My recycled "rake" fish is holding some of my favorite pieces to wear! Some of these pieces are very old from my first foray into jewelry making and wire work. I find myself using this technique over and over as it's very useful. I use it like the photo below so my heavy metal pieces have a little more feminine feel. The piece below is the Pinwheel Tabs and part of the Objects and Elements Architecture classes that I'll be teaching this year at Bead and Button and BeadFest.
Use this technique for any stones or pearls that you want to make into a chain. First determine what gauge wire will fit in your bead. I prefer to do this technique in heavier wire such as 14 gauge, so I frequently have to use a bead reamer to enlarge the holes. It's monotonous work but oh so worth it!
Once you figure out what wire gauge, make a practice piece and determine how much of a wrap you want and how long your wire needs to be to accomplish the wrap on both sides. Cut several pieces of wire and get started.
Make a loop like the one above but keep the pliers in the hole and add the pearl. If you are using a tapered pliers mark the spot with a sharpie on the pliers so your loops are consistent.
start the wrap so the pearl stays in position.
Make the wrap at the other end then finish off the first end too.
Tuck the sharp end into the wrap. You could also make your wrap much larger and fatter with more wire.
The next pearl will need to be connected to the first one to start the chain. This is a very strong chain as there are no openings. You can also connect the component in the photo directly above with jump rings to another component that is the same. See the second photo in the series for this sample.
You can make it as long as you like or use as a component with ready made chain too!
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If you are loving this technique check out the new wire working book by Tracy Stanley and Janice Berkebile for lots of great instructions, photos and variations. "Making Wire & Bead Jewelry". I just got mine in the mail today and will be reviewing it and sharing some photos later.