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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Birdsnest repost

My internet is so painfully slow today for some reason. It took me 5 whole very long minutes just to log in to blogger. Reminds me of the old days of 1200 baud modems - shudder.

I thought I'd do a repost of a tutorial I wrote back in 2007 on the birdsnest rings. These are timely, as they would be perfect as a donation to the corsage project! Quick and easy too!

Every now and again I teach a basic wire wrapped ring class called "Birdsnest Rings". This is a fairly simple project, and once you get the hang of it, you'll be whipping these out like crazy. Trust me, all of your friends will want one!

Materials required:
  • 22 gauge Artistic Wire, or 22 gauge dead soft sterling silver wire, 
  • Fabulous assortment of Swarovski, or semi precious beads
  • Wire cutters, and flat, or chain nose pliers
  • Ring Mandrel
  • Ring Sizer
  • Needle File
  • Coated flat nose pliers (optimal)
Cut a length of wire to 2.5 feet long, and gently straighten your wire with your fingers, or by using a coated pair of flat nose pliers.
Find the centre point of the wire and bend slightly to mark the spot (do not kink the wire!). Thread on your focal bead, and centre on the wire.
Place the bead on the centre of the wire face up on the ring mandrel and hold it down. Wrap each end of the wire around the mandrel once or twice. These wraps will determine how many strands of wire form your ring shank.
While still holding onto your bead firmly, wrap each end of wire to bend around the bead in the centre. This will now hold your ring in place and you can loosen your grip somewhat. Keep wrapping each end one at a time until you have built up your “nest”. How many wraps is completely up to you. Generally, your chosen focal bead will dictate how many wraps you need to make.
Once your “birdnest” is complete, slide the ring off the ring mandrel. You should still have a good 6 + inches of wire left on each end.
Starting on one side, wrap the end of the wire around the shank wires tightly being careful to wrap evenly. The wraps should fit snugly next to each other with no gaps. Complete 5 to 7 wraps.
Repeat the above for the other side of the wire. Once you have your wraps lying evenly, cut off the extra wire. Using your flat or chain nose pliers, press the wire into the shank.
If you have any sharp burrs on your wire, use a needle file to file down and clean the end of the wire.
©beadFX Inc. 2007

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