Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

A curvy, abstract wire pendant is the focal element of this eye-catching necklace.

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace – tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The wire pendant measures about 2.75″ (7cm) wide x 3.3″ (8.5cm) high.

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

We’ll do two unusual things while making this necklace:

  • We’ll work directly from our roll of wire, waiting till we’re finished to cut the wire.
  • We’ll avoid tool marks on our wire . . . by not using tools. :)

Supplies:

  • 14 gauge soft round wire – I used about 17.75″ (45cm) of brass wire to make the curvy focal of this necklace.
    You may want to use aluminum or copper wire instead of brass if your fingers aren’t strong.
    Brass wire for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • A Sharpie marker (which we’ll use as a tool, not for marking).
  • Wire cutter that’s designed to cut 14 gauge wire (I used a Xuron cutter that’s made to cut memory wire).
    Don’t ruin a cutter that’s not made to handle 14 gauge wire!
  • Jewelry file or cup bur for smoothing and rounding your wire ends.
  • Chain – enough to make a necklace of your desired length.
  • 2 Jump rings – for attaching the chain to your wire focal pendant.
  • 2 pair of pliers (chain nose / flat nose) for opening and closing your jump rings.
  • Jeweler’s steel block and plastic, nylon, or rubber hammer for straightening and hardening your finished wire piece.
    Jeweler's Hammer and Steel Block - Rena Klingenberg
  • Optional: Dome-face chasing hammer – for flattening parts of your finished wire piece.
    Dome-face chasing hammer - Rena Klingenberg

How to Make the
Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace:

As I mentioned above, we’ll work from our roll of wire instead of cutting off a piece of wire that’s a specific length.

So we’ll start out by using a wire cutter to trim a tiny bit off the end of the wire, to make a nice flat end that we can easily smooth off:

Trimming wire end for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your jewelry file or cup bur to smooth and round this wire end:

Filing wire end for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll start shaping the wire into our “dangerously curvy” centerpiece.

Heavy gauges of soft wire can easily be dented by pliers.

So just for fun we’ll use a Sharpie marker to shape our wire, resulting in a finished wire focal piece that’s completely dent-free.

Start by using your fingers to curve your wire end around your Sharpie marker to make a teardrop-shaped loop:

Making a teardrop loop for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this:

Looped end for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Move a little farther down your wire and curve the wire around your Sharpie to make a second teardrop-shaped loop:

Shaping wire for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this:

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Move a little farther down your wire and use your Sharpie to make another upside-down teardrop shaped loop:

Shaping wire for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should look like this:

Making wire focal for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now move a little farther along your wire and use your fingers to curve your wire around the Sharpie to make another teardrop loop:

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your wire should now look like this:
Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This time, go significantly farther along your wire, and use your Sharpie to create a very tall upside-down teardrop loop:

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look like this:

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Move down the wire a bit and make a sixth teardrop loop with your Sharpie.

Now your wire should look like this:

Teardrop loops for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll make the final teardrop loop.

Use your Sharpie to make an upside-down teardrop loop that’s about the same size as the first loop you made:

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your wire should look something like this:

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s time to cut your wire.

Use your wire cutter to make the cut here:

Clipping wire for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your jewelry file or cup bur to make a nice smooth, rounded end on your wire:

Filing wire end for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then gently bend the last inch of the wire so that your newly filed wire end touches the rest of the pendant.

Now your Dangerous Curves wire piece should look something like this:

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s time to straighten and harden your wirework using a plastic, rubber, or nylon hammer and steel jeweler’s block.

Hammer one side of your wire piece all over; then turn it over and hammer the second side all over:
Hammering wire for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

If you like, you can add a bit of extra style to your wire piece by using a domed chasing hammer to flatten parts of your design:

Hammer-flattening wire for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

After hammering, use your Sharpie marker to shape up any of your curves that may have come open during hammering.

Now your finished piece should look like this:

Wire focal piece for Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s time to add the chain and turn this wire artistry into a necklace!

I used a single length of chain that’s long enough so that I can slip the necklace over my head without using a clasp.

Use jump rings to attach your chain to the end loops on your dangerously curvy wire pendant:

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . and your necklace is finished.

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And because of the way we created the wire piece, we had no wasted wire – and no tool marks on the finished piece! :)

Dangerous Curves Wire & Chain Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Also see Marcia’s lovely innovation for this necklace design – Marcia’s Dangerous Curves.

Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?

Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components Class In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.

By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.

You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.

 

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Comments

  1. Wire is so much fun all by itself. It can be made to look like something other than hard and rigid. You’ve demonstrated that transformation beautifully here.

  2. This design is beautiful. My imagination has asked “What if” and I began see this design in other types of wire, i.e. twisted, copper, silver and/or adding a drop bead or lace small beads to this terrific design. I can’t wait to play with your design. I am grateful for your creativity and generosity of sharing of this tutorial.

  3. I love this idea and have a basket of components I make from my scrap wire I always use it up making things for my Basket. I always have earring wires, hooks, and whatever, I only have to look in my basket.

  4. Virginia Donald says:

    Thanks again Rena for another brilliant piece of work, ideas just keep flowing.

  5. You did a great job here :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. I think the necklace turned out great. Wire is such a cool material to work with, Nice tutorial.

  7. Cute necklace!

  8. Great idea and tutorial! Beautiful work.

  9. Love this idea! I have thought about trying my hand at jewelry making. You make it seen so easy.

  10. You’ve always got the BEST ideas! And your tutorials are excellent. I’m not a jewelry maker but you make me believe I could be :)
    I’ve pinned this for sure.
    -Molly from Just a Little Creativity

  11. Another brilliant idea and wonderful tutorial.

  12. Your jewelry is always so pretty, and easy to make, and you always give the best tutorials. I know cause if I can figure it out anyone can! Very pretty and elegant piece. Sorry I’m late getting to you been enjoying out door time that I couldn’t do last summer.

  13. Dear Rena,
    As you already know I love this flowing design. It reminds me of the winding roads if Ireland. I’ve made several, but my biggest problem, even after hammering them and placing the bends close together, is the jump rings slide off. Do you have a remedy? Marcia

  14. (Rena) Kathryn Frisina says:

    Your design really caught my eye. Even though I love the thought of seeing myself sitting at a desk forming beautiful jewelry, it is wishful thinking. I have plenty of ideas that I just can’t bring to life; although, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying your beautiful designs. My passion is in Paper…cards, small books, boxes, etc., and sometimes I incorporate wires, beads and charms into
    my designs. I love your work!

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