Thursday, 28 April 2011
R O Y A L
I have to admit that I have been trying to
avoid the media hype and constant talk of
The Royal 'you know what' ...
I was determined not to be drawn
into all the gossip and speculation
of the event ... but now that this
great historic moment is here, I can't
help but feel excited and happy for
the wonderful couple:
William & Catherine
and I'm sure, like me,
you would want to wish them every
happiness for the future ...
As a little patriotic gesture, I have
designed a 'flag' style decoration that
can be worn as a pendant, brooch,
attached to your key chain, etc...
to celebrate and commemorate the
historic and happy day!
To make this, you will need:
- 50 x RED seed beads
- 19 x WHITE seed beads
- 30 x BLUE seed beads
0.6mm & 0.8mm silver plated wire
Round and flat nosed pliers and wire cutters.
1. Begin by threading 0.6mm wire with 9
seed beads, using your round nosed pliers
to create links at each end. Follow the
grids below to help you thread the beads
in the correct order:
Alternatively, use the grid below if you find it easier:
this is marked with B=BLUE, R=RED and W=WHITE.
2. Once you've threaded all 11 rows of coloured beads,
cut 2 x lengths of 0.8mm wire, creating a link at the end
of one and a flattened headpin at the end of the other ...
3. Thread the beaded lengths (in the order of the grid)
onto the wires, pushing top links onto the wire
with the circular link and the bases through the second,
parallel wire. Add a blue seed bead in between each beaded
stem as you thread onto the top and bottom wires.
4. Once you've threaded all the beaded stems onto
your wires, you should end up with the flag pattern
as shown above.
Using your pliers, secure the opposite ends, by creating
a link on your top wire and another flattened headpin
on your base wire.
5. You are
to attach it
to a chain to
suspend as a
or, thread it
onto a safety
pin and wear
it as a brooch
... just let your
Last year, I designed a project for 'MAKE JEWELLERY'
Magazine which had a Brit Pop 'Punk' theme and this
shows a range of co-ordinated pieces that can be made
using the same technique. Alternatively, you can thread
your chosen beads onto Safety Pins!
OR ... JUST CREATE A JAZZY NECKLACE
& EARRINGS SET USING SIMILAR COLOURED
Thursday, 21 April 2011
H A P P Y
E A S T E R
Here's a little eggstra project to keep you inspired over the
Easter break ... a special Feather Necklace, delivered to you
by the easter bunny, direct from the easter chick ...
My Easter 'CHICK' Necklace
To make this, you will need: Round, flat, and
chain nosed pliers, wire cutters, 0.6mm (24-gauge) &
0.8mm (20-gauge) silver-plate wire, a few beads, a little
bit of black cord, coloured feathers and some Superglue.
If you're sitting comfortably ... I'll begin:
To make the
it in half.
2. Squeeze the
doubled end together
and straighten the
so that they run
parallel to each
3. Using your chain nosed pliers (or your
round nosed pliers ... whichever you find
easier), hold the doubled end VERY firmly
in your pliers and curl into a hook, keeping
the wires flat and parallel.
4. Once you've got the start of spiral
in the making, you can swap to your flat
nosed pliers and continue curling the
wire around itself ... but grip the wires
very FIRMLY, as you must keep them both
tightly together and flat.
5. ... and
if you keep
a tight double
spiral, with 2
6. Use your
pliers to create
links with the
loose ends. (*If
the links don't
end up opposite
each other - don't
worry, just roll
the link around
until it sits
opposite the other
link and cut off
any extra with your
If you have the
patience - make
7. Now to attach those feathers: Wrap
some 0.6mm (24-gauge) wire around the very
tips of your round nosed pliers to create
a tight, even coil of approx.1/2" (1cm).
8. Once you've
made the coil,
cut the wire
from the spool
leaving a 'tail'
of about 1/2"
9. Using your
round nosed pliers
make a link with
wire, that sits
at right angles
on top of the coil.
10. Push the tip of the feather through
the open end of the coil and use the tips
of your chain nosed pliers to squeeze or
'crimp' ONLY the last link of the coil
tightly to the feather stem. Once the
feather is fixed in place, cut off any
extending stem and dab a little Superglue
around the base of the coil and feather
to ensure it is completely secure within
the coiled crimp.
If you have the patience and energy ...
make 6 more!
11. Now, back to your double spiral chain
links. Create some jump rings and attach
8 double spiral units together to form a
12. Using a few more jump rings, start attaching
your feathers to the connecting links
of the chain ...
13. ... and
end up with
14. Now it's
up to you as to
how you wish to
finish the sides
of the necklace:
but here's an
idea - some beads,
spiral and a bit
of cord for the
back ... I'll
leave you to create
your own versions
AND IF YOU DON'T WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING WITH
FEATHERS ... just a create a chain with the double spirals.
Here's a version with & without beads:
BACK TO FEATHERS ... DID YOU SEE MY
LATEST PROJECT FEATURED IN 'MAKE JEWELLERY'
MAGAZINE (Issue 25 - May 2011) ...
A DreamCatcher Necklace (with Brooch & Earrings):
AND IF YOU DON'T HAVE FEATHER'S TO
HAND ... MAKE YOUR OWN IN WIRE
(although I realise it looks more a LEAF!!)
... and finally, a project from my 'CELTIC' book!
An idea for a bracelet created with shells, buttons,
plaited cord and of course ... as we're on the subject:
HAVE AN EGGSELLENT EASTER!!
and keep 'loving the wire'.
!!! C A L L - O U T !!!
Any Guild members that would like to be considered for
future Artist Features, or any Bead Suppliers that would
like to 'shout' about their wares ... please contact me
and I will happily consider them.
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
L Y N N E
C I R I L L O
I stumbled across the beautiful fern-like
curls of Lynne's wirework recently and
know you'll all be inspired by the unique
quality of her jewellery.
She kindly agreed to give an interview, so
please read on to discover a little more
about her ...
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
Nursing is really my background. I have also
been a Director of Activities for an Assisted
Living Facility for a number of years and
taught pre-school at a children's Early Learning
WHAT INITIALLY INSPIRED YOU TO MAKE
I have always been creative in one way or another; painting,
airbrushing and in the '80's I was making Dream Catchers!
I would see something and think, "WOW, I could do that!"
Initially, I started making jewelry as gifts for friends and
then their friends and other people wanted to pay me for it.
It kind of took off on its own ...
ARE YOU SELF-TAUGHT OR HAVE YOU ATTENDED ANY
I am mostly self-taught, but I have used books and magazines
on the subject to inspire and further my development.
WHAT THEMES OR IDEAS INSPIRE YOU MOST?
I live in Florida, on the Gulf side, so my inspiration comes
from things and colors around me. The sand, water,
seashells, the bright greens of the plant colors and flowers
SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES FEATURE A LOT IN YOUR
WORK - DO YOU COLLECT THEM AND WHAT DO YOU
LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING STONES?
I collect shells, beach glass, rocks and coral that I find
on the beaches in my travels up and down the coast.
HOW DO YOU SELL AND PROMOTE YOUR WORK?
I display my creations each week at an open-air market
in my town. In October, I started a business page on
LYNNE CIRILLO CREATIONS
and I have been blessed with a lot of new friends
DO YOU TEACH OR SELL YOUR TUTORIALS ON LINE?
I now teach classes at a few local bead and glass shops.
I also do private home lessons and parties. I have a
weekly open creative group that meets every Friday -
and sometimes we plan a project and other times, we
just wing it!
WHAT ARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS AND GOALS FOR
My wish list for the future would be:
An Online Tutorial for those who would like to come
to classes but are too far away.
A book with my original designs and instructions. In fact,
this has been brought up for discussion at my weekly
group and I'm seriously thinking about working on that
I am sure you will all agree, that Lynne won't have any
problem fulfilling her dreams and aspirations ...
Her wire appears to flow so organically and her
designs are uniquely inventive!
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Wendy McLean's Jewellery as featured on The WireWorkers Guild Gallery
Recently, I stumbled across some beautiful and highly
distinctive coiled wirework jewellery by an innovative
U.K. based jeweller. She has kindly agreed to be the Guild's:
F E A T U R E
A R T I S T
and her name is:
WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND AND WHAT
INSPIRED YOU TO MAKE JEWELLERY?
I have always been involved with traditional crafts such
as knitting, crochet and dressmaking since I was a child.
I have a scientific background (I worked as a scientist for
15 years) but my hobbies have always involved crafts and
working with my hands. I was drawn to making my own
jewellery, as I had always enjoyed wearing good quality
pieces, but realised that the jewellery I really liked, I could
not afford. Initially, I bought the 'starter packs' for making
beaded jewellery and found that I enjoyed the process of
putting beads together and creating my own original items.
Multi-coloured tourmalines bracelet by Wendy McLean
ARE YOU SELF-TAUGHT OR HAVE YOU ATTENDED
COURSES AND CLASSES?
My own current style of jewellery using wire winding and coiling is a
development that is completely self-taught, starting in 2009.
Subsequent to my initial beading with starter packs, I signed up for
a weekend jewellery course at 'In the Studio' and learned how to do
'repousse' (hammering metal into relief) and make a basic cabochon ring setting
using sterling silver. I was hooked!
I then completed a couple of City & Guilds Certificated Jewellery
evening classes at the Cambridge Regional College (2004-06).
At these classes, I learned many of the traditional jewellery making
techniques including metal piercing, soldering and lots of filing.
From here, I decided to create my own designs, with significantly
less soldering, yet still producing high quality jewellery pieces.
To this day, I am constantly increasing and widening my jewellery
knowledge base through reading books and attending short courses.
WHAT THEMES OR IDEAS PARTICULAR INSPIRE YOUR
I am particularly inspired by ancient jewellery as found in artefacts
from Egypt, other ancient civilisations and European Medieval work.
I am also a fan of modern, contemporary jewellery. I aim to create
a specific look and feel, which largely depends on the wire, gemstone
or pearls that I am using. I lived in South Africa for nearly two thirds
of my life, so some of my designs may also have an African influence.
Shell and natural Agate Bracelet by Wendy McLean
YOU SPECIALISE A LOT IN WIRE WINDING AND
COILING - DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE DESIGN
IN THIS TECHNIQUE?
I have developed several techniques using coiled wire.
At the moment my favourite is the use of a double wire
coil, also knows as bifilar coils. I found a way to manipulate
this to make two of the designs that I entered into the
WWGuild "Spring Challenge".
Pearl and Silver Pendant by Wendy McLean
WHAT TOOLS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
A few pairs of good quality round nosed pliers, bent snipe
nosed pliers, parallel (flat) pliers and good metal wire
cutters, a metal ruler, a rotary power tool (such as a Dremel),
and a wire coiler (for example, a cordless drill, hand-drill or
a hand-held wire coiler). You also need a good selection of
mandrels of various diameters and thicknesses. I have found
that knitting needles (you can get some at Oxfam charity shops!)
make perfect mandrels. You also need plenty of PATIENCE!
Peridot and Aquamarine Earrings by Wendy McLean
HOW DO YOU SELL AND PROMOTE YOUR WORK?
I have held a number of craft fairs and exhibited at Open Studios
over the past 6 years to sell my jewellery, however, it is only
in the last year or so that I have endeavoured to turn my
jewellery making into a business. Currently, a shop in
Stamford sells selected items. I still sell through crafts fairs
and customers can buy directly from me, however, from May
2011 onwards, I hope to open an online shop. For promotion
of my work I use my website:
I also use networking events and social media
like LinkedIn and Facebook to promote.
I plan to use the Internet and other advertising
media much more in the future to assist with
marketing ... and I'm sure a lot of footwork will
also be involved!
Multi-coloured natural stone bead Bangle by Wendy McLean
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE WORKSHOPS AND CLASSES
THAT YOU TEACH?
The workshops will start during the month of April in Nassington,
a lovely village near Peterborough. Essentially, there will be a
short Introductory Course (2.5 hours during the mornings,
afternoons or evenings). Advanced Day Courses will run from
10am to 4.30pm.
The Introductory Workshops aim to teach the basics of working
with wire, beads and tools. The students will be enabled to make
their own wire coils, using only hand tools and a hand-held coiling
gadget. The Advanced Classes follow on from the Introductory
ones, depending on the level of the student's capability and what
they wish to learn. My workshops will not only offer Wire Coiling
Techniques, but also students will also have the opportunity to learn
to make Woven Wire Chains using the Viking Knit Technique
(see image below), plus other wire weaving techniques ...
Viking Knit Bracelet by Wendy McLean
The classes will be kept small to ensure plenty of individual
attention. The cost will also incorporate the loan of hand tools
and a few basic materials which will be supplied. Extra
materials will be available for purchase at each workshop.
WHAT ARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS AND GOALS FOR THE
My short term goals for this year are to successfully launch
the jewellery Workshops, open the Online Shop and expand
my jewellery Business.
In the longer term, I hope to further develop my untapped
ideas and to improve and evolve with my current work,
as well as attend more courses in the trade.
Silver weave cuff bangle with Peridot by Wendy McLean
I am sure you'll agree that Wendy's
work is stunning and we wish her
every success for the future ... !