Sometimes I try a project and it doesn’t work out. In fact, sometimes it is just a big fail. Well, these wire candle holders have been frustrating me for the last three weeks! A friend had received a hanging wire candle holder as a gift and then copied it and given several as gifts. She had supplies left over from this project and generously passed them on to me.
I am all about getting free craft supplies and I loved how the loops and curlicues of wire looked. So I pulled out my jewelry pliers and started twisting wire. Or rather I started putting angles and crimps into wire. And getting a bit annoyed. The wire was fairly stiff and hard to bend and I felt clumsy and inept. I asked my friend for some guidance and tips on how to bend wire. She gave me different, softer wire. She suggested wrapping the wire around the barrel of a pen, or a piece of doweling. She was very encouraging.
Newly inspired I starting bending wire again. Oh, the soft wire made lovely, fat, round loops and spirals. It was easy enough to bend with my fingers.
However, when I tried to hang the resulting chain and candle holder with glass votive it was so soft that it sagged and straightened out. I was beginning to feel like a not-very-crafty Goldilocks: “This wire it too hard! This wire is too soft!” One part of me wanted to chuck the whole idea but another part wanted to dominate the wire.
I looked online for information on bending wire. I saw wire-bending YouTube videos. I discussed wire properties with a helpful saleswoman at the bead store. I bought new wire and some nylon-jaw pliers. I learned about work-hardening wire. Wire comes in different gauges or thicknesses and in different strengths or degrees of softness or hardness – both of these affect how easy or difficult it is to bend the wire. I learned that you can make wire harder by drawing it through the flat jaws of nylon-jaw pliers (kind of like a flat-iron for curly hair, but without the heat). Wire is also hardened with heat and by hammering with a plastic or rawhide hammer.
Once again I worked with the wire. I curled it, I twisted it and I even tried hammering it and heating it. The nylon-jaw pliers were wonderful for smoothing crimps out of wire. They do seem to make soft wire a bit stronger. I even bought some baby-food so I would have the jar for another variation (the bottle of cream I bought at the Farmer’s Market was like a half-sized milk jug and will look very sweet holding flowers but was too heavy for this project – believe me, I tried that too).
In the end I created some wire candle holders. I used some gifted and some newly purchased supplies. I used some tools I had on hand and some I bought for the project. I created a new wire hanger for a pretty blue glass candle holder that had been hanging from a badly formed, bent wire hanger for years. But, my friends, if you are inspired to craft a hanging wire candle holder, you’re on your own! If there is one thing I learned is that I’m not the person to give a tutorial on this project.
Thanks for stopping by!