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Throwback Saturday – Free-form Wire Fibula

May 16, 2015 , In: Metalsmithing, Tutorials
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Hi all, I have been pretty much consumed with a project that I can’t share at the moment, so needless to say, have only had it on my mind!  I thought I would re-post a fun wire tutorial from the vault today…

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Today, I am sharing a fun, quick, and fairly easy project ..a free-form wire fibula! These are so cute.  They would make a great, inexpensive teacher gift!

Materials needed:

large gauge wire – approx 24 inches
pliers – chain and round nose
steel block
hammers – planishing and texturizing
torch – for annealing wire
patina of choice

Start off with some fairly large gauge wire…I used 12g copper.  Be prepared to anneal it throughout the project as it will work harden really quickly.

  • Flush cut one end and file smooth. Hammer to flatten.
  • Using your chain nose pliers, bend flattened area over to form hook (approx. 1/4 inch)
  • Using round nose pliers, form a loop behind the hook as shown.

  • Continue to swirl wire around the beginning loop. This is where the free-form comes in!
  • Create whatever shapes you desire

  • When you have acheived your desired shape, begin the loop to form the pin.
  • Straighten the wire and wrap around the base of your round nose pliers, looping twice.
  • Don’t fold down to the hook yet…you need to tap out any kinks, making the pin straight and hard

  • Now you get to texturize! Hammer to your heart’s content!
  • Using your round nose pliers in the double loop, bend the pin over to fit under the hook.
  • Measure about another 1/4 past the end of your design and cut with flush cutters at an angle
  • not pictured…hammer and flatten a bit and flush cut other side to form the sharp point.
  • File and sand, keeping the point, but getting rid of sharp burs on the edges
  • Patina as you wish, polish or tumble
and, voila!

The design posibilities with this design are endless…add an art bead or beads to the shank, wire wrap parts, use different wire!

Here are a few I have made in the past…

So, go get your wire and your pliers and have fun!!

Melissa Meman

Melissa Meman is a mixed-media jewelry artist and owner of Melismatic Art Jewelry. She loves all things metal... fabrication, fold-forming, enameling, but has recently been drawn into metal clay and polymer clay! Her Melismatic Morsel line features pendants, charms, and more in all her favorite mediums. Melissa lives in Frederick, MD with her husband and son and dreams of retiring from her day job, and resorting to singing and hammering/finishing metal for a livelihood!
  1. I love this! Thank you.

  2. Reply

    Thanks Melissa. this is a great tute! Would make some great kilt pins I think.

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