Wire Beads

Another post based on a project from the Creativ Festival! This one is from a wire bead workshop by Giovanna Paz. I’ve never worked with wire, so I was completely taken with the photo of these beads when reading the workshop descriptions in the registration book. Here are the earrings and pendant I made in the class, aren’t they fascinating?

Silver and black wire bead earrings

Silver and black wire bead pendant

Turns out they are the easiest things in the world to make. All you need is a coiling tool. I picked up the Artistic Wire Coiling Gizmo at Micheals with a 40% off coupon for less than $10.

Artistic Wire Coiling Gizmo

Clip it on a table and you’re ready to go:

Coiling gizmo set up

I’m using 28-gauge, coated copper wire. Holding two strands together you simply wind the wire around the rod piece by turning the crank bit:

Partially coiled wire

Here’s the finished coil, still on the rod:

Finished coil

Pull the coil off the rod and stretch it apart like a spring. The coil on the top hasn’t been stretched yet, the one on the bottom has.

Stretched vs. unstretched coil

Once the coil is stretched out, just start winding it into a ball by hand. It’s the same motion as you’d use to wind up a ball of yarn – work for a bit in one direction and then turn and wind in another direction. The goal is to get the little individual coils to fit together to make a fairly compact ball.

Starting to roll up the coil

Voila! Gorgeous wire beads that look at lot more complicated than they actually were.

Red and black wire beads

You can really vary what the final beads look like based on the gauge of coil rod you use, how long a coil you make, and how tightly you compress the bead as you form it. And of course, the colours of wire you choose!

I seriously can’t stop making these things. Here are the smaller red ones from above finished into earrings. And a pair of green wire beads made using a finer gauge of coil rod.

Wire bead earrings

And a few more (mostly pendant sized) beads with a ruler for size comparison.

More wire beads

If you’re interested in making these, Giovanna sells a YouTube video tutorial through her Etsy store, as well as many colours of 28-gauge wire.

I couldn’t resist buying a huge pile:

28-gauge wire

Or, if you prefer, Giovanna sells the finished earrings as well!