Wire nest beads

wire bead 12Wire beads

Once you start making beaded jewelry, sooner or later you will realize that you need some goldsmith elemetns in your designs. Starting with head and eye pins, bead caps and other findings to hand made details, like wire jewelry. And today I have a great tutorial from Yelena Samsonova, aka Shimshoni. Yelena is mostly known by her artistic polymer clay beads and jewelry, she also uses a lot of gems and wire. You can find her masterpieces on  Etsy. I personally have some of her desins in my jewelry box and I love every single bead on it. Shimshoni gave her permissoin to publish this tutorial and today we are going to learn how to make curly nest-beads

1 - We will need
a half-hard wire, I've used 24 ga (about 0.5-0.6 mm) 
two knitting needles, about 2 ad 3.5 mm thick
drill with a speed regulator
thin and round nose pliers
copper round beads

For these beads I've used about 3 meters of wire, so make sure you have enough length

2 - To start with, I twist the wire on a thin knotting neelde. You can do it manually, but a drill will make it mush faster. Fix the needle end and the beginning of wire in a drill's joint and secure it tightly

3 - Using the lowest speed carefully wind up the wire

4 - we ended up with a long spiral, totally about 18 cm long

5 - Slightly stretch the spiral till we gen the wave. I have 160 cm of this wave

6 - You can slightly beat it up with a hammer to make it flat. I made two types of beads to show you - one is beated up, the other one is original wire. Before you start working with a hammer, cut the wire in half, to make sure that your beads will be the same size. That makes 80 cm for each bead

7 - Take a bigger knitting needle and wind up the wire on it, just like you would wind us a yarn skein. At this point you regulate yourself, whether it will be solid or loosen, just make sure that it is done evenly. I made 1.5 cm long beads.

8 -Remove the wire skein from the needle, bend the ends and hide them inside the skein and press it with thin nosed pliers to secure

9 - you can also shape a bead with hands to get the desired shape. Looking at the picture you can clearly see the difference between hammered and non hammered wire

10 -  the "Curly" bead is more elastic but it also tends to shape more regular waves. The hammered one is less accurate and her waves are more unpredictable that creates af effect of controlled chaos. The inner space depends of the knitting needle you have used for it

11 -the wire  nest beads are ready

12 - Now you can add eye pins and metal round bead and use in in your jewelry design

I used a second pair of beads in my Green Crows necklace, threading it on a leather cord

Tags: wire beads, half hard wire