Tools and Supplies:

Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Flat nose pliers or Plastic coated flat nose pliers
16-gauge copper wire, 44”
24-gauge copper wire, 12’
20-gauge copper wire, 2”; or two 5mm copper jump rings
¼” mandrel
Wire cutters
Hammer
Bench block
File
3mm Mandrel for split ring
Liver of Sulpher (Optional)
Steel wool (optional)

 

Instructions:

1. Cut and straighten  a 20” length of 16 gauge wire.
2. Flatten one end of the 16 gauge wire on a bench block using a hammer.


3. File the edges of the flattened end down so that it is equal in width to the diameter of the wire.


4. Using the narrow end of the round nose pliers roll the wire into a spiral starting with the flattened end. Roll the spiral as tightly as you can.


5. Continue rolling the spiral using flat nose pliers until you have spiraled around 8-1/2 times. Roll the spiral as tight as possible. TIP: Use plastic coated pliers to avoid scratching the wire.


6. Repeat steps 1 thru 4 to make a second spiral. Compare the spirals to be sure they are the same in size. If one has a longer length of un-spiraled wire than the other, spiral that one a bit more until they are the same.


7. Make a hinge where you left off spiraling by looping the wire around the round nose pliers. This will be the 6 o’clock position.


8. Continue to spiral the wire past the hinge until you reach the 12 o’clock position.


9. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the other spiral. Compare the spirals again to be sure they are similar in size and shape.


10. Using round nose pliers or fingers, push the center of the spiral out gently to make a small concave shape. This is a very small and gentle arc, it should be around 3/16 inch high.


11. Cut a 5 foot length of 24 gauge wire. On the right hand side of the hinge begin coiling around the 16 gauge wire for 15 coils. It will be easier to coil all the way around the spiral if the wire comes up over the 16 gauge mandrel wire towards the center of the spiral rather than away from it. See picture for example.


12. Slide the coil around the spiral until it rests between the 10 and 11 o’clock position on the third row in.


13. On the 16th wrap, loop the wire around the inner spiral next to it one time only. Pull snugly but not overly tight.


14. Continue to wrap 15 coils and than a 16th wrap that includes the inner spiral next to it. When wrapping the outermost spiral it may be difficult to loop the 16th wrap through the coils. Use your thumbnail or a sewing needle to separate the coils. This will make it easier to thread your wire through.


15. Continue the wrapping pattern until you reach the hinge. Trim both ends of the wrapping wire very closely and flatten the snipped ends down using the chain nose pliers.


16. Cut a 2 foot length of 24 gauge wire. Coil on the left side of the hinge 15 coils, than wrap around the inner spiral once and continue to coil until you reach the 8 o’clock position.


17. When you reach the 8 o’clock position flip your spiral to the backside and loop the next wrap on the far side of the spiral going straight across.


18. Loop back again to the other side of your spiral.


19. Continue the coiling to finish your 15 count and continue the coiling pattern up to the 12 o’clock position. Coil 1/4” past the 12 o’clock position. Trim both ends of the wire.


20. Place chain nose pliers at the end of the coil and bend the wire towards the 12 o’clock position at a 45 degree angle.


21. Measure 3/8” up from the angle and mark it with a sharpie.


22. Using the round nose pliers grip the wire so that the sharpie mark will end up being the farthest point on the loop. Make a loop having the long wire wrapping around and away from the front of the spiral.


23. Measure 3” down the length of the wire from the loop and flush cut the wire.


24. Using a bench block and hammer to flatten the end of the 3” wire. Than coil the flattened end for about 2”.


25. With the front of the spiral facing you, grasp the top of the loop with flat nosed pliers and twist 180 degrees to the left. Tuck the small spiral end in front of the large spiral.


26. Repeat steps 10 thru 24 for the other spiral.


27. Make a split ring by wrapping the 20 gauge copper wire around a 3mm mandrel, or use two 5mm copper jump rings. Flip one of the spirals over and install the jump rings or split ring through both hinges to connect the spirals.


28. Check the loops from the front to see if they need to be adjusted, they should meet in the middle evenly and be the same height. If not use your fingers to bend them closer or farther apart as needed.


29. Check the loops looking down from the top, they should be slightly off center from each other. This slight off center will help the locket to stay closed when hanging from the clasp. Adjust as needed.


30. Make a hook clasp using the last 4 inches of 16 gauge wire and a ¼” mandrel. Slide the hook thru the top locket loops and add chain for a necklace. The hook clasp allows the locket to be opened while be worn, by slipping it out of one spiral loop only.


31. Be creative and embellish the bottom of the locket. I used a 4mm copper bead and a handmade headpin. If you want to oxidize the locket now is the time to do that. I oxidized mine using ‘Silver Black’ and rubbed it with 0000 steel wool afterwards. If you use steel wool, clean the locket thoroughly afterwards under running water and scrub with a soft brush, like a toothbrush. This will remove the steel wool dust that might rust if left on the locket.


32. Cut out two photographs at 7/8 -1” diameter and tuck them behind the straight wires on the inside of the locket.

18 Comments

    • Thank you Deborah! I really appreciate the facebook help and was thrilled you visited and LIKED my site!! :) )

  1. Mary,
    Your wirework is exquisite! I admire your inspirational creativity and impeccable execution.
    Thank you for offering free tutorials.
    Irina

  2. Love the website, and must give your tutorials a try. Your wire work is very distinctive,I love it. I am just a beginner but I love looking

    • Cath, I completely understand being new. If you stick with it you will develop over time. Thanks for your comment!

  3. How generous of you to take the time to photograph and write your directions to make this. Thank you!!

  4. Exquisite work! And, yes, very generous of you to lay it all out for us. Do you teach classes on line? I’d be interested. Rita.

    • Thank you Rita. I am not teaching online classes, no. But thanks for asking:)

  5. Thank you so much for a great tutorial.. can’t wait to try it, and your intructions looks very carefully thought out, thank you again

  6. I saw a pin of the precisely wrapped dark (gunmetal? It’s my favorite designing color) starfish and pinned it, and finally came back to investigate a few things I’ve pinned. I’m blown away with your generosity!! It took me waiting for a couple of free classes from my local bead store to get me to try this stuff only a few weeks ago or else I wouldn’t bother with wire. This is SO helpful; thank you again!