Sunday, March 6, 2016

Itsy Bitsy Wire Spider Pendant

This is my last string pendant creation. See previous entries here and here
For this one, basic thread wrapping serves as a background for a little wire spider. 

Start with 6 inches of 18 gauge wire.  This is a smaller gauge than I recommended for my previous thread pendant.  Because this one is much smaller, the full length is 1.75 inches, 18 gauge will provide plenty of support.  To make the tear drop shape, bend the center of the wire partway around something small and round.  Here I'm using a seed bead tube, approximately 15mm in diameter. 
A thick marker would also be a good choice. 

Where the wire crosses at the top, bend each
wire slightly so the two ends rest side by side.

Measure the outline of the teardrop, in this case it's 3 inches, and then you will want to make a coil half that size. [see my coil setup]  For a 1.5inch coil I used 2.5 feet of 26 gauge wire. Stretch the coil until it's doubled in length.  Feed it onto the tear drop and wrap both ends around the top of the teardrop.

Bend the 18 gauge wire back at a 90 degree angle, then curve it around.
Trim the short end of the 26 gauge wire and
wrap the long end around the bottom of the loop.

Even up the ends of the 18 gauge wire and
give them a little curl with a round nose pliers.
Tie a thread around the top use a surgeon's knot to secure it. 


Drop the thread straight down the middle
and start working it in a clockwise direction.

Unless you are robot, in which case Cyberdyne called and they
want their arm back, your coils might not be perfectly spaced,
in which case you might run into this situation.
You can either just keep going, doubling over a few of the top coils until the bottom is filled in (left picture) or unwind everything and start a couple spaces over to the right and do it all over again (right picture) Yes, it's a negligible difference,
but if it will niggle away at you, now is the time to set it right. 
Now for the spider portion of this pendant, cut 4 lengths of 26 gauge wire, 3inches long. Your average craft wire is a little stiff for this part.  It's not impossible to use but I prefer a softer wire.  For this I used Artistic Wire's silver plated copper.  Another option is to use a smaller gauge wire.  
For the record 26 gauge is thin enough to poke your fingers like a needle
and the craft gods have been known to demand blood sacrifices. 
With that in mind form the wires into a loose overhand knot.
Or you can cheat, skip the knot and wrap a fifth
wire around the center to form your spider body.

Gently work the knot smaller by pulling the ends and also pushing the
wires out from the center of the knot to move the ends farther out. 
When you've moved it as much as you can by hand, spread the wires out and working one side at a time tug on each individual wire, pulling just a little bit.  Keep tugging each wire in rotation until the knot is fairly tight. 
If you like you can flatten it a little with a pair of pliers. 

Position the spider on the pendant and fold the legs over to keep in place. 
It looks like a big mess from the back.   

One leg at a time, pull the wire up and curl the end so you can poke it down and around the frame.  This part is fussy.  You have to follow along the curve
of the coil and also poke through the space between the threads. 
It's about as fun as threading a needle, sometimes it helps to hold the end steady with a needle nose pliers. 

Once you've successfully wrapped it around, it looks like this. 
Pull it all the way around to the back and then snip it with a flush cutter. 

Do the same for the rest of the legs.

Now this the fun part, grab a leg with a needle nose pliers and give it a little twist. 
About a 45 degree twist, counter-clockwise for the left side legs and clockwise for the right.

Do all the legs on one side and then the rest of the legs on the other.
I love how such a little tweak makes them look so leggy and ta-da it's done. 

Below, the one on the left I've done my usual curly swirly mess at the top.  It's pretty, but I think it detracts from the spider, which is why I went with a very basic design in the tutorial.  In both the pictures below I've reversed the direction of the leg crimp if you were wondering what that looks like.

This one I anchored the threads between wire wrapped beads.  If you like the look,  I think it's easier to wire wrap the legs in-between the beads. 
If I were to do this again I would thread wrap the pendant all the way around twice to give it a more solid background.

For size comparison here is the original spider pendant on the left, the current one in the middle and a slightly smaller one on the right.  The smallest one was formed using a thick Crayola marker and creating a shorter teardrop.

And just because I love the texture of those little wire twists,
here's something I played around with using junk wire. 

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