Thursday, November 17, 2011
Let's Make a Basic Wire Bail
Gather all your materials. You will need wire (I have used sterling silver), a bead or beads ( I am using emerald briolettes), wire cutters, a pair of round nosed pliers, and at least one other pair of pliers of your choice.
Cut a length of wire appropriate for your bead. (Note: The size of the hole in your bead will determine the gauge of the wire you need. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire.)
Thread the wire through your bead.
Fold both ends of the wire up creating a triangular shape. Don't fold the ends too tightly. (Note: If you are using a small briolette, as seen here, use caution. They are fragile and will break if the wire is too tight. You want it to "swing" slightly on the wire.)
I apologize for this blurry picture... Now you should pinch one end of wire between the round nosed pliers. Bend it at a 90 degree angle away from the crossover point.
Keeping the wire pinched between the nose of the pliers wrap the wire back toward the crossover point over the pliers creating a rounded loop.
Now we are ready to start wrapping. Pull the leftover end of the loop down and around in front of the other length of wire.
With your other pair of pliers, pull this end of wire tightly all the way around the other wire, as if wrapping a rope around a tree.
Wrap until you are out of that length of wire. If you have any gnarly ends you can clip it off with your wire cutters.
Wrap the other length of wire in the same fashion around and on top of your first wrap.
Cut any excess wire. Make sure to tuck or file the end so that there are no sharp edges.
Viola! Your beautiful bead now has a bail and can be added to your fabulous jewelry!