Did you know that creating wire jewelry began in ancient Mesopotamia? The most recognizable designs we have today were often made of copper and brass and have found in Egyptian tombs, such as this coiled link. To teach my version of this extremely versatile component, I present this seemingly simple earring design. Usually created using round wire, the 'twist' in this particular version comes in using square half-hard wire that has been twisted; giving this ancient design a bit more glitz.
**Tip: If this design presents a challenge, or if you desire a more 'traditional' look, practice the technique using 21g Round Soft wire.
Straighten, clean and then cut all necessary wires. Find and mark the center of each wire, and then mark 7/16 inch to each side of the center. ** (Note: this center space is to be left untwisted later.)
Attach a pin vise to the end of a wire, (inserting no more than 1/8 inch). Place flat-nose pliers, so the top of the jaw is just below and on the center side of a mark, and hold wire while using pin vise to twist it, (remembering that the marked center space is to be left untwisted). Repeat on each side of all wires. From both ends of each twisted wire, measure toward the center, and mark at 1-½ inches.
** (Tip: while twisting, count the revolutions you make so you can repeat them on each wire, creating a more consistent twist.)
On each wire, place flat-nose pliers on an untwisted segment and use fingers to bend the twisted segment up at a 90° angle.
Use the tips of chain-nose pliers to hold a space on the angled twisted wire, and use fingers to bend the length of twisted wire back toward itself at a 90° angle, over the chain-nose pliers jaw.
Place the tips of round-nose pliers onto the angle just created and with the length of the main wire headed toward the left, and use fingers to roll the twisted wire UP and around the round-nose pliers, heading away from the center forming an almost complete circle.
Grasp the circle just made with flat-nose pliers and hold firmly while using fingers to bend the remaining length of twisted wire around the circle, beginning a spiral. Continue to move the flat-nose pliers around to hold the spiral in shape, while forming the complete spiral. When the mark made near the end of the twisted wire appears, stop coiling and leave the rest of the wire straight. Repeat procedure on the other wire.
Move to the other side of each wire and repeat steps 4 through 6, remembering to head the beginning circle and resulting spiral in the opposite direction.
Place the center mark on the untwisted section into the 2nd step of 3-step round pliers, (with straight wire from coils heading away from the jaws), and bend the coils toward each other, forming a 'link'. Repeat on other wire.
Use flat-nose pliers to make any adjustments necessary to make coils flat.
Line the straight wire ends up next to each other and tape. (If necessary, trim the ends to the same length.) Measure up from the ends, toward the coils, ¾- inch and mark. Use 20g ½ round, ½ hard wire to being wrapping from the mark toward the ends, 4-times-to-show. Remove all tape.
Place the small barrel of the 3-step round pliers on the straight wires, just below the wraps and roll the pliers toward the back of the link.
Measure down from the last wrap toward the ends 1/8-inch and trim.
Place smallest barrel of 3-step round pliers on this 1/8-inch section of wire and roll toward the coils.
**Tip: This is where you could make a lot of links to create either a bracelet or necklace.
Attach ear wires to the center U and add headpin drops, charms or whatever to the other end.
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