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Wire Jewelry Resource: Necklace Length Styles

by Rose Marion, Wire-Sculpture.com

Wire Jewelry Idea for February 8, 2012

Have you ever been stuck in a rut with your necklaces and pendants, but you’re not sure what necklace lengths you can experiment? Here are 6 typical necklace lengths that are popular, from the collar to lariat length. Plus, these designs can be versatile: a 14-16" necklace can also double as a bracelet, and an opera- or lariat-length necklace can be wrapped twice (or 3 times!) around the neck for a stranded effect. Let your creativity flow!

Being one who loved making paper dolls, I originally planned this download with the dolls wearing a dress whose top was at armpit height. However, it conflicted so much with the princess necklace length that I removed the dress’s boundary. So you can draw in your own dress or shirt, with the neckline you think will flatter the necklace most (and vice versa!) in this download. Break out the colored pencils!

Download this Jewelry Measurements PDF Download Necklace Length Inspiration (256KB) | Download Adobe Reader

Click to Download!
click to download necklace length charts

Further Reading:

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Daily Wire Tip Oct. 5: Connecting Stones with Wire

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
October 5, 2011

Question:

Dale, I’ve seen photos of your beautiful pieces with multiple stones and would like to know how to connect such stones and create something similar. Also, I have some collar stones and need some suggestions on what to do with them as wire-wrapped pieces.

-Betty in Jack, Mississippi

Answer:

Hi Betty, the best advice I can give you on this one is to look through my book, Wirework: An Illustrated Guide to the Art of Wire Wrapping, taking special notice of the "Gem Drop Earrings," the cover bracelet, and the "Drop Necklace Base Design." Practice each of these projects to find out how to make and use different types of connections loops. Then, plan out your own design and combine the techniques you learned to create your own multi-stone pieces! For additional inspiration, check out the Gallery on my personal website.

The collar stones you mentioned are easy! If you can’t figure out the procedure from the image on the page detailing the DVD, then pick up Beginner DVD #5 and have fun!!

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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Daily Wire Tip: Wire Collar Gauge Substitution

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip

Question:

Hi Dale, thanks for all your wonderful tips! I’m looking forward to making the Heavy Wire Collar from the Beginner Series DVD. I haven’t been able to find 14-gauge dead soft, in square silver or Argentium, so would 16-gauge dead soft square do? And if so, would I need to make any modifications?

-Jeanne in Waukesha, Wisconsin

Answer:

You are welcome Jeanne, our goal is to help you in any way we can! Yes, large gauge precious metal wire is difficult to keep in stock. As an alternative, you can make this collar using 16-gauge, but I would recommend using half hard instead of soft. My reason is that when we use, twist and bend 14-gauge soft, it hardens really quickly and will hold the collar’s special shape (fitted over the collarbone) with no challenges. Although twisting 16-gauge soft will harden it, in my opinion the shape will not hold as well as half-hard will. Yes, even though as the collar is created and a mallet is used on a steel neck mandrel to enforce the shape, it will not harden a 16 gauge soft collar sufficiently.

all-wire collar Wire Collar
Examples of Wire Collars, or Neck Wires

I have actually made many collars using the same directions that I teach in the Heavy Wire Collar using a wide variety of wire combinations! Try this one: 16-gauge square twisted, 16-gauge square plain and 16-gauge round – the results are awesome!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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Daily Wire Tip: Neck Mandrel Alternatives

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip

Question:

Dale, I love the DVD series I have. I want to make the Heavy Twisted Wire Collar (Beginner Series) and the Elegant Collar (Advanced Series). Is there any item I can substitute for a neck mandrel? I am not sure how many collars I will make.

-Marilyn in Canyon, Texas

Answer:

Thanks Marilyn! It is so cool to be able to wear and sell your work on your work! Definitely a 100% handcrafted item.

When making any type of wire collar that is fitted to the human neck, it is important to bend the piece so it fits over the top of the shoulder, at the base of the neck. In this manner, the collar will not stick out, away from the body (remember the "dog collar rings" from the ’60s and ’70s). On the DVD with the Heavy Twisted Wire Collar, I do mention being able to use a small metal coffee can to get the basic curve in the collar, and you can use your hands to get that ‘neck bend’ into it – or make the bends while it is on a test subject, perhaps even yourself while in front of a mirror. However, unless you can find another metal item that the Elegant Collar can be molded on while using a rawhide mallet, I do not think it can be properly made without a neck mandrel.

Elegant Collar
Elegant Collar, Advanced Series

Maybe our readers can help with their experience and ideas on using found items for neck mandrels? I do know that WS Guest Artist, Tracey McKenzie uses a metal tow ball. (Thanks folks!)

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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Daily Wire Tip Feb. 22: Make a Finished Ribbon Necklace

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
February 22, 2011

Question:

Hi Dale, I love your instruction style on your DVDs. I’m almost ready for your Advanced Series.

In an earlier Daily Tip you mentioned using ribbon as a necklace for a heavy pendant. It was unavailable on the link. Would you repost that explanation? I’d love some information on using ribbon.

-Jeanne in Waukesha, Wisconsin

Answer:

Congratulations Jeanne! The broken link to the Ribbon Necklace has been fixed.

Finished Ribbon Necklace

Basically you determine how long you want the ribbon necklace to be, and add about 3/4 to 1" to each end (or 2" to the desired finished length). At each end, fold the ribbon over at the 1" location.

On one end, slide on a clasp with an attached jump ring and use either 20- or 18-gauge half hard half round wire to wrap the end into the main length. Repeat the same procedure on the other end, after sliding on a jump ring with an attached chain with a small headpin charm end for the final touch!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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