Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Use Armature Wire for Necklaces

By on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 5 Comments

Image by Cyndi Lavin
An armature is a wire framework which supports a sculptured piece.  The wire is usually thick aluminum which is both lightweight and inexpensive. You could alternatively use thick gauge sterling silver wire (14G-16G) for jewelry designs if you prefer and can afford it. Copper is another option.

One word of caution if you chose aluminum. Although it is fun to work work, aluminum becomes brittle if you overwork it. So go easy with it.  I would use either half hard or full hard tempered wire rather than soft.

How would you use thick wire as armatures?  Cyndi Lavin over at the Beading Arts blog has a gorgeous example with her Passion Flower necklace tutorial shown above.  The focal piece features peyote beading spanning the wire armature as well as a lovely polymer clay floral medallion by her friend, Amy Fraser.

That free form wire work can be applied to cuffs or you can use a more regular approach. Check the past tutorial links below for more ideas.

Armature wire can also be used to make neck wires.  Try this super easy hammered necklace tutorial Linda Peterson for Amaco.  There is a typo in the instructions - it should read anvil not awl. The tutorial link for the friendly plastic pendant is not working.  So check out my past post on how to make friendly plastic jewelry instead.

Before You Go

Subscribers : To comment, click on the post title to return to the blog. At the bottom of the post, click on "Comments". If you do not have a Google account, website or online store, use Name/URL - and leave the URL blank.
For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips
Liked what you read? Don't miss a post!  
Subscribe via RSS OR Via Email* It's FREE!
*Click on the link in the confirmation email to activate subscription

Be a Fan!



  1. Thank you Pearl for highlighting the possibilities of aluminum armature wire. I love the colors and the free-flowing design of Cyndi's piece, it's quite lovely. Using the wire as a cable necklace in Linda's example is a wonderful way of creating a cable necklace that is unique from all the store-bought, ready made ones on the market ... plus it is probably a heck of a lot more economical.
    Aluminum armature wire certainly looks intriguing and offers great potential. It's always nice to discover a new path through the ever changing and creative world of jewelry making. :)

  2. I too am thrilled to see alternatives to gold and silver being taken seriously - looking to buy a fishing resort today Pearl, i opened a shop at zaybia thanks for the tip, even set up a store on my blogger - used all your photo tips, I believe you really can't appreciate how much people like me get from your words - thanks a bunch - peace for all

  3. Hi Pearl,
    This isn't a comment on this post, but a minor gripe about the site. Your scrolling 'latest' box at the top of the page is an absolute pain. I have to watch the whole slide show to get to the article I want to read, then click on it before it disappears (which I rarely manage to do). Can't we just have the old static list back? Pretty please?!

  4. Thanks for letting me know. One way to get ready to click on the headlines is to place your cursor on the little arrow heads. These are consistently there no matter which headline is showing. So you can click on it quickly.

    The reason why I have this style is because I can have up to 10 back posts whereas the older style permitted only half. I have added it so you have a choice!