Black Steel Wire Necklace

January 14, 2012

This choker-style Black Steel Wire Necklace incorporates many of the wire design motifs that I’ve developed over the years.  I recently returned to steel wirework to regain some strength in my hands, and decided to make an elaborate project that would use up most of my remaining wire.  I’m pretty happy with this, and still have enough wire for a few chain links etc. so now I can focus on new forged iron  and other metalwork.

Black Steel Wire Necklace

Black Steel Wire Necklace

I started with a chain made of two mirror-image trios of graduated double spiral links.  I love the sinuous, flowing look of these, and they were fun to make.  They fit and drape very well, and I may make another set to add to a forged necklace.

Double Spiral Links

Double Spiral Links

Wire “Feather” Fringe:  I used straight, curled, and spiral flattened fringe styles.  I also used three twisted fringe styles:  single twist, reverse twist, and a repeating reverse twist.  These are the only part of the necklace that had to be worked hot (each piece must be carefully twisted in a propane torch flame).  Everything else was done cold.  The difference between the twisted fringe styles are subtle and probably not noticeable to most people, but they do affect the overall look, so I wanted some of each kind.

Single Twist and Flat Fringe

Single Twist and Flat Fringe

Reverse Twist Fringe

Reverse Twist Fringe

Repeated Reverse Twist with Flat Coils

Repeated Reverse Twist with Flat Coils

I connected the pieces with two types of decorative S-links to echo the shape of the double spirals.  These links can be made as short as half an inch or as long as an inch, so they are an easy, unobtrusive way to adjust the length of the necklace and the spacing of the other elements when laying out the design.  The wire is flattened before bending to give it strength and add a bit of 3-D contrast to the round wire used for the spirals.  There are two long links at the front and two short ones at the back.

This necklace has no links that are specially designed as a clasp, since there really wasn’t a good place for them in the design.  Instead, one of the largest double spiral links is slightly opened at the bottom, forming a hidden hook.  It’s just as secure as a hook clasp, and is easier to use since it’s at the front of the necklace.

How long did it take?  You know better than to ask that around here. 🙂