Today I thought I'd post a quick little tutorial on how I make my Oxalis links. It's a pretty straightforward method that you can use with lots of types of beads and results in a cute little component that can stand alone as a pendant or earrings or link together for a bracelet.
So what does 'oxalis' mean? The word refers to a group of plants sometimes called wood sorrels that I find very charming for their resemblance to clovers.
I have this thing for clovers. Especially four leaf clovers. Over the years I have found hundreds. I have a knack for spotting them, and have learned that where there is one four-leaf, there's a good chance that there are more close by on the same individual clover plant. I've found whole bouquets of 4-leafs in a single day (I had a job that kept me outside a lot).
I have who knows how many pressed between the pages of various notebooks, but I did attempt to mount some for display. I made three 'posters' of them by attaching them to black cardstock with puzzle saver glue.
I've found my share of 5 leafs, too, and the leafiest clover I ever found had eight leaves.
Well, to get to my point, there's a variety of Oxalis called "Iron Cross", and while not a true clover, it sure as hell looks like giant four-leaf clovers! It was this specific plant that inspired my design. There is another neat variety of Oxalis I used to grow called Triangularis that is really neat, too; perhaps someday I'll modify this design as a nod to that plant :)
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Note: this tutorial is protected by an International Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence. This means that you are free to post this wherever you like as long as you give proper Attribution (that is, to me, Jet Kosanke, and my website, malfaitluciu.blogspot.com), it may not be used commercially (you're not allowed to make money off it, that is, sell this tutorial to other people for money), and you're free to make changes to it as long as you also share it under these same restrictions (that is, you still give Attribution to me, you don't sell it, and you allow it to be shared freely.) For more information, click the Creative Commons link at the end of the tutorial.
If you're unsure if what you want to do is allowed, just ask me! I'm really pretty laid back about things like this :) I'd rather share my knowledge and discoveries for free so others can learn than charge money for my tutorials. With all that said, on to the good stuff! :)
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This tutorial uses 8mm beads and 26 gauge dead soft wire. However, you can adapt this tutorial to work with just about any size bead and any gauge wire. You will need one scrap piece of 20 gauge wire a couple inches long (4 inches or longer is best)
First, cut four pieces of 26 gauge wire, each 11 inches long.
Start coiling your 26 gauge wire around your scrap piece of 20 gauge wire, leaving a little tail for leverage when coiling.
Keep coiling until your coil is one inch long. Do this with all four pieces of 26 gauge wire.
Slide your coil off the piece of 20 gauge wire and snip off the ends of the coil with your cutters so you're left with smooth coiled ends.
After you're done, you should have four cute little one-inch long coils like this one.
Cut a piece of 26 gauge wire 8 inches long and string four of your beads on it (don't these look like peas? haha)
Pass one end of the wire back through the first bead and pull it through, forming a loop, and pull tight so the beads snug up against each other. Leave a bit of a tail at the other end of the wire.
Take one of the coils you made earlier and string it onto the long end of the wire.
Pass the wire you strung the coil onto back through the same bead and pull all the way through so the coil loops over the bead.
I didn't take a photo of this (oops), but the next step is to thread the wire you just pulled through the bead through the next bead in the loop. So in the photo above, the next step would be to thread the wire through the bead on the right, to set it up for the next coil to be added.
Continue stringing on your coils and passing the wire though the beads until each bead has it's own 'leaf'. At the end, you'll end up with two wires sticking out next to each other. At this point, you want to wrap each wire end around the little 'bridge' of wire between the two beads the wire ends are coming out of a couple of times, then snip off the excess. You'll end up with something like what's shown below:
And with that, you're done! You can shape the 'leaves' a bit with your fingers a bit to get them into a pleasant looking form. From here you can add a jump ring and string it on a chain, or make another to form earrings, or do whatever you like!
If you create something using this tutorial, I'd love to see it! Email me photos of your work (with a link to your blog if you have one) to email@example.com - I'd like to create a gallery page on my blog featuring your creations made using this tutorial (or any of my tutorials) with a link back to your blog, too :) Don't be shy, let me show off your work! :)
￼Oxalis Links Tutorial by Jet Kosanke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
'Til Next Time!