Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Technique: Shaping wire with flat nose pliers, chasing wire on a bench block, working with fine-gauge wire
26-gauge wire is strong enough for this project to hold your beads in place, and yet it almost blends into the design, creating a floating bead effect! Enjoy making this design with the zig zag shapes framing the round beads: or change the shapes, using round bail pliers to frame round, oval, bicone, even handmade lampwork beads.
- Straighten the 18-gauge wire. Using flat nose pliers, make a 90° bend 1/2" (12mm) away from the end.
- Replace the flat nose pliers so they are holding the next section of the wire and the pliers set just against the corner just made. Bend the wire at the angle of 90°, forming a zigzag.
- Place the flat nose pliers as you did in Step 2. Bend the wire at the angle of 90°
- Continue bending the wire until you have a total of 15 corners. Cut the wire 1/2" (12mm) away from the last bend.
- Grab the 8th corner (center) with round nose pliers. Hold the wire so the wire ends are directed up as shown.
- Holding the wire with round nose pliers, bend both wire ends towards each other so the “inside" corners met each other.
- Using round nose pliers, gently press two upper bends towards each other forming a loop. Make sure the wires do not overlap.
- With fingers, arrange all the corners, so there are 3 big loops and one small loop on the top. Slightly arch the wire ends.
- Slightly hammer zigzag. This will harden the wire and flatten zigzag.
- Cut 5" of 26-gauge round dead soft wire. Leaving 1" tail, wrap 2 times to show between big and small loops.
- Slide a 6mm bead, place it the next big loop, and wrap the wire twice between 1st and 2nd big loops as shown.
Attach two more beads a in the same manner, last time wrapping the wire three times. Cut close the wire ends.
- Attach the ear-wire to the small loop
- Make the second earring in the same manner.
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