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Spiral Link Earrings 1

Instructions for making the Spiral Link Earrings using WigJig jewelry tools, with jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies:

Spiral Link Earrings Jewelry Making Design Made with Tanzanite Swarovski Beads
Spiral Link Bracelet Jewelry Making Design Made with Pearl Swarovski BeadsA spiral is one of the oldest shapes made out of jewelry wire and used as a jewelry component.  About a year ago, we heard of a lawsuit in Great Britain where one British jewelry designer was suing another because the second designer used a spiral in a jewelry item and the first designer believed that he or she had the copyright on the spiral.  We were asked to comment in the lawsuit and we responded by sending pictures of jewelry from the collection in the British Museum of spirals as components in jewelry that was about 8,000 years old.  We weren't asked to testify and somehow we believe that this lawsuit was dropped as being frivolous.  We haven't obtained permission to use a spiral in these designs, but we do believe that the original 8,000 year old copyright does not currently apply in the US.  ;-)

One of the more difficult things to do with a spiral wire component is to use it as a link in a chain or as the middle component in an earring body.  Here is a design that modifies a spiral so that it can be used as a link in a chain or as the body of an earring.  Our step-by-step instructions for making these jewelry designs begin in the next section. 

This is an advanced beginner's jewelry making project.

Jewelry Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • 9 inches of 18 or 20 gauge soft round jewelry wire per spiral (2 spirals for earrings)
  • Two 8mm beads (earrings)
  • Eight or ten 6mm beads (bracelet)
  • Commercial Ear Wire Findings (one pair)
  • Commercial clasp
  • 20 inches of 21 or 22 gauge round wire (bracelet)
  • Two head pins (earrings)
  • Four inches of commercial chain (bracelet)
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers
  • Any WigJig jewelry tool
  • Spiral Maker for your jewelry making jig
  • Nylon Jaw Pliers
  • 30 minutes of free time

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

  • Ability to straighten jewelry wire using nylon jaw pliers jewelry tool
     
  • Ability to bend jewelry wire using bent chain nose pliers jewelry tool.
     
  • Ability to make spirals using a WigJig Spiral Maker jewelry tool.
     
  • Ability to cut jewelry wire with flush cutters jewelry tool. 
     
  • Ability to make a wrapped bead link using out of beads and jewelry wire using common jewelry tools. 

Spiral Link Earrings made out of jewelry wire and beads using WigJig jewelry tools.Step-by-step instructions for making the Spiral Link earrings out of jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry tools:

Step 1:  Cut a segment of soft jewelry wire 9 inches long.  It is slightly easier to use 20 gauge wire than 18 gauge wire so practice this technique in 20 gauge wire.  For the earrings use 20 gauge wire for your finished piece.  For the bracelet, 18 gauge wire may be better.

Step 2:  Using your nylon jaw pliers straighten this segment of wire. 

Step 3:  Grasp the jewelry wire 2 inches from one end with your bent chain nose Instructions for making Spiral Link Earrings Step 4 showing jewelry wire shaped in jewelry tools.pliers.  Bend the wire 90 degrees. 

Step 4:  Grip the jewelry wire with your round nose pliers on the 7" long wire segment but as close to the bend as possible and wrap the wire about 1/4 of the way around the jaw of your pliers.

 

 


Step 5:  Insert the 2" wire segment into one of the holes on your Step 5 to instructions for making Spiral Link Earrings showing jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry making tool.Spiral Maker tool and then insert the metal peg in the Spiral Maker tool into one of the holes on your WigJig jewelry tool. 

Step 6:  Turn your WigJig jewelry tool over while holding the Spiral Maker tool in position with one finger.  While looking through your jewelry  making jig, begin pulling the jewelry wire around the center peg in your Spiral Maker about 45 degrees at a time. 

 

Step 7 to instructions for making Spiral LinkEarrings made out of common jewelry supplies.

 

Step 7:  Continue wrapping the jewelry wire around the center peg, adjusting the pressure so that you get a tight spiral but not so tight that it will over-ride the prior loop.  Wrap the wire until you have about 2 inches of jewelry wire remaining. 

 

Step 8 to instructions  for making Spiral Link Earrings showing jewelry wire shapped by WigJig jewelry tools.

Step 8:  Remove the jewelry wire from your Spiral Maker tool.  Ideally, with the vertical wire at the 12 o'clock position on the center circle, the unused wire tail should separate from the spiral at the 3 o'clock position. 

Instructions for making Spiral Link Earrings Step 9, made from common jewelry making supplies.Step 9:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, grasp the spiral at the edge where the wire separates from the spiral.  While holding the spiral tightly in youStep 10 to instructions for making Spiral Link Earrings out of jewelry wire and beads.r pliers, bend the wire tail so that it is vertical just like the center wire.


 

Step 10:  Continue holding the wire in your pliers and bend the outer vertical wire down so that it is parallel to the top of the spiral as shown at right. 

 

Step 11 to instructions for making Spiral Link Earrings using common jewelry tools.
Step 11:  Now grip that wire with the tips of your bent chain nose pliers so that you can bend the wire 90 degrees as shown at right.  It isn't easy to see this in the picture at right, but the center wire in the Spiral is vertical.  The wire tail is parallel to the spiral but pointing up and away from Step 12 to instructions for making Spiral Link Earrings using common jewelry supplies.the camera.  (The wire tail is parallel to the table that holds the spiral.)

 

 

Step 12:  Now grip the spiral in your bent chain nose pliers in the same manner as you did for step 10 and 11.  While holding the spiral tightly, bStep 13 to instruction for making Spiral Link Earrings out of jewelry wire and beads.end the center wire down, away from the other wire tail.  See the picture at left and right.

 


Step 13:  At this point we are ready to make wrapped loops at the top and bottom of the spiral.  Grasp the vertical wire tails at top and bottom with your bent chain nose pliers and Step 14 to instructions for making Spiral Link Earrings using WigJig jewelry making  tools.bend the wire over at 90 degrees. 

Step 14:  Grasp each jewelry wire tail near the 90 degree bend with your round nose pliers and wrap the wire around your round nose pliers.  This is a two step process.  You will first need to make a "U" shaped bend in the wire and then reposition the wire in the jaws of your round nose pliers so that you can complete Step 15 to instructions for making Spiral Link Earrings out of jewelry wire and beads.the loops as shown. 

Step 15:  Depending on the design you intend to make, you might need to wrap both loops closed.  Grasp the loops in turn using your bent chain nose pliers and hold the loops while you push the wire around itself to complete the wrap.  Cut the excess wire and squeeze the cut end of the wire flat with your bent chain nose pliers.  If you are making a chain of spirals like the one shown below, connect the loops to the prior spiral before wrapping the loops closed. 

Spiral Link made of jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry tools.

Completed Spiral Link Earrings made out of jewelry wire and beads using WigJig jewelry tools.Step 16:  At this point, we begin to assemble a pair of earrings.  Using a head pin and an 8mm bead, connect a bead dangle to the bottom of the spiral.  In the earring shown at right, a 2.5mm round gold-filled bead was used in addition to the 8mm bead because the extra thin head pin used did not have a large enough head to hold the 8mm without the smaller bead.  If you use thin head pins, you will not experience this problem.

Step 17:  Add your ear wire finding to the top of the earring.  This is accomplished by opening the loop in the ear wire finding with your bent chain nose pliers then connecting the loops and finally closing the loop in your ear wire finding again with your bent chain nose pliers.  This completes your earring.  Make a second earring using the same technique. 

You can make your own Shepherd's Hook ear wire, as well.

Spiral Link Bracelet made with gold jewelry wire and amethyst Swarovski BeadsAlternative jewelry making designs:

Making and assembling the Spiral Link Wire Bracelet (detailed directions here) is rather straightforward.  Using a spiral link as the center piece in your bracelet, you cSpiral Link Bracelet made with pearl beads using WigJig jewelry tools.an make the bracelet using either a combination of wrapped bead links and segments of commercial chain, or you can make a bracelet made of a series of wrapped bead links.  Each of the bracelets shown here was made using 20 or 21 gauge 1/2 hard wire to make the wrapped bead links and 6mm beads.  The technique for making the wrapped bead link is discussed Dual Spiral Bracelet made with amethyst beads and common jewelry supplies.here. 

You can also make a bracelet using two spirals connected by a wrapped bead link as the center of your bracelet.  To complete this bracelet you build out from the center of the bracelet by adding combinations of wrapped bead links and segments of commercial chain.  The total length of your bracelet should be about 7.5 inches.

Triple Spiral Link made out of jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry making tools.
The final approach for using the spiral to make a bracelet would be to connect three spirals in a chain and add wrapped bead links on either side to complete the bracelet.  This approach can also be used to make the center-piece in a necklace. 

 

 

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

Hopefully, we will be able to make these spiral link jewelry wire components without being told that we have violated an 8,000 year old copyright.  This is a jewelry design that we are really proud of.  We believe that we are the inventors of this technique for making a permanent spiral.  The result of this design is a spiral made out of soft jewelry wire that won't pull apart.  We like the earrings.  We like the bracelet and we like this component when used in making a necklace.  Hopefully, you will like this design also.

 

 

 



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