Wednesday, 31 July 2013


As it's summer and the 'seaside' comes
to mind as a tutorial theme ... here is
my attempt at a SEAHORSE!

What I absolutely love about them, is that they
pair for life! Not only that, but the male Seahorse
is the only creature that can become pregnant.
The female transfers her eggs to the male's pouch
(which he self fertilises).  They receive everything
they need in the pouch from oxygen to food,
gestating there for between 14 days to 4 weeks.
The process of birth is quite long for such a small
creature, with contractions lasting up to 12 hours!

I bet lots of you Mum's out there would have
liked to have come to earth as a seahorsewoman!

Well enough of this waffle, let's get on with the
tutorial ...
Begin by cutting 2 x 6"/15cms lengths and
1 x 1.5"/4cms lengths of 0.8mm (20-gauge) wire.

1.  Using your round and flat nosed pliers,
create a small circle at one end and a larger
open spiral at the other on the smaller,
1.5"/4cm length.

2.  Take one of the 6"/15cm lengths of 0.8mm 
(20-gauge) wire and create a small link at the very end.  
Next, double the wire by folding it in two, about 
1"/2.5cms from the link you have just created.

3.  Hold the doubled end of the wire you have just
created and curl it around your round nosed pliers,
separating the ends out, as shown above.

4.  Pull the extending wire down and curl
it into a larger open spiral.

5.  This is optional, but I recommend hammering the units
you have just made (hopefully with a WHAMMER!) on a 
steel block. This will make them work-hardened and more

6.  Cut some 0.4mm (26-gauge) wire and secure
the two units together. 

7. Thread a 2mm bead onto the projecting end of wire 
nearest the top, for the 'eye'. Snip off any excess and
neaten the ends.

8.  Cut another small length of 0.4mm (26-gauge) wire
and bind the 'snout' together.  Cut off any excess and
neaten the ends.

9.  Now to create the back of the Seahorse ... take your
last 6 "/15cms length of 0.8mm (20-gauge) and create
a small spiral at one end.

10. Cut a long length (about 18") of 0.4mm-0.5mm
wire - I have used some 0.5mm green coloured wire.
Wrap one end just below your spiral and bind around
the copper stem wire at least 4 times to secure. Now
pull the wire out to approximately 2cm from the main
stem wire and loop back down ... Repeat, wrapping the
wire around the main stem about 8 times in between
each projecting loop of double wire...

11.  Continue step 10, until you have used up all
the green wire.  Neaten the end. (If you have any
gaps between the wrapped wire, push it all together
at this stage).

12.  Use your chain nosed pliers to squeeze the ends of
every extending loop and twist around to create projecting
twisted stems.

13.  Create spirals, curling the twisted stems around
in the same direction.

14.  Cut a small length of 0.4mm (26-gauge) wire
and secure the top of the back, to the front unit.
Cut off any excess and neaten the ends.

15.  Cut another small length of 0.4mm (26-gauge) wire
and secure the opposite end of the back, to the base
of the front unit. Cut off any excess and neaten the ends.

16.  To make the curly tail of the Seahorse:
create a spiral at the very end of the stem
wire.  Hammer the spiral to toughen and

17.  Cut another long length (approx. 12"/30cms) of
0.5mm green wire (or, whatever fine binding wire you're
using) and begin binding it around the tail end of the
Seahorse frame, leaving about 1"/2.5cm projecting at
the start of the binding ...

18.  Continue binding the wire around the tail, in whatever
way you wish. Create a tight spiral with the projecting
end and flatten this over the unit, to hide the copper binding

TA DAH!  There you have it! This Seahorse pendant
measures about 3"/7.5cms in length and it's ready
to be suspended from a chain or cord!

Here are some more experiments in silver!
Just PLAY with the idea and come up with your
own unique variations!


Monday, 22 July 2013


Keeping to the theme of HOT ... whilst we bask in this 
glorious U.K. summer heatwave ... I am delighted to be 
be able to feature a sizzlingly hot emerging U.K. talent,
for this week's artist profile:


I was drawn to Amanda's beautiful creations on the internet and 
asked her recently, if she would share her story and designs in
a profile feature. Just like me, I am sure you will also all be utterly 
'wowed' by her unique creative talent and stunning craftsmanship!

Tell us about your background?
I was born and brought up in South East Asia, so my childhood
was spent outdoors playing with and amongst nature.  My work
reflects this time, which still means a lot to me to this day.  

I now live in the North of England where I am working towards a
freelance career as an artist and jeweller.  At the moment, my 
creative work is a part time venture, but I hope for it soon to be
a full time and sustainable career.  I am also a painter, creating
work that reflects my interest in science.  Being a multidisciplinary
artist can be difficult at times, but I try to work with with wire
like I work with paint, making the two practices compliment each
other and being as creative and imaginative as I can be! 

What inspired you to set up 'Wire Moon'? 
I set up WIRE MOON as a first step in my dream to becoming 
a full time freelance artist. After studying Biochemistry at
University, I realised that my heart was always longing to be
creative and in 2009, I decided to take the plunge.  The internet
is a powerful tool and what started as a small blog like diary has
grown into being my current online portfolio.  I also enjoy the
creative work in maintaining my website too and thrive on the
feeling I get when I can share my work with the world!


Do you have any jewellery making training?
I am completely self-taught, both in my painting and wirework.
I took up jewellery making over 10 years ago when I was given
a kit from my sister-in-law.  A small Tupperware box with a few
beads, some ear-wires, headpins and a pair of pliers has now
turned into a major part of my life and my living space!  I have
been concentrating on wire working techniques since 2009 and
since then haven't look back.  I have attended some other courses,
including interior design, ceramics and life drawing, but my
jewellery skills are something that have developed through practice
and passion alone.


What inspires your designs?
I am an earth and nature lover and my work is essentially 
inspired by nature and the escapism it creates for me.  I love
organic shapes and free flowing lines.  Fantasy, myth and
folklore also inspire my work, enjoying Roman, Celtic or
Norse goddesses.  I also love tribal and ethnic designs, seeking
designs from North Africa, Islamic Art and India.

What styles of designs are your favourite?
My passion is creating unique one off pieces and I don't work
to a preplanned pattern or idea.  My pieces are created organically
and take their shape naturally and freely.  I particularly enjoy
free form work where I feel, manipulate and handle the wire
between my fingers.  It is a very tactile method of working and
it takes me to wherever it wants to go.  Sometimes, I may end
up with a mess, but moments of magic can happen!  Repetitive
work does not really appeal to me, so I limit techniques such as
weaving or coiling.  I also like to use natural gemstones, as I 
love the earthy feel and rustic colouring they give to my finished
jewellery.  Up until recently, recycled copper was something that 
I was working with, using my hands to strip back old electrical
cables for the pure copper wire.  However, with the increasing
value of copper as scrap, sourcing this wire has since become more
difficult, especially as I like using very long lengths.

Do you teach your craft?
I currently teach an informal drop in jewellery session, catering 
for people experiencing mental health issues and have also run 
workshops at International Women's Day.  I plan to start teaching 
and running my own workshops very soon as I am keen to share
some of the more complex techniques used in wire working.  
My teaching career is still in its early stages, although, this year I 
began writing tutorials for Making Jewellery Magazine, and I hope
and plan to develop this further in the near future ...


How do you promote and sell your work?
The WIRE MOON website is the main focus of my online presence
and I use that as a gallery of all my work.  I have tremendous support
from my fans on FACEBOOK from all over the world, which
continues to humble and astound me.  My jewellery is available
for sale on ETSY.

I also exhibit locally and nationally.  I was lucky enough to be
asked to exhibit in the 'All Wired Up' exhibition in Dorset this
spring where my work was shown next to other wire artists.
I was proud to have been chosen to represent the wire jewellery
community and to be included with some other well known
wire artists in the U.K. My work has also been featured in Vogue
Magazine, where I was asked to be part of the Christmas and
January advertorial: 'Bobby Dazzlers'.

Have you any advice to pass on to others who are starting out?
PASSION is the biggest and most powerful tool you have!  If you
have this, anything is achievable.  I am a believer that the old
saying: "practice makes perfect" is true, but more importantly,
learn to enjoy your creations and try to embrace your mistakes!

What are your long term plans and aspirations?
My long term goal is to do what I love full time.  I would like to
teach, paint, sell and exhibit my work and continue to design and 
create jewellery for my living!  One of my biggest ambitions is to 
write a jewellery book and one day, I also aspire to be able to exhibit 
internationally.  I would love to be able to continue to learn and 
perfect my skills and carry on evolving on my creative journey!



Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Possibly one of the most popular motifs in
design, is the BUTTERFLY!  It never ceases
to provide inspiration for colour combinations,
shape and form...

I have created many different styles and
colourful wire and beaded butterflies for my
jewellery and here's a very stripped-down,
simple version, that I would like to share
with you. I hope you enjoy the tutorial and
have fun experimenting and making it your

In the process of getting the project right, I went through
several stages of experimentation ... and my first
draft attempt was born!  From a chrysalis, to a fully
fledged wire brooch!

So, if you want to have a go at this, all you need is
your usual wire working tools: round, flat, chain nosed
pliers, plus wire cutters.  As for materials, I used 1mm
(18-gauge) however, 0.8mm (20-gauge) will also do -
as well as 0.4mm (26-gauge) for binding.

So if you're sitting comfortably ... here goes ...!

1.  Cut 2 x 8" (20cm) lengths of 1mm wire and create open
spirals at each end, curling in towards each other.  Leave
approximately 2.5"-3" (7cm) of uncurled wire between
the spirals.


2.  Using the tips of either your chain or round nosed pliers,
bend the wire above the spirals to create a kink, as shown


3.  Place the tips of either your chain or round nosed pliers just
by the kink of each spiral (as shown above) and bend back in
the opposite direction, bringing the spirals back in towards
facing each other.


4.  Place the tips of your round nosed pliers at the centre
of the wire (between the spirals) and push down (as in 1.)
Then holding the spirals firmly in your flat nosed pliers
(or fingers!) push them around the perimeter of the
wire to gain the shape in figure 2. (This should look rather
like a pair of owl eyes!!!).


5.  These units will make up the top and bottom wings of
the finished unit.  *Optional: You can hammer the edges
and adjust them until you're totally satisfied with the overall


6.  Cut 2 short lengths of 0.4mm (26-gauge) fine wire and
attach the top to the bottom unit by binding  them together.

Keep it as neat as possible and don't over bind.
Using your cutters, cut off any excess wire.


7.  Now to make the 'body': cut another 8" (20cm)
length of 1mm wire. Bend the wire in half and place
your round nosed pliers at the centre. Wrap the
wire around your pliers, crossing the extending wires
over to create a complete circle.  Continue moving
your round nosed pliers up the length of the wire
to form 5 more circles.


8.  This is what it should look like!  If you're using thinner
wire than 1mm, and the body feels like it could mishape,
you can 'stroke' hammer it with a nylon mallet to flatten
and temper.


9.  To form the 'antennae', use the very tips of
your chain nosed pliers to bend the extending
wires upwards.


10.  Now to put some colour into the piece!  Cut a length of
0.4mm (26-gauge) binding wire, approximately, 6" (15cm)
and bind at the base of the 'antennae'.  Bring the wire through
the centre of the top circle and thread the end with your
chosen 'head' bead.


11.  Wrap the fine wire around the top and base of each wire
circle, adding and securing a bead at a time ...


12.  When you've filled the entire unit
with beads, wrap the wire around the end
to secure.  Don't cut off any projecting
wires yet, as these can be used to bind
to the 'wing' frame.


13.  Above, you can see the back of the piece.  Use your spare
wire to attach the 'body' to the 'wing' frame.  If it feels unsteady,
just cut another length of 0.4mm fine wire and make sure the
units are well connected and secure.  If you're going to turn it into
a brooch, you can wire on your brooch finding to the back of the


14.  Create spirals, or any shape you wish at the ends of the
antennae wires to complete your butterfly!

These butterflies can be used to decorate any accessory of your
choosing! You can make them into fun, summery necklaces by
suspending jump rings from each wing and connecting to a chain
or cord! Alternatively, create colourful brooches to match your outfits!