This jewelry making technique illustrates how to make a "locked" or permanent spiral component -- one that will not pull apart. This component can be used as a head pin, or it can be used in earrings as shown at right. This will essentially be 1/2 of the spiral link wire component that we made in the directions for the Spiral Link 1 Earrings design. The test we like to apply when making a jewelry wire component is -- if a baby were to grab the earrings, would they pull apart. With this as a goal, a simple spiral won't make acceptable earrings, the design for a simple spiral needs to be modified so that it will be permanent. In the jewelry making instructions below, we will show to make a locked spiral dangle wire component.
Please select here to view our advanced video on making spirals out of jewelry wire using our WigJig jewelry making tools.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making A Locked Spiral Out of Jewelry Wire:
Step 1: Using nylon jaw pliers, straighten 8 inches of 18 or 20 gauge soft jewelry wire before you cut it from the spool.
Step 2: Using your flush cutter, cut an 8 inch length of this jewelry wire.
Step 3: Grasp the jewelry wire with your bent chain nose pliers 1 1/2 inch from one end and and make a 90 degree bend in the wire.
Step 4: Using your round nose pliers, your WigJig Spiral Maker Tool and your WigJig Jewelry Making Jig, make a spiral as shown in steps 4, 5, 6 and 7 for the Spiral Link 1 Earrings. Continue making the spiral until you have about 1 3/4" of unused jewelry wire at the end of the spiral. Your spiral should appear as shown below-left.
Step 5: Using your bent chain nose pliers, grasp the wire about 1 1/2 inches from the end and bend the wire 90 degrees. Using the same bent chain nose pliers, grasp the spiral and hold the spiral while you "finish" the spiral by bending all the wire before the 90 degree bend so that it becomes part of the spiral as shown at right. The 1 1/2 inches of wire to the right of the 90 degree bend as shown at right will become the loop at the top of the spiral in the following steps. We will call this segment of jewelry wire the top wire segment.
Step 6: Grasp the spiral with your bent chain nose pliers and hold it firmly. Rest your pliers adjacent to the vertical wire segment shown in step 5, above-center. While holding the spiral, bend the vertical wire segment so that it is parallel to the top wire segment as shown above-right.
Step 7: Our goal now is to wrap the jeelry wire from the center of the spiral neatly around the top wire segment on the outside of the spiral. This wrap is what makes the spiral permanent. The first step in performing this wrap is to bend the wire from the center of the spiral 90 degrees at the point where it passes outside the spiral. See the picture above-left. To make this bend, grasp the wire and the spiral with your bent chain nose pliers and hold firmly while you bend the wire with your fingers.
Step 8: While continuing to hold the spiral with your bent chain nose pliers, wrap the end of the jewelry wire around the top wire segment. See the picture above-center.
Step 9: Using your flush cutter, with the flat side of your cutter toward the finished spiral dangle, cut the excess center wire. See the picture above-right.