Sunday 3 March 2024

3 Silver Bangles


This week I was back at West Dean.

I've been wanting to do the 3 silver bangles class for years now, but it gets booked up very quickly.  I think I must have booked this 6 months ago, before I had even come across the Frensham Old Barn Workshop.

This was a one day workshop run by Sarah and Rachael.

We were given three lengths of silver wire.  One was round, one was square and one was D wire.  We were also given some copper wire so we could have a play before making our actual bangles.

Copper wire samples

Sarah talked us through how to anneal our metal to make it easy to work, and showed us lots of example bangles to give us ideas of what we could make.

Sarah and Rachael were on hand the whole time to answer our question and help us to figure out our designs.  They were so helpful!

I knew I wanted to twist the square wire to match the ring I made before Christmas.


I had of course also bought some glass beads with me, and wanted to know if I could add them - would they deal with the heat ok?  And all the other processes used in making a bangle?  So that was the round wire sorted, but what to do with the D wire?

I really liked the wishbone bangle they had but the example used square wire.  Would it work with D wire.  They suggested I turn the rounded side inside against my wrist and used the flat side to make the point.  Sorted!


Once I knew what I was doing I could just get on with it.

I twisted the square wire first as that was quite straight forward.  You have to keep quite a lot of tention on the wire as you twist it to keep the twists equal, but I think I did ok.

I then set about shaping the wishbone and cutting the wire at an angle to make the point.  This needed a little refining, but I got there in the end.  It really does prove that taking the time at the start is worth it, as I ended up with a lovely finish in the end.

Then I moved onto the round wire with beads.  Several of the other ladies had textured their wire with a hammer, and I thought this looked really good, so I did the same with mine.  I then threaded on my beads and set up to solder it.  I covered the glass beads and tried to keep the heat away and I think it was ok, until without thinking I put the whole lot in the water to cool it.

This is fine with metal, but the glass likes to cool slowly.  Doh!  All the beads cracked.  But I put it in the pickel anyway just to see what would happen.  It's a mild acid and the glass didn't care at all.

So I ended up with 2 bangles which I'm really please with, and one that has proved a concept for me and given me LOTS of ideas to take home with me and I hope to explore later.  What more could I ask for from a day of crafting?