by Rena Klingenberg.
This Zen Spiral Pendant tutorial is super-easy and a great beginning wire jewelry project.
It has a rustic, primal appeal.
It’s a great pendant for both guys and gals – and it’s one of those items you can make several of, in a variety of metals and finishes, to sell in your jewelry booth or online store.
This pendant is also the perfect companion piece for the earrings in my Zen Spiral Hoop Earrings Tutorial!
- 1 piece of round wire, 16- or 18-gauge, 10 inches (25.4 cm) long.
- A file, cup burr, or knife sharpening stone for smoothing off the wire ends.
- Wire cutters (don’t use your best cutters on this gauge of wire; use either a cheap cutter or a heavy-duty one).
- Round-nose pliers (don’t use your best pliers on 16-gauge wire, unless they’ve been manufactured to handle that gauge).
- Jewelry hammer (I used a ball-peen hammer so I could add a hammered texture to the copper spiral pendant).
- Steel jeweler’s block or other hammering surface.
How to Make the Zen Spiral Pendant:
Cut a piece of your wire 10 inches (25.4 cm) long:
Smooth both ends of the wire, using a file, cup burr, or knife sharpening stone:
We’re going to start by making the bail of the pendant.
Using your round-nose pliers, make a bend near one end of your wire:
Now your wire should look like this:
I like to make pendant bails nice and big, so they can accommodate any size of cord or chain, plus one end of the clasp that will have to be threaded through the bail.
So, working on the wire end where you just made the bend, use the fat end of your round-nose pliers to shape a big circle.
Notice that we’re NOT wrapping the wire tightly around the jaw of the pliers – instead, the circle is quite a bit bigger than the pliers’ jaw:
Keep on using your pliers this way, till you’ve done 3 or 4 rounds with your wire.
As much as possible, make each round the same size as the others:
Now the bail end of your wire should look like this:
Now we’re going to make the spiral.
Remember, “rustic and primal” is a great look for this Zen Spiral Pendant, so your spiral doesn’t have to be perfectly even!
Pick up the other end of your wire, and use your round-nose pliers to make a small curve at the tip:
Using the fat end of your pliers, keep moving your pliers slightly along your wire, and keep curving your wire into an open spiral.
(For more help with this part, you can also watch my 3-minute video on How to Make an Open Wire Spiral.)
Keep moving your pliers along the wire and curving it to continue the open spiral, working your way toward the bail:
Curve your spiral all the way up to the bail.
Your wire should look like this:
Now use the thin tips of your round-nose pliers to bend the bail perpendicular to your spiral:
Your wire should look like this:
Now lay the spiral part of your pendant on your steel jeweler’s block or other hammering surface.
(We won’t be hammering the bail – only the spiral.)
Use the flat side of your hammer to pound both sides of the spiral, to flatten it nicely and harden it enough to hold its shape against wear and tear:
If you want to create a rustic, hammered texture like my copper pendant has, now is the time to use the round “peen” end of your hammer to pound little dents into the metal:
Your pendant is now finished!
I haven’t used any patina or oxidizing on my pendants, although that would be a great look for them.
Instead, I’ll leave them hanging out in the open air and let them acquire a nice amount of natural patina.
These pendants make great gifts for guys and gals of any age – and I love them best on a leather or suede cord!
Now it’s time to make the coordinating Zen Spiral Hoop Earrings:
Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?
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.