Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How to Make Square Spirals Tutorial

By on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 15 Comments

LaurelB over at the About jewelry making forum recently asked for help. She knew how to form round spirals or flat scrolls (see tutorial link below) but she wanted to know how to form square ones.

With square versions, you need just your broad nose or chain nose pliers to make 90 degree bends along a length of wire. If this is new to you, don't try any thicker than 20G wire to start with.

First make a bend not far from the wire end. It might help to use a small broad nose pliers at the first attempt to get the distances right for the first few bends.

Then another the same distance along.

The next bend will be a tad longer as it has to clear the wire end. (This was the part which tripped up LaurelB).

Keep going! Make the distance longer if you want an open spiral. Open informal spirals are easier to make than trying to get them absolutely dead square.

Tip 1 Use your nylon jawed pliers to straighten out the wire before making a bend.

Tip 2 Work harden the component by hammering with a pvc or rubber mallet.  If you want to flatten it, then bang away with a metal hammer.

Tip 3 Using a chain nose pliers at the beginning will get you a tighter look. You can also offset the angles for a different look. There are no hard and fast rules in making this. So experiment!

And there you have it. The basic square spiral component. What you do after to make it your jewelry design is up to your creativity.







Here are three of my designs for inspiration:

 
The simple double spiral earrings using the square spiral as a fancy headpin end 


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Update:
Check out Cristina Ramos' excellent new tutorial over at the My Precious Bits of Sunshine blog on how she makes the Greek spiral as she calls it.

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    Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
    Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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    15 comments:

    1. It seems simple when YOU do it! Square spirals are eye catching and a great change of pace... Thank you for sharing!

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    2. Hi, Pearl!

      That's a great tut! And you gave a few new ideas to go along with it! Thank you so much!

      I also made a tut for LaurelB and mine came out a bit different, I'm not ready to publish it yet because I messed up the final piece, so I need to make it again, take a good picture and then post it! And... i got new ideas while making it that I also want to try out to add as inspirational designs at the end...

      Thank you for yet another great post!

      Kisses,
      Cristina, from Sunshine's Creations

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    3. Hi Cristina,

      LaurelB is sure lucky to be getting TWO tutorials to help her. Be sure to let me know how yours turned out. It's always fun to see the different designs other people come up with!

      Pearl

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    4. I promise I'll let you know, dear Pearl.
      It would make me very happy to have your feedback on it since it's my very first tutorial! Would you mind? Pretty please with a cherry on top? ;)

      big kiss!
      Cristina, from Sunshine's Creations

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    5. I'm so glad you posted this tutorial Pearl! I loved those copper square spiral earrings when I saw them on your Etsy site. I have avoided venturing into wirework until recently, but have finally decided to give it a go. So now, I'm eager for instruction in that regard. I love your tutorials and I have several 'bookmarked' or saved in my email. I have the hardest time with 'tool marks' ... How do you deal with those? I find the nylon jaw pliers slippery and hard to work with. Thanks again Pearl... People with a lot of knowledge inspire and impress me. People who so generously SHARE that knowledge have my deepest admiration!

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    6. Tool marks lessen with more practice. Beginners tend to overwork the wire or grip too hard. Also examine your tools perhaps some bur needs to be filed off.

      You can get rid of tool marks by tumbling. Some people dip their pliers in a special rubber coating called Tool Magic to prevent tool marks.

      ReplyDelete
    7. Oh. Forgot. Nylon jawed pliers pliers can be tricky. Make sure you have a firm grip on the wire before you try stroking with the nylon jawed pliers.

      ReplyDelete
    8. Did I mention, that square spirals are first on my hate-to-do list? Followed by triangle spirals! ;-)

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    9. LOL! I think round spirals are less satisfying than the angular ones. To each, his or her own!

      ReplyDelete
    10. Love the crystal wrapped spiral earrings Pearl! Really pretty! Need to pick up some of those broad nose pliers. Would be very handy for this sort of thing. Would make squarer corners than flat or chain nose pliers would.

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    11. Hi, Pearl!

      My tut is posted, finally! I didn't have the time to make all the pieces I had ideas for, though... It's a very busy time in my day job and also in my everyday life!
      With the helo of our forum friends I managed to have the file available for download in my blog! Yaaayyy!
      Check it out, there's two files, one in Portuguese and another in English.

      Thank you so much for all your help and guidance. You're precious!

      kisses

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    12. WOW, Pearl!
      Thank you so much for your very nice words and for the link.
      You're awesome!

      kisses

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    13. I'm touched and amazed by your tutorial. Touched because you are so generous to share the information and amazed because you made it so easy. I'm very new at making earrings (my favorite jewelry piece) and my first square was better than I expected. Love wire work. Thank you so much.

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    14. You're welcome Troods! Hope you return for more wire work tutorials and also check my hub page for past tutes! Pearl

      ReplyDelete

     

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