April 19, 2011

Wire Play - take 2

Sometimes a project seems to just migrate in a different direction. That's OK with me as I've been working with materials outside of my comfort zone. In fact, I've been playing and having fun with leather and wire.

It all started with Rings and Things tutorial for a leather and stone bracelet. I need to arrive in New Hampshire with presents for the Grandkids. The girls are easy, but finding (or making) something for the boys gets more difficult the older they get. These bracelets looked like the perfect male-oriented gift for teenage Grandsons.

The best part of these bracelets is that they can be made in a little over an hour. The hardest part was deciding on what stone beads to use; biker hematite, or Southwestern sand stone? Now I'm all set with gifts that I'm sure will be quite different from what their friends will have. After all, the large, expensive stores are selling these for over $150!

Well one thing lead to another and I looked at the black steel wire hanging on the wall. Before I could stop and think it out, I grabbed a length of wire, measured 2X my wrist size, snipped. and applied the same technique to a wire framework.

The 15mm rusty, matted woods agate beads were a perfect foil for the brass and steel wire.


Sometimes it helps to engage the brain before blindly cutting. Large beads take up more room and 2X my wrist size in wire just wouldn't make it around my wrist. I couldn't bring myself to take it all apart so finished the Xtra-Small cuff bracelet and gave it to my neighbor as an early birthday present. After all, she tried to wear it home she liked it so much.

This afternoon I cut and finished a wire cuff that fits me. This time I made it long enough to take in account the size of the large beads. The technique that I used for the leather translates perfectly to 16 gauge wire for the frame and 28 gauge brass wire for the sewing.

The leftovers became earrings with coffee antiqued ivory strips.

I think that my favorite boys in the family will like the bracelets that started this journey.


  1. Judith, I would totally wear those bracelets now, and I haven't been a teenager for at least, you know, a while :)

    Well done!!

    --Dave at Rings & Things,
    the home base of that huge, fun Bead Show Tour you hear rumbling by...
    ...request your invitation!

  2. That's cool, because I've followed a very similar path with these, moving from leather into wire. And though I didn't start from the RNT tutorial, one of my most popular designs incorporates their fabulous fishbone vertebrae! I love the idea of weaving, and have done a little of it with seed beads, but my eyes prefer working in this slightly larger scale!

    Thank you!

  3. Oh! And I forgot to say they look lovely!

  4. They are lovely and very "male".

    Hey and don't hurry back, the weather has been horrible! It just will not get warm!

  5. I know the guys will love their presents! I want one too; guess I'll have to go buy some leather. Any particular place you recommend?