News Day Tuesday
Welcome to News Day Tuesday – the day for jewelry updates and snippets of life.
Wire Coiling Gizmo
Last week I shared a wrapped wire bangle bracelet that I learned how to make in Kerry Bogert’s e-course, Aspire To Wire. The wires in that bracelet were wrapped around a core wire by hand. The hand work is necessary when creating a long coil. When 5 inches or less coiled wire is needed, then you can use a nifty tool called the Wire Coiling Gizmo. Kerry included a little video showing how to use this tool and I got one right away.
It’s a deceptively simple tool. Its the kind of thing that makes you think: “Why didn’t I think of that?!” The deluxe model comes with an attached C-clamp, otherwise you have to use a separate clamp. You clamp it to a table and choose the size mandrel you want. Those metal things on the left are the mandrels. I chose the thinnest mandrel, because I wanted a wire coil that I could use with earrings. I selected some 20 gauge purple wire and wrapped the tail around the crank handle to stabilize it. I unrolled a bunch of wire from the spool–you can see the wire hanging down below the table. And then I started cranking, around and around. Viola! A purple coil!
Well it wasn’t quite that easy. I learned a bit from this first attempt. You have to apply an even, moderate tension on the wire and angle it “just so” to keep the wire wrapping evenly. If I held it too tight or at the wrong angle, then either the wire had gaps between the wraps or, more often, several loops of wire piled up on top of one another. Then I had to unwind them, smooth them out and try again. I imagine this gets much easier with practice. When Kerry demonstrated the Coiling Gizmo, she wound that wire so quickly and it was perfect! I also think that when using the small mandrel, it would be better to use 22 or even 24 gauge wire. The 20 gauge wire was so thick that it tended to bend the mandrel. I’ve got several ideas for using this purple coil. I’ll show some of them for the next AJE earring reveal in 2 weeks.
A Thank You Card
There are a few other creative pursuits that I enjoy, in addition to designing jewelry. I like floral arranging and making my own cards. My daughter’s boyfriend thoughtfully gave me a pretty flower stamp and ink pad for Christmas, (along with an awesome bottle of brandy!). So naturally I used the new stamp to create a Thank You card for he and my daughter. I stamped the flower on ivory colored card stock. Colored the center with a yellow pencil and cut out the flower.
I pressed a little sticky square of foam on the back of the flower, so it would be raised a bit from the surface of the card. I added ribbon and some stick on cork letters and it was good to go.
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