This technique I learned from Jelcy Romberg; an enlightened teacher who believes that, instead of teaching a set piece one should learn a technique and then go exploring with it. She espouses the philosophy that sharing techniques instead of copyrighting a design is what furthers an art. Add these Gizmo wire coil beads to spice up a piece of artisan jewellery.
Most important: You must have patience. Your efforts will not be perfect the first time you do a technique. It takes practice to do anything skillfully.
ToolBox: Gizmo, Artistic Wire in 18ga, or 20ga, or 22ga (it comes in many glorious colours), time and patience.
The Gizmo, is the brain child of LeRoy Goertz. The link will take you to his YouTube demonstration. Basically it’s a way to wind wire into a spring, thread it with more wire and wind it too. The number of times you thread with a length of wire and wind it, the bigger and bolder the bead you are making will be.
I hope you visited LeRoy’s YouTube production because a picture really is worth a thousand words.
Wrap the wire of your choice around the twisty bit of the mandrel: if you don’t do this step you will just be going around in circles and getting nowhere fast. The wire will come from behind the mandrel’s twisty bit to the front of the long straight bit. Insert the straight bit through the appropriate hole in the jig.
Step 2.Turn the crank of the Gizmo. With your thumbnail, guide the wire onto the long side of the Gizmo mandrel. If there is a small space between the coils that's good - just as long as the spacing in the coil is not too great. This little bit of space will greatly assist you when it's time to slip the wire off the mandrel.Step 3.
Remove the coil from the mandrel. If you find this a difficult thing to do, have no fear: that thing really will come off. Instead of the pulling and pushing and swearing I did, learn from my experience. That bit of space your thumbnail helped keep in the coil is the trick for easy coil removal. If you kept pushing the coils towards the mandrel crank, you are going to suffer mightily. Turning the mandrel back and forth while you are pushing the coil toward the end will help – but it isn’t easy. Try the thumbnail method instead.
Thread another wire through the centre of the coil. I’ve used a different colour of wire so you could perhaps see the thing better but usually you would use the same coloured wire for this wire.
Anchor both wires to the twisty bit of the mandrel. Drape the coil and the inner wire from back to front of the straight bit. Start coiling. As in Step 3. allow some small space within the coil to assist in getting it off the long straight bit of the mandrel. As the coiled coil is pushed to the end of the mandrel, it will pull up and tighten the wire you inserted into the coil. The amount of pushing together will help determine the size of the wire bead.
You’ve pulled the bead off the mandrel. Now some extra notes.
Some variations, if you will.
Make 2 coils and insert a wire into each. Tie the wire end of the 2 coils and the 2 inner wires onto the twisty bit of the mandrel; ensure all 4 wires are looped around from back to front. Start twisting – – a double coil bead.
Make a short coil on a long inner wire. Start by coiling a bit of that inner wire. When you have made a length of simple coil, add the 1st coil to the mix. Finish with more of the simple coil using the inner wire.
Follow the instructions to the end of Step 3. Start coiling the coil and the inner wire together and, at the same time, push the coil toward the twisty bit of the mandrel. Loosen up and you will see the coil spreads out a bit. Push in again and the coil because closed and big.
This is a great way to play with colour. What goes with purple? Try a ‘swatch’ of coil using purple and all the other colours you think will look good. It takes almost no time for such a colour swatch and if you don’t like it you can use the coil in something where it will probably work.
Please use this technique and make wonderful artisan jewellery. If you choose to add this text to your book, please don’t do it: write it up using your own words. Thanks. Helene…
Filed under: Tips and Techniques | Tagged: artisan jewellery, Gizmo, Jelcy Romberg | 2 Comments »