Judy Larson's Making Neckwires, Contemporary Wire Jewelry. Findings, Clasps, Components, . A simple wire collar can be perfect for a pendant.
Making Neckwires
by Judy Larson
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Technique(s): Making Findings, General Education
  • Skill Level: Beginner
A simple wire collar can be perfect for a pendant. A neckwire can also be embellished to make a beautiful neckpiece all on its own. The sky is the limit with these easy to make additions to a jewelry wardrobe.

Materials

10 Gauge Round Dead Soft .925 Sterling Silver Wire
H8-10D
  • Lesson Quantity: 18.00 inches
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 5FT
  • Price: $130.41
  • Gold Club Price: $97.81
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Tools

Xuron Flush Cutter - Pack of 1
G2-504
  • G2-504
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $19.95
  • Gold Club Price: $14.96
Out of Stock
Bench Blocks - 130 X 130 X 20
DUR-1187
  • DUR-1187
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $54.00
  • Gold Club Price: $40.50
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7 Piece Mini TruStrike Hammer Set with Stand
HAM-520.70
  • HAM-520.70
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $140.54
  • Gold Club Price: $105.40
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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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Nylon Bracelet Bending Plier
PLR-840.00
  • PLR-840.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $19.97
  • Gold Club Price: $14.98
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GROBET FILE - BARRETTE CUT 2, 6"
FIL-31.030
  • FIL-31.030
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $31.20
  • Gold Club Price: $23.40
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Instructions
Step 1
Read through all the directions before starting the project.

Using wire cutters for heavy gauge wire, cut a 15" length of 10 gauge round wire.
Pro Tip: Using 12 gauge round wire will make a more delicate looking neckwire. Finished neckwires made from thinner gauge wires are not as stable. This length will fit an average to small neck. Add one half inch to one inch to make a neckwire for a larger neck.
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Step 2
Round neckwire: Start shaping the wire around a large cylindrical object, which in this case was the barrel of a tumbler, but a large juice can will work as well. Use a rawhide mallet if needed. Note: The unweighted mallet seen here has not been conditioned, which is what should always be used as the hard varnished surface can mar metals. I pulled a new one out of my bench drawer because I was too lazy to walk the few steps across the room to get the one I usually use. Start rounding the neckwire shape with a bracelet bending pliers.
"V" neckwire: Mark the center of the wire with a Sharpie marker. Grasp the wire on the marked line between the jaws on the largest barrel of the Wrap 'N' Tap pliers. Bend the wires evenly around the barrel, creating a "V" shape as shown, and making sure the wire ends are exactly the same length.
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Step 3
While shaping either version, try to keep the wire as flat as possible. Continue to curve the round neckwire with the bracelet bending pliers. Once the shape is rounded, the ends will overlap. Curve only the back portion of the neckwires on the "V" neckwire. As seen in the photo, the curve starts about 2 inches up from the tip of the "V" on the one inch grid background. Also, notice that the "V" shape is narrower than the circular neckwire, which could be made into a more elongated oval, if desired.
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Step 4
Place the neckwire on a bench block. Hammer a texture on the front half of either neckwire, the portion that will show when done. Leave the part that will be on the sides and back of the neck untextured at this point. The overlapped portions of the wire at the back of the neckwire can be pulled apart about an inch during the shaping.
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Step 5
Option A: A neck mandrel is wonderful for shaping neckwires. For either neckwire, place the neckwire on the mandrel. Hold the front of the neckwire in place on the mandrel. Masking tape or painters tape is helpful, but the wire still needs to be held in place by hand. Hammer texture the wire on the neck sides and back.
But what if a neck mandrel is not available. The back half of the neckwire does not have to be textured and can be finished as is. But, if texture is desired, there are two options.
Option B: Hammer texture the rest of the neckwire. It will be difficult, but two soft jaw pliers can be used to curve the shape. One holds the wire steady while the other twists to get the textured side of the wire in the right place.
Option C: Know where on the curve of the wire the texture needs to be. It can be helpful to mark that area with a Sharpie marker. Place the marked side up on the base of a bracelet mandrel and texture.
Shaping Option B and C: Just above the knee is generally the same shape as your shoulders. This is the perfect place to obtain the bend for the side of the neck-left knee for the left side, right knee for the right side.
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Step 6
File and sand the wire ends round and smooth. This could be done before the texturing and shaping, but hammering the ends can leave sharp corners and waiting to file now saves a bit of time. Do not try the neckwire on until the ends are finished and smooth.
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Step 7
Pull the wire ends apart just a bit and slip on your neck. Note where shaping adjustments are needed. Use the bracelet bending pliers to make the adjustments to the neckwire shape. Note that the back ends of the wire curve down. This makes for a more comfortable fit. The ends are about an inch apart so the neckwire will stay put.
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Step 8
Once all the adjustments have been made, polish the neckwire. Since the surface of the neckwire was not marred using metal pliers, sponge nail buffing blocks are perfect for this. Work from the coarsest to the finest grit to bring up a great shine.
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Step 9
Final adjustments may be needed. When placed on a flat surface, the back tips of the neckwire should both touch the surface. Both sides of the neckwire should be curved up from the surface the same distance and curved out from center the same amount. It does not take much adjusting/bending to achieve this.
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Step 10
During the classes sponsored by wirejewelry.com at the 2020 Tuscon Gem Show, I worked along with the instructors and made quite a number of things, learning a few new tricks along the way. These neckwires are a fabulous way to show off some of the pendants I made during those few days-Linda Larsen Shaping and Forming, Linda Larsen Architecture, and Kim St. Jean Puzzle Piece-as well as pendants you want to be visible in an open necked or v-necked top.
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires
Judy Larson's Making Neckwires - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, , making neckwires