gold Club Price: $11.23
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Round Nose Wire Plier
G2-507
  • G2-507
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $32.95
  • Gold Club Price: $24.71
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Polished Cast Iron Neck Mandrel
G7-12
  • G7-12
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $79.95
  • Gold Club Price: $59.96
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Instructions
Step 1
Do not straighten the 16-gauge wire; measure and cut the 16-gauge wire as listed. Tip: Using a cloth measuring tape will help. Find and mark the centers of both 20" pieces of 16-gauge wire. Working with the natural curve, use your fingers to arc both sides of the center on each long wire.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Measuring16-gauge round dead soft wire.
Step 2
Make a wrapped loop at the end of one 20" wire, on the same plane as the wire curve. Use a chasing hammer to flatten the opposite end, and then form a hook heading away from the curve.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Wrappinga loop at in the 16-gauge wire.
Step 3
Measure down 4" (10cm) on the other 20" wire and mark. Lay this wire on the outside of the other. Slide the inner wire up until the space between their points is about 1 1/4" (3cm). Secure both wires together with tape just below your mark; this forms the frame.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Securing both 16-gauge wires together.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Securing both 16-gauge wires together.
Step 4
On both marks on the outer wire, use flat nose pliers to make a 90° bend toward the outside. Measure the length of both bent wires. If necessary, trim them so that they are the same length.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Making 90 degree bend with a flat nose plier.
Step 5
Use the trimmed outer frame wire to wrap around the inside frame wire, making wrapped segments of 2 and stretching the wire around and up a bit and then 2 more, etc, working toward the ends. Trim and tuck the outer/wrap wire ends. Note: As you wrap, the inner wire may try to exchange places with the outer wire. Simply use your fingers to coax it back into position.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Wrapping outer wire frame around inner wire frame.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Wrapping outer wire frame around inner wire frame.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Wrapping outer wire frame around inner wire frame.
Step 6
Determine and mark the centers of both the top and bottom frame wires. Find the center of the 26-gauge wire. Place the center of the 26-gauge wire over the center of the top frame wire and wrap each side of the 26-gauge wire once around each side of the center of the top frame wire. Now you have two 26-gauge wires, one on the front and one on the back.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Wrapping 26-gauge wire around the frame.
Step 7
Bring both 26-gauge wires to the center of the bottom frame wire, and duplicate the wraps made on the top frame wire.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Centering the 26-gauge wire on the frame.
Step 8
Bring one of the 26-gauge wires back up, alongside the first two, and use the opposite 26-gauge wire to wrap all three wires together, working from the bottom frame wire up to the top frame wire.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Wrapping all the 26-gauge wires to the proper frames.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Wrapping all the 26-gauge wires to the proper frames.
Step 9
At the top, take one 26-gauge wire to the right of the center and one to the left. Working on their respective sides, take the 26-gauge wire from the top and lay it diagonally across the open space, so it hits the bottom frame wire about 1" (25mm) from the bottom center. Wrap the 26-gauge wire once around the bottom frame wire. Add as many beads to the 26-gauge wire as needed to cover it from the bottom to the top and place it vertically in the space. Wrap this 26-gauge wire once around the top frame wire. Repeat on the opposite side of the necklace.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, 26-gauge wire diagonally wrapped around the frame.
Step 10
Continue weaving, plain diagonal and beaded vertical, wraps between the top and bottom frames.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Weaving 26-gauge wire along the top and bottom frames.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Weaving 26-gauge wire along the top and bottom frames.
Step 11
When the entire frame has been filled, use the remaining 26-gauge wire to weave the ends closed. Make a figure-8 weave, between the frame wires, all the way up to the ends. Trim and tuck the 26-gauge wire ends.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, 26-gauge wire being used to close the frame.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, 26-gauge wire being used to close the frame.
Step 12
Use your hands to give the final shape to the necklace, applying pressure as needed. To work-harden and keep the shape of the necklace, use a rawhide hammer to gently tap on the necklace curves, on either a steel neck mandrel or another metal shaping item. (I use a metal tow ball!)
Step 13
Working with the 8" (20cm) piece of 16-gauge wire, flatten about 4mm (3/16") at one end, using a chasing hammer and bench block. Bend the flattened end at a 90° angle and slide the focal bead onto the wire. The flattened end makes an invisible stop.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Using the chasing hammer on the 16-gauge wire to begin adding the beads.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Using the chasing hammer on the 16-gauge wire to begin adding the beads.
Step 14
Make a 5mm wrapped loop at the top of the bead. Trim and tuck the wire ends.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Making a 5mm wrapped loop.
Step 15
Use the remaining 16-gauge wire to make two jump rings. Attach one jump ring to each side of the center on the bottom frame wire.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Turning the 16-gauge wire into jump rings and attaching them to frame.
Step 16
Insert the focal bead drop into both of the jump rings and close them tightly.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Adding the focal bead to the jump rings.
Step 17
Zig or Zag the beaded segments if desired, forming lightning bolts.
Tracey McKenzie's Lightning Storm - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Adding zig zags to the finished piece.