Embrace this Celtic design that has long been symbolic of the link between heaven and earth
The ancient Celts believed that the Tree of Life – ‘Crann Hethadh’ in Gaelic – possessed special powers. The oak tree provided warmth and shelter, as well as nourishment to animals that lived in the woods. Now you can harness the magical powers behind the mighty structure by crafting a wire wrapped pendant, keeping these deep-rooted mythical beliefs close to your heart.
DID YOU KNOW?
Variations of the Tree of Life exist in other cultures and mythologies, including China, Ancient Egypt and the Mayans
• Seed, mixed colours
• Wire: copper, silver, 0.4mm
• Wire: silver-plated, 1mm
• Mandrel: cyndrical, 4cm
• Pliers: round-nosed, chain-nosed
• Two D-ring picture hangers
• Wire cutters
• Steel stake
1 Working from the end of a spool of 1mm silver-plated wire, wrap the wire around a cylindrical mandrel and cut off where it overlaps by 2cm. Using the tip of round-nosed pliers, create a small loop at one end and link this over the other side.
2 Bend the projecting end upwards and curl around round-nosed pliers to form a top suspension link. If the circular frame mis-shapes at any stage, place it around the cylindrical mandrel to reshape. Stroke hammer the circular frame on a steel block to flatten and harden.
3 Cut eleven 20cm lengths of 0.4mm copper wire. Place them together in a bundle and twist at the centre of the length to hold them together. Wrap the twisted stem around the base of the circular frame, creating a couple of complete loops.
4 Retain four of the projecting wires and bind the rest around the base of the frame to secure. Create small, tight spirals with the four remaining projecting wires and flatten these against the wrapped and cut ends at the base of the frame.
5 Use round-nosed pliers to shape a tree trunk from the twisted wire. Separate the wires into three branches, two with three wires on each side and five for the centre. Twist the three branches a couple of times, then separate the three wires on each side into two and one single strands and the centre into three and two single strands.
6 Begin threading the wires with beads of your choice, until the wire reaches the side of the frame. Wrap it around the frame to secure the beads in place. Thread the extending wire with more beads and bring it around to form a loop (leaf), securing it around the outer stem. Cut off any excess and neaten the end.
7 Continue threading beads on all the wires as in step 6, making sure to create a curvy look to the branches. When all the projecting branch wires have been threaded with beads, spend a little time readjusting the leaves around the outside of the circular frame, pushing and moulding them outwards to create anaesthetic-looking pendant shape.
8 Create a bail from 4cm of 1mm silver plated wire. Hammer the centre of the length to spread and flatten it, then place the centre of the wire around round-nosed pliers to create a U-shape. Use round-nosed pliers to create a link at one end of the wire to connect into the top loop of the pendant frame. Create another link with the other end, then thread the pendant with embellished cord, ribbon or chain to complete.
Once you have mastered
this make, why not create
Tree of Life earrings
and keyrings to gift
This pendant project was created by Linda Jones for Make Sell Jewellery’s October 2013 issue.
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