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How to make ancient Roman jewellery

Updated February 21, 2017

Roman women were highly regarded throughout the ancient world for their elegance and good taste. Because their clothing was relatively uniform, they distinguished themselves from each other via elaborate, plaited hairstyles and finely crafted, pounded metal jewellery. One of the most recognisable forms of adornment from the Roman world is the snake bracelet. Romans believed that the snakes represented good luck and brought prosperity to wearers. Try making a snake bracelet for yourself and see what kind of luck it brings you.

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  1. Bend the florist's wire in half, but do not crease the bend. The bend should be slightly rounded, and your wire should make a 'V' shape.

  2. Bend each half of the wire towards the other half approximately 1 cm below the first bend. You should now have a triangle in the middle of the wire.

  3. Bend the wire below the triangle so that the two ends now run parallel to one another and create a body for the snake.

  4. Twirl the wires together at the ends to make the snake's tail. You should now have a wire frame for a flat snake.

  5. Wrap the gold foil around the frame, trying not to wrinkle or crease it too much.

  6. Poke the body of the snake all over with the pen to create a pattern. You are not drawing on the foil, but instead trying to make it look like pounded metal.

  7. Wrap the snake around your arm so that the head does not touch the tail and you have made an open spiral.

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Things You'll Need

  • 38 cm florist's wire
  • Gold foil
  • Ballpoint pen

About the Author

Elizabeth Hannigan began writing freelance articles in 2005. Her work can be found in "Orientations" magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in art history from the University of Delaware.

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