Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Egytian Coil - Katalina Style!

If you are new to working with wire this may seem challenging at first. Just keep practicing - it get's easier with each link.

*Here's a beginner's tip - It's good to start with a softer wire such as copper. It's fairly inexpensive - you don't have to worry that you are wasting money if you make a mistake. Also, it's a soft wire which makes it fairly easy to manipulate.

To make Egyptian coil links you will need:
  • Wire of your choice such as sterling silver, copper, brass - the above photo shows the necklace made from copper wire but for the instructions I used 16-gauge darkened annealed steel wire which can usually be found at your local hardware store (it is often referred to as tie wire)
  • Flush cutters
  • Pliers: chain-nosed, round-nosed
  • Hammer: ball-peen
  • Steel bench block
  • Jewelers file
  • Tape measure
  • Fingernail buffing stick: if using darkened annealed steel wire
Use the flush cutters to cut a 5” length of the 18ga wire. File each end. Use the round-nose pliers to form a loose coil in one end. Repeat for the other end. The length of the wire link should be approximately 1 ¾” long from end to end. Repeat to make 6 more links - make sure all the coils are the same size and the finished lengths are all the same.

Hold one link with the coils downward and place the round-nose pliers at the middle of the straight area. Use your fingers to bend each coil upward. Repeat for the other 6 links.

Hold one link with the coils upward and the “U” downward. Place the chain-nose pliers about 1/8” above the bottom edge of the coils.

Use your fingers to bend the “U” upward until it is perpendicular to the coils. Repeat for the other six links.

Hold one link with the “U” between your finger and thumb. Use the chain-nose pliers to bend each coil towards the “U”. Repeat for the other six links.
Use the ball end of the hammer to texture one link. Reshape the link if necessary. Use the fingernail buffing stick to sand the link to remove some of the black finish and reveal a soft shine (if using dark steel wire). Repeat for the other six links.
Connect one link to another by holding one link sideways and inserting the “U” into the “U” of the other link. Connect one more link to form a 3-link chain. Repeat to make one more 3-link chain.

Connect the last link to the two 3-link sections with jump rings and wire wrap a tear drop stone at the center.

I finished the necklace off with a chain fashioned from handmade beaded wire links and a handmade hook clasp but you can also use a purchased clasp and chain.

Good luck and have fun!


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  1. Kathy how beautiful...I have looked for several ways to make eye catching jewelry to go with the scarfs that I make. Thank you for the great tutorial. I will save this and see how it turns out.

  2. What a fantastic tutorial...thank you so much, Kathy!

  3. thanks for the great tutorial!

  4. thank you for the awesome tutorial! you do beautiful work

  5. I am going to make this, it is lovely! Thank you for sharing. Your tutorials are well written and the pictures very clear. Thanks again!

  6. This is delightful. I really like the way you have incorporated gems into your design. Thank you.


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