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Topic: My first day making jewelry! Tree of Life and Birds Nest pendants  (Read 2096 times)
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KerrieRou
« on: July 30, 2012 07:49:23 PM »

I saw Phoenix Fire's Tree of Life pendants and LOVED them. I looked around for other wire projects and found the birds nest pendant which seemed easy and I really liked it.

I had a gift card to Joanne's, went today and got a bunch of beads and some cheap craft wire.

I made the birds nest first. I really like it - I would like to make some with a bird charm on it.

Afterwards, I made the tree pendant. This was much more difficult. I also kept having trouble because the wire kept kinking and breaking off when I tried to wrap it around the outer ring. A few happened right at the start so that wasn't too bad, just a little frustrating. I made the whole tree and once I put on the beads on one of the branches and tried to wrap it, it broke. I though it was unfix-able since there was no wire left to coil....but I was able to salvage it by threading a second piece of wire through.

Does anyone know if it is breaking just because it tends to break because it is thin and I am not use to using wire, or because it is really cheap wire? I don't want to purchase more expensive wire and break that too...I'd rather practice with the cheap stuff if that's the case.

Anyway, I really like how both came out. Going to make my Mom some jewelry for her birthday in a few weeks!

(The pictures came out really dark - sorry!)
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pecatrix
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012 08:13:19 PM »

The Trree of Life looks great.  If you hadn't mentioned the wire breaking, I never would have guessed.

In my experience (and basic mat-sci knowlege) wire tends to break due to over-work.  Bending or hammering wire work-hardens it and makes it keep its shape, but also makes it more brittle.  This causes the wire to break eventually if you keep bending/hammering it (you can see this by bending a paperclip back and forth). 

In my experience, thinner wire reaches this point more quickly.  Limiting unnecessary bending or twisting of the wire should reduce breaking, though. 

What gauge and type of wire were you using?         
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2012 10:51:14 PM »

They turned out beautiful. I would never have guessed you'd had to do an emergency repair.  Copper wire is quite flexible and you can get it cheaply by stripping the insulation off old electric wiring.  It probably wouldn't do for jewellery as I think it tarnishes over time but you could use it for practising.
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Gr33nT3a
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012 12:29:10 AM »

That birds nest pendant is darling. There is something about the wire that actually looks like a real birds nest.

The tree is also very well done. I like how balanced the whole piece is.
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Běifāng yǒu jiārn, jush r dl. Y g qīng rn chng, zi g qīng rn gu. Nng b zhī qīng chng yǔ qīng gu. Jiārn nn zi d.
北方有佳人,绝世而独立。一顾倾人城,再顾倾人国。宁不知倾城与倾国。佳人难再得。
SkyWookiee
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012 04:11:04 AM »

Well done.
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KerrieRou
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2012 04:50:40 AM »

The Trree of Life looks great.  If you hadn't mentioned the wire breaking, I never would have guessed.

In my experience (and basic mat-sci knowlege) wire tends to break due to over-work.  Bending or hammering wire work-hardens it and makes it keep its shape, but also makes it more brittle.  This causes the wire to break eventually if you keep bending/hammering it (you can see this by bending a paperclip back and forth). 

In my experience, thinner wire reaches this point more quickly.  Limiting unnecessary bending or twisting of the wire should reduce breaking, though. 

What gauge and type of wire were you using?         

Thanks pecatrix! I did no hammer anything, although I should have hammered the frame since it bends very easily. I used 18g aluminum jewelry wire in silver (3 yards for $1.99) for the frame, and 24g bead wire for the tree (not sure of the material, cheap though - $1.99 for 24 yards). It broke when I was twisting small wire repeatedly around the frame. The wires were a little long, and I had to thread them through little spaces above the beads (I wanted to make a coil ALL the way around the frame, not just 2 times for each branch, but they kept breaking). Not sure if it's the wire. It kept kinking when I tried to pull in through, and that's where it would break off because it was folded in half.

They turned out beautiful. I would never have guessed you'd had to do an emergency repair.  Copper wire is quite flexible and you can get it cheaply by stripping the insulation off old electric wiring.  It probably wouldn't do for jewellery as I think it tarnishes over time but you could use it for practising.

Thank you elderflower! I think they have plated non-tarnish copper wire that is cheap online for crafting....maybe I'll try that. I wouldn't even mind buying wire that's a little more expensive if it would be easier to work with and look nicer. The birds nest is a nice sterling silver color, but the tree of life is the darker silver,

That birds nest pendant is darling. There is something about the wire that actually looks like a real birds nest.

The tree is also very well done. I like how balanced the whole piece is.

Thanks Gr33nT3a! I used tiny 26g wire (I've seen most ppl use 24, so I had to use more of the thinner wire). I wrapped the wire around a pencil first so it wouldn't be straight, and kinked/fluffed the wire while making it.

Well done.

Thank you SkyWookiee!
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012 07:01:13 AM »

You did an amazing job for you first try at wire working.  Both pieces look very good.  Keep it up!
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shybutinspired
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2012 05:41:39 PM »

i really love the tree! an amazing 1st attempt *^_^*
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Dr. Craft
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2012 06:25:58 PM »

These are gorgeous. Really well done. Thanks so much for sharing them.
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2012 09:12:49 AM »

What a great job for your first time!

And yeah, the cheaper wire is already slightly worked when you get it so it just doesn't stand up to twisting and bending as much as some of the nicer wires out there. Next time, try Artistic Brand wire if you can find it. That stuff is smooth and twists nicely without breakage.
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