Trying out new ways to use murrini headpins
is fun. I’ve been thinking about different ways to use them as part of a chain. Here’s one of those ideas, plus a tutorial so you can try it too.
Flush cut 1.5″ sections of 14g wire. I used sterling silver, but feel free to use your metal of choice.
Using a chasing hammer, begin to hammer each end flat, flipping the wire over so hammering occurs equally on both sides of both ends.
Hammer the center section to slightly flatten it. The ends should flare out more than the center.
You can leave it as the hammer texture, but I chose to use a different stamping tool on each segment to create a different texture.
To check the texture, color with a sharpie, then use steel wool to remove the high spots. I will patina later, but once the headpin is added, you cannot alter the texture. So I want to make sure I’m happy with it first.
Once you know you’re happy with the texture, make a dot where you want to add holes to each end and then punch the holes with your tool of choice.
Take the headpin you’re going to use, and bend the wire 90 degrees as close to the glass as possible.
Slide the hammered link into the bend of the headpin. I tried to hold it in the smallest portion of the link (in the center).
The next part is very fiddley and difficult to photograph while performing the action. Wrap the wire as tight as possible one time around the link while holding the glass on the flat surface of the link.
Next, wrap the copper wire around the base of the glass, between the glass and the wire. This helps to snug and stabilize.
Once you’ve wrapped the wire around the base of the glass, wrap the wire around the link tightly a couple times next to the glass (again, to help stabilize and snug in place). Then wrap in a more loose organic fashion up one side of the link, leaving space for a spiral.
Depending on the size spiral you want, cut off any excess wire. I left about 1/2″-3/4″ length.
Take chain nose pliers and holding the end of the wire, create a spiral with the wire. When creating more than one link to the chain, you may want to pay attention to spiral direction being the opposite on each side. It’s personal preference.
The photo below does a better job of showing how the wire is wrapped onto the link and around the base of the glass.
Here’s the (almost) finished piece with a special pendant I got from Staci Louise Smith
1.5 years ago. I still needs to finish the clasp, give it a bath in liver of sulphur, and a massage in the tumbler (removing the pendant first!). I can hardly wait to wear it.