I love it when a clasp is so nicely made that it can be considered part of the ornamentation of a piece of jewelry. This is particularly important in bracelets, which tend not to stay obediently in the position they were meant to. Here is a tutorial for a quick and pretty spiral-based clasp from Art Bead Scene.
I found a great photo tutorial demonstrating how to wire wrap briolettes and top drilled beads on the Contrariwise Ramblings blog. Top drilled beads are beads whose hole is drilled near one end of the bead rather than through the center. This technique can be used to make earrings, pendants, and anything else that requires a dangling jewel.
These whimsical links are wonderful for spacing out beads on a hand made jewelry chain. To make the larger size shown above, you will need:
- About 4 inches dead soft 18-gauge or 20-gauge wire (I prefer 20-gauge for these links)
- An 8mm mandrel, such as a Bic pen or a US size 11 knitting needle
- Round nose pliers
- Flat nose pliers (optional for large links, necessary for the smaller-sized links)
- Flush cutters
- A chasing hammer or ball pein hammer
- An anvil or bench block
For the smaller sized link you will need about 3 inches of 20-gauge wire, and a 3.5mm mandrel such as a US size 4 knitting needle.
To begin, wrap the wire around the mandrel about 1 3/4 times.
These fun links can be used in many ways, and are a great component for a wire wrapped jewelry artist to have in her arsenal. Try experimenting with different proportions to make an endless variety of links. These can be joined with other types of links, such as wrapped loop links, to make simple chains. Or, add a dangle and an ear wire to make a pair of simple earrings.