Saturday, August 8, 2009

Handmade Wire Bail

I got a lovely request from another artist on Etsy to explain how I made the bail pictured here:

I'm really not sure I can adequately explain the process, but I will try. It takes a few practice runs, so I would suggest not using sterling to start out. I still get it backwards now and then, and have to start over.

I use 16 or 18g round wire. Flush cutters (they leave a straight cut, rather than a V) make it look nicer, but if you don't have them then snippers and a file will work too.

I use a length of wire that's about 5 fingers long. It makes the wrap at the end easier if you have a bit of a tail. (You can save the tails and sell them to a silver refiner!)

Using round nose pliersand staring the middle of the wire, wrap it twice around in a loose V pattern.

Cross the ends.

Bend the longer tail so that it is going straight down. This piece will be the middle of the wrap.

Wrap the shorter piece around 1 1/2 times, and snip the tail. You want both cut ends to meet each other in the back.

The next part is easier to show in pictures:

This last picture shows a mistake! If you pull the tail around it won't meet the other in a continuous spiral. This will make sense once you try it. So if you have this problem, then just move the tail to the other side and wrap. Don't forget to hang your object,(it sounds dumb, but I have done it many times) and make sure that it is hanging towards the front, and the cut tails are in the back.

Here's what it should look like:

I used wire with a copper core, so that's why you can see a little pink, but you can sort of see the tails come together in the back.

You can pinch the loops at the top all the way together, or open them wide. You can also play around with how big to make the loops.

I hope this helps!


Somer Love said...

Everyone loves this!!!!

Lissa said...

I invented it!