Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fibula - Shawl Pins - step by step

Step by Step making a Fibula Shawl Pin
Date:   4-21-12


At the  final version  and as I make them I make changes as I go - I've taken apart the copper ones (even though I love the copper) to do a mixed version of silver and copper.
Playing with different gauges of silver wire -


 the step by step is 12g - I found the 12g a bit thick so maybe a 14 would be better - your choice.

Pick out your wire

I found working from the pin side first makes it easier to tighten the beads on the pin and the curly part at the end is your left over with little waste.
The pin length will depend on the beads your going to apply so if you have a piece of scrap wire assemble your mix. and add about 1/2"

Tools:  Round Nose Pliers, Chain Nose Pliers, Side cutters.
Nylon tip - less clean up from dents in the wire but you can buff them out 

Pick out your beads and findings - I had my lampwork beads, some sterling silver plated beads, and plain copper bead caps I made 

I measured out my beads on a piece of wire then cut the very tip so it was sharp ( use your side cutters backwards - this time you want a pointy end ) of  my 12g wire - dont put beads on yet 
what your measuring now is where your going to start to wrap your wire around the give yourself about 1/2" past your beads just to be sure - it can be cut down if too long 
In this case approx 4.25" 
then I took my round nose pliers and wrapped it round twice
scraggy looking pliers - were orginally dipped in the plastic protection stuff  and somewhere along the line I tried using the tips with a too thick of wire and bent them - but their my favorites and I was working towards the back of the pliers.  The thicker wire is harder to work with even though it is soft wire

this creates your spring action - like a safety pin 

then I added my beads - you can add dangles, charms etc.. mix and match anything goes 

Once on push to end and bend at a right angle with chain nose 
get it as close as you can - if not you may have to put a bit of wire to tighten it up and push it in or flatten slightly to hold the bead tight on the wire - there is always a fix 
Then using round nose bend back down
side by side and pinch together  - does not have to be a tight side by side 
the using round nose bring the tip down to form the clasp 
Slighty bend the pin - I use my thumb and draw it under and it slightly bends - I like using my soft emery cloth
The end should only be out side the clap so trim it back - if you use your flush cutters backwards - in this case you want a pointy end to file later

With the leftover wire start bending it back and forth with your round nose pliers 


I like to tap it flat  with my chasing hammer after you may need to pull the design tighter as hammering pushes it apart


add dangly things to the  end, charms, beads, metal clay or make your own 
got carried away and started making more 
I do like making the dangle type as I remember years ago making dangle type bracelets with wire designs
so much fun










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