Before I headed to Victoria, BC, I was keeping my eyes open for a Penannular brooch that I would like to purchase, but in the meantime I thought that I would try to make one of my own. I did end up getting my own ready-made, though I really like the ones I made too! I’m sure there are better ways of making them, but since I don’t have much metal work experience, working with wire seemed like a good compromise that wouldn’t stress out my skill-set (or my budget!).
- Needle-nose pliers
- Fine-needle nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Mini anvil
- Cylindrical shaping tool (I used a film canister for my larger one, and a Mr. Sketch marker for the smaller one.)
- 16 gauge silver-plated wire (I bought this at the bead store)
I made this brooch twice – once larger, and once smaller. On the first version I did it a bit differently, but the second time I thought worked better, so here’s what I did:
- Cut a length of wire for the brooch, and another for a pin. Both can be trimmed if needed later, so cut a little longer if you’re not sure.
- For the brooch I shaped the wire around a cylindrical object (I used what was handy) overlapping the ends
- Using the very small needle-nose pliers I shaped one of the ends into a loop, and set the brooch aside for the moment.
- For the pin, I curled one end into a ring, which will go around the brooch.
- The other end I shaped into a point by hammering it and turning the wire. I found holding the pin with forceps helped a lot to hammer the wire – and not my fingers! (Especially with the smaller brooch.)
- I also hammered the length of the pin to work-harden it and retain the flat, straight shape.
- Before sliding the pin onto the brooch, I hammered the wire to work-harden it, shape it, and shape the ring.
- Next I slid the pin onto the brooch, and repeated the loop on the other side of the brooch.
- Finally I hammered the brooch (sections at a time, avoiding the pin) to flatten the loops and work-harden the wire into the nearly-a-circle shape.
Before I made my versions, there was a tutorial I found on Pinterest which recommends #6 copper wire for plumbing plus a brass braising rod.
However, I have also pinned this one from Deviant Art which uses a metal ring and Super Sculpty.