One of the most effective ways to reproduce a wire jewelry design that was originally created using free-hand techniques is to construct a wooden jig for that specific design. The jig provides the means to re-create each bend of the wire and choreograph the proper bending sequence. Employing a jig will greatly assist in achieving a successful reproduction.
How do I design and use a jig for my jewelry…a very simple, yet invaluable tool for replicating a specific design?
The first thing that needs to be done is to carefully study the jewelry object and fully analyze the bends and their proper sequencing. This will determine where to place the dowels and nails that will be used to bend the wire. The jig that is illustrated in the photos is one that I made years ago, and I have used it innumerable times to reproduce the earrings that it was designed for.
After I created the original pair of earrings using a free-hand technique, I positioned one of the earrings on a piece of wood and outlined where I would need to insert the wooden dowel and finish nails that would be used to form the earrings. Making the jig required drilling a hole into the wood that is the same diameter of the dowel, then inserting and gluing the dowel in place.
The first step in forming the actual earrings using the jig is to bend two 6″ lengths of 20 gauge wire in half, and form a loop at the bend. The loop is formed using round nose pliers, and is made large enough to fit snugly onto the nail.
Next I insert a pre-made coil onto both lengths of the bent wire, and push the coil to the bottom of the loop, then turn one leg on each of the bent wires to create a spiral. The wooden jig is marked to establish the exact position for the spiral.
With spirals formed, I position each earring loop onto the nail, and use the wooden dowel to locate the exact spot to bend the wire for making the bottom curve of the earrings.
To create the wire units that hang from the earrings, I loop handmade eye pins onto a small diameter nail that has been hammered into the jig specifically for the purpose of creating these wire units, and trim the eye pins to a specific length that is indicated by the jig.
Using a jig has enabled me to make many reproductions of my original design.
Sometime during the fall I will post a video on jig construction, and also a step-by-step demonstration detailing how to construct this pair of earrings.
Watch for new videos on my You Tube Realisticart Channel!
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More videos you might like:
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|Earrings Based on Spiral & Figure 8|
|Egyptian Link Earrings|
|Silver Earrings with Spiral and Coil|
|Silver Spiral Earrings with Blue Beads|
|Simple Wire Hoop Earrings|