Using a jig

As there ore a number of different styles and types of jig on the market, you may find that you have to adjust the patterns in this book slightly. I suggest that, before you attempt any of the |ig projects, you place your pegs as directed and then wrap o piece of cord or string approximately the same gauge os the wire thot will be used around the pegs, following the pattern. Measure the amount of cord or string that you have used so thot you know how much wire you will need to make the project, and then cut your wire to this length.

Once you hove made your wire motif, you can reinforce it by gently topping the outer edges of the wire with a hammer on a steel stake, being careful not to hammer any crossed-over wires, as this will weaken them {see page 21). Finally, spend a little time readjusting the wire with your flat-nose pliers and fingers until you are satisfied with the overall shape of your motif.

If this is your first attempt at wire jewelry making, practice all the basic techniques to become totafy familiar with the fundamentals of wire working and become acquainted with your tools, as well as to get a "feel" for your main ingredient—wire.

I . Following your chosen pattern, place the pegs in the jig. Using your round-nose pliers, form a loop at the end of your length of wire and slip it over the first peg.

Threading beads with wire

The basic principle is to construct a neot loop of wire (known as a "link") at each end of the bead, which is then used to suspend the bead from o chain or to connect one bead to another.

1 . Working from the spool, thread your chosen bead onto the wire, leaving about V: in. of wire extending on each side of the bead with which to form the link.

2,. Remove the bead and cut the wire with your wire cutters.

'). Thread the bead back onto the cut wire. Holding the wire vertically, with the bead in the center, use the tips of your round-nose pliers to bend the wire at a right angle, ot the point where it touches the bead.

When you"vt threaded the bead, make we that the links m each end face in the same directum—itiher-wise they will twist .iroiinJ when linked together js a chain. To do this, hold each link firmly in the jaws of your pliers, and twist until both links face the same way.

' l\ Hold the very end of the bent wire tightly with your round-nose pliers, and curl it loward you into o circle. It is better to do this in several short movements, repositioning the pliers as necessary, than to attempt to moke one continuous circle. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to form another link at the other end of the bead. Remember, the pliers are not a levering tool but primarily a molding tool.

Making a head pin

If you wont to suspend o bead from a chain, you will only need a suspension link at one end of the bead. At the other end, you need to make whot is known as a "head pin," which is virtually invisible but prevents the bead from slipping off the wire.

2.. Using the tips of your round-nose pliers, moke o tiny curl of one end of the wire. Squeeze this curl flat with your flat-nose pliers to create o small knob of wire.

2.. Using the tips of your round-nose pliers, moke o tiny curl of one end of the wire. Squeeze this curl flat with your flat-nose pliers to create o small knob of wire.

1 . Working from the spool, threod your chosen bead onto the wire, leoving about /.■ in. of wire extending on eoch side of the bead.

). Snip the wire and form a link at the other end. If the hole in the bead is large ond it slips over the head pin, bend the head pin at a right angle, so that the bead sits on top of it like a tiny shelf. (Alternatively, slide on a small seed bead to oct as a stopper.)

Making a head pin

If you wont to suspend o bead from a chain, you will only need a suspension link at one end of the bead. At the other end, you need to make whot is known as a "head pin," which is virtually invisible but prevents the bead from slipping off the wire.

The head pin is uiKifaiusivY, but it prevents the bead from slipping off f/tc wire.

Von uin alw riuly a deeoratix-e feature of the head pin by curling the wire into a spiral (sec page 15). Ti> Jo this.you mil need to leave a longer length of wire Mow the bead.

Making spirals

The spiral is probably the most characteristic ond distinctive symbol of Celtic style. There are two kinds of spiral—open and closed. Each is formed in the same way, the only difference being whether or not any space is left between the coils.

Both types of spiral begin by curling a circle at the end of the wire. The size of this circle depends on the design of your project. Sometimes, as in the Double Spiral Necklace on page 62, the circle needs to be as small as possible, so »hot there are virtually no gaps in the spiral. At other times, as in the Shamrock Hair Grip on page 116, you moy wont to feed o wire or cord through the spirol, so you need to moke the initiol circle bigger

A Wo.vd *piriil has no gaps between the coils. An open sf»ir,j| is mjJi- in iht wrnr Win', but nvnlv \pjiYj£«ips are left Ivtwwn the coils.

1 . Begin by curling o smoll circle at the end of the wire, using the tips of your round-nose pliers. Make this circle as round as possible, as the rest of the spiral will be shaped around it.

2. Grip the circle in your flat-nose pliers, and begin curling the wire around it. For a closed spiral, butt each coil up against the previous one. For on open spiral, leave space between the coils.

). When the spiral is the size you want, leave about Z in. of wire to form a suspension link, curling the projecting end of wire into a smoll loop in the opposite direction to the spiral.

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