Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Technique Tuesday - Make a Perfect Spiral

The spiral has plenty of applications in jewelry design. Here, I will show you how I make a spiral. Take these basic instructions and add your own twist -- make it your own! The technique will be the same regardless of gauge or material.

Using round nose pliers and a piece of wire, make the smallest eye/loop you can. I won't go into details as to how I do that exactly -- I'm sure you have your own method.

Make sure the loop is as round as possible, as that will help make your final spiral round.

Place the spiral directly up against the box joint of a pair of flat nose pliers. For this task I choose my bent nose pliers, coated with Tool Magic. Place it so that the "tail" of the wire is pointing straight to the side.

Using your thumb, gently bend the wire upward, directly against the edge of the starting loop.

Reposition the wire so that the tail continues to point straight out and directly to the side. Using your thumb, continue to push the wire upward. Repeat these two steps until the spiral has the number of revolutions that you want. Most of my applications use 2 1/2 revolutions.

A completed spiral with 3 revolutions. This process may take a bit of practice. Use scrap wire to perfect the procedure and keep all of your attempts. They will help you see how far you've progressed.

Here are some earrings where I use the spiral as an integral part of the earring:

This pair of earrings uses a spiral as a purely decorative element:

Contributed by Vicki of Orion Designs.

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