Buy the Book! »

Category Archives: Tutorials

Organic Wire-Wrapped Pendants: Craftsy Class Goes Live!

Organic Wire-Wrapped Pendants

It’s Freeform! Only In Video Form!

I haven’t been saying much about my Craftsy class – mostly because the launch date has been a secret. But – and this comes on the heels of the news that my book has sold over 10,000 copies so far – that class launched TODAY. And as if that weren’t enough – tomorrow’s my birthday!

What a week!

Check out the intro (and I am NOT going to talk about how I hate looking at myself):

Looks pretty good, hey?

Check out the Lesson Plan for Organic Wire-Wrapped Pendants:

Lesson 1. Frames for Free-Form Pendants [16:49]
Lesson 2. Soldered Frames [14:01]
Lesson 3. Bead & Beach Glass Captures [17:38]
Lesson 4. Stone & Cabochon Captures [19:38]
Lesson 5. Connections & Decorations [17:32]
Lesson 6. Complex Decorations [23:59]
Lesson 7. Final Assessment, Finishing & Clasp [23:38]

That’s, like, ninety minutes of content right there! And it only took two days to film it! And only six months to prepare it! And it looks so good!!

Here. Have a 50% off link to my Craftsy class, Organic Wire-Wrapped Pendants. »

Organic Wire-Wrapped Pendants

Gayle Bird, instructor of Organic Wire-Wrapped Pendants

 

 

Organic Wire-Wrapped Pendants

 

Craftsy Class Giveaway!

Good gravy, I’ve filmed a class for Craftsy.com!

10175_Set_Stills_008_retouched

The experience was absolutely divine. They sent someone to pick me up at the airport, I got to eat at a different downtown Denver restaurant at every meal, and best of all, every single person I interacted with at Craftsy was completely super.

The launch date is coming up soon so I thought maybe I’d let you know just WHY I’m so excited about this, and also give you a chance to win the class when it comes out!

10175_Set_Stills_083_retouched

Why Craftsy Is Awesome

  1. Craftsy is the fastest growing crafty community on the web with over 5 million members in over 200 countries worldwide.
  2. Craftsy only works with top instructors across many creative fields—quilting, knitting, sewing, crochet, jewelry making, fine art, cooking, photography and more.
  3. Online courses are great to take with your friends or children. It’s fun and encouraging to tackle a course together.
  4. With a Craftsy online class you can take it as many times as you want, whenever you want and access never expires.
  5. Craftsy’s platform enables you to take virtual notes while watching a class.
  6. HD quality video and audio make it easy to see exactly how the instructor is creating the craft, with close-ups of the different steps.
  7. Instructors and other students will answer your questions and give feedback.
  8. You can show off your projects to the Craftsy community and be inspired by other students’ work.
  9. Craftsy offers the best selection and lowest prices on craft supplies and class kits.
  10. Craftsy supports independent designers by providing them with a pattern shop to list their patterns, without charging fees or commissions.

Go. Win My Class!

Clicky clicky:

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/GayleBird_Giveaway

Wire Wrapping Tutorial Bundles

As part of the very slow shift in my business practices, I’ve happily begun bundling my wire tutorials with wire and beads or components from my own personal stash – giving you everything you need (but the tools) to create some of my most popular tutorials right away.

Even better, you’ll be getting the benefit of my colour-matching madness with limited-run colourways and bundles.

There are just a couple to start with – they take a while to produce – but as more are added, you’ll see them at this link: Wire Jewelry Tutorial Kits

One slow, small, step at a time. I know where I want to be. I’ll get there. One step at a time.

Exclusive Jewelry-Making How-To: Make a Baroque Wire Pendant

I recently worked with Jewelry Making Daily to product an exclusive how-to project and thought you might be interested!

0020.baroque-wire-bead-pendant3.jpg-550x0

This beautiful little pendant can be glitzy and glam while being relatively quick to whip up. If you want to be meticulous and precise with your wrapping, you can spend longer on the piece–but I’m not that sort of artist! I like loose and free, which is why my measurements, tools, and materials lists are mostly of the “ish” variety, with any number of alternatives available. It’s not just because I find measuring things slows me down and dampens my creativity–and it’s not just because I forget measurements from one second to the next, either (I am a terrible baker but a great cook!). The real idea is to work with what you’ve got and be free to make something unique to you!

Exclusive Jewelry-Making How-To: Make a Baroque Wire Pendant »

Learn How to Make Your Own Wire-Wrapped Rings

Post Image

Rings are one of the few pieces of jewelry you can see when you wear them. And whether you’re into making jewelry normally or not, there’s quite a thrill to looking down and seeing some bling that you made on your own hand!

It’s not hard to get started, either. You only need a handful of things to make a wire-wrapped ring: some wire, a couple pairs of pliers, a focal piece and, most importantly, a ring mandrel.

Read the full blog post here »

Free Tutorial – Angled Frame Pendant

Promo-A

I figured it was time for another free wire wrapping tutorial! This tutorial will make you capable of quickly building a complex-looking pendant using just two wires! The result is lightweight and colourful, a combination of geometric and organic that sparkles in the light. With your choice of beads it can easily coordinate with any outfit!

These instructions include how to create this exact pendant including an incorporated bail. With this technique you should also be able to create different shaped frames for variations on the look, although those instructions are not included.

Free Angled Frame Pendant Tutorial »

How to Make a Copper Hook & Eye Clasp

0

I’ve been burned on pre-made chains so many times I decided recently to make my own. I bought ball chain and jump rings and then spent some time figuring out the best kind of clasp – turns out it’s not only cheaper, but also looks better, if you make your own! Here’s a free tutorial (including a quick video) showing two versions of how to make this hook-and-eye clasp. It includes fire!

You’ll need solid copper wire in 20ga, a ruler, flush cutters, bailmaking pliers, a hammer and anvil, and probably also a metal file (which I forgot to photograph).

1

 

Making the Hook

Cut 6cm of wire.

2

 

[Not pictured: hammer the end of the wire]

File the end round.

7

Create a tiny bend in the flattened end of the wire using your round-nose pliers.

4

Use the fat side of bailmaking pliers to create a loop in the wire.

5 6

Oh wait, you only need 5cm of wire – cut off a cm!

8

Hammer this end of the wire as well, and file it round.

9

Create a bend in this wire, angled towards the clasp loop.

10

Use the small side of bailmaking pliers to bend the wire end backwards until it touches the back of the clasp.

11

Hammer the two loops very carefully.

12 13 14 15

Variation

So hey if you want to make a balled end, keep the original 6m and complete the steps above up to just before cutting it down; and create a balled wire end as in this video:

Pile of balled end clasps!

16

Continue making the clasp hook with the balled end instead of the flattened end.

18

The two variations!

19 20

Making the Eye

Uhoh. I don’t remember how long the eye wire is supposed to be. I think maybe 8cm? Flatten one end, file it, and create the tiny P at the end with your round nose pliers.

21

Use the medium bailmaking plier size (3mm) and make a small hook. Make sure the p touches the wire.

23

Loosen your grip on the pliers and swing the smaller side of the pliers back around in the loop you just made, and create a “neck” bend in the wire.

24

Move the pliers out so the smaller plier side is in the neck you just made; and make a 90 degree bend backwards.

25

You should have this shape!

26

Switch to the larger bailmaking pliers (5mm) and make a large loop in the wire end.

28

Create a wrapped loop with the wire end around the straight section you created.

29 30

Cut and tamp down the end.

31

Hammer both loops.

32 33

Finished! I dumped these into liver of sulfur and then tumbled them overnight with some soap to make them shiny, antiqued, and hardened!

34 Final-4

Use jump rings to attach the clasps to the end of your chain!

Final-11