Wire Ballerina Pendant
I want to send out a huge “THANK YOU” to Pearl Blay at BeadingGem.com for posting inspirational jewelry and other projects on her site. Recently she added a wire dog face designed by Liz who has an Etsy shop called 1ofAkinds. Liz sells many wire animals and other subjects but the dog face featured on Beading Gem inspired me because it looks just like my close friend’s Cairn Terrier. I wanted to create the wire project for my friend but I had no idea where to begin. I spent quite some time trying to figure out the starting and ending point since the face is one piece of wire. After a lot of discarded attempts, I figured it out and and gave it to my friend as a gift.
I discovered making wire images can be very addicting. As soon as I finished the Terrier I wanted to make something else. That’s when I came up with this ballerina. While it may look extremely complicated, read through the instructions and I think you’ll find my color coding system will guide you to completing this pretty pendant. The ballerina’s bun and glass flower bead at the waist were attached after the wire shaping was complete.
step 4 - The 2.50” ballerina will require approximately 20” of wire. Cut the length and smooth it out.
step 8 - The remaining work is a matter of continuing to place wire on the image, marking where the next bend should be and following the color order on the color code image. See “Tips” below for information about working with the wire.
step 11 - Flatten the ballerina on a jewelry block with a rubber hammer. Work both sides. This will allow the pendant to lay flat without any details curling out from the design.
step 13 - File the 18 and 24 gauge wire ends smooth. Use Isopropyl alcohol to remove the Sharpie marks.
Here’s how to achieve the different size wire shapes. Recognize that some shaping requires round nose pliers and some require needle nose or flat nose pliers because some bends are round and others are angular. As mentioned earlier, getting the wire to fold on itself can be done by flattening it against a credit card. You can also squeeze the fold against the card with flat nose pliers for a finer angle.
To bring the fine “ruffles” of the tutu close together, first make the row of curls with round nose pliers without worrying about their exact position. When you’ve created the right number of curls, push in on both ends from the sides of the row with your hands. You can also use flat nose pliers to grasp each section and pinch them together.
Use the tip of the round nose pliers for small bends and the wider part for thicker bends and curls.
At Michaels Store
18 gauge round silver wire
24 gage round silver wire
plastic card or other thin, sharp edge
Small bling bead
Ball head wire
jewelry pliers and cutters
jewelry bench block and rubber hammer