The Celts incorporated complex knots and whorls into their jewellery and art to mimic the lines of nature. They often depicted trios of animals with their legs intertwined, tangled tree limbs or simply interconnected lines that represented things like journeys and eternity. Today, the tradition continues with Celtic knot engravings decorating everything from jewellery to clothing. While many knots feature difficult-to-draw designs, nearly anyone can create simple wire designs to make earrings and necklaces.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 20 gauge silver or copper wire
- Wire nips
- Round-nosed pliers
- Glass beads
- Fishhook earring hooks
- Necklace chain
Nip one 10-inch piece of wire. Grip it about ½ inch from the top and bend it down into a loop so the short end of the wire crosses the long end. Wrap the short wire in a tight coil around the long one. This is the top loop for a pendant or earring.
Bend the wire 90 degrees to the right directly below the coil. About ¼ inch from your 90 degree angle, bend your wire up into another 90 degree angle. Continue bending the wire down to the left, pushing it far enough to make a small loop from your second 90 degree angle. Repeat ¼ inch to the left, pushing the wire up and down to the right.
Grip the wire sticking out below your first right hand loop about ¼ inch beyond the loop. Bend the wire up, around and down to create another decorative loop, repeating on the left side. Continue creating loops this way, making a set about ¼ inch longer than the second set, then 2 more sets the same size as your second and first sets, respectively.
Bend your wire at the centre of your last set of loops so it points straight down. Slide a glass bead onto the wire to about ¼ inch from your last set of your loops. Nip the wire about ½ inch below the bead. Bend the wire at a 90 degree angle against the bottom of the bead.
Curl the wire around the 90 degree angle, creating a spiral that sits flat against the bottom of your glass bead. Make another set of loops and pry open the bottom loops of some fishhook earring hooks and slip the pendants onto them to make earrings. Slide the pendant onto a chain for a necklace.
Tips and warnings
- You should wear eye protection at all times when working with wire.
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