So Kevin and I are going to a charity golf outing today. I can’t decide if my heart is light or heavy about it. Some friends of ours lost their son Rocco a little over 6 years ago to HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome), and their foundation organizes an annual outing. I think the longer I’m a parent, the more this breaks my heart. But at the same time, I admire their drive to do something to help other families whose lives are touched by kids with heart defects.
I sat down to hammer on wire (which is something I do a lot when I’ve got other stuff on my mind) and rather than make what I was planning to make, I made this instead.
It’s just a hammered wire form that spells his name. Nothing fancy. But I loved so much how it turned out, I’m bringing it with us. It will look nice at the registration table.
Since I didn’t really have an agenda when I sat down to work, I don’t have a whole lot of photo step-by-step to share, not like I normally would. But these are techniques I’ve used in other projects, so if you want more detail on any of these steps, I can point you to other posts that will explain in more depth.
You can make up any name (or names!) using this same technique. I think it would be adorable instead of a bride-and-groom or birthday guest of honor place card, or you can add it to a vignette in your home.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 12-gauge aluminum wire
- Steel bench block
- Chasing hammer
- Wire tools: cutters, pliers, nylon pliers
- Optionally, to add beads: some 20-gauge copper wire and small beads
I started out by forming the name in cursive. In hindsight (as I edit the photos), I do wish I had formed the o’s in classic cursive form. While I know exactly what it says, it looks a little “e-ish” after the fact. I was just reducing the amount of wire I’d need, and details I’d need to add, but if I do it again I won’t skip the details. If you’d like to see another project forming words from wire, you can read about my Wire “love” Necklace.
I left a long tail, about 4-5 inches hanging off the heart. Leaving the whole piece flat for now, I hammered it with the large end of the chasing hammer. Hammering accomplishes 2 things. First, it changes the appearance, and second, it hardens the wire. I guess it’s optional, but I love how it looks flattened. If you want to read another hammered wire post, check out my Hammered Wire Earrings.
Next, I wrapped the heart with a few inches of 20-gauge copper wire and a couple of beads. I’m going to point out the difference between wire – the aluminum is much softer, so it’s easier to work with a thick, low-gauge. The copper is much stronger, so it can withstand the wrapping with beads. You can also use silver, but for cost considerations, I like aluminum and copper for hammered wire projects personally. :) If you want to read more about wire-wrapping with beads, then there’s a full detailed tutorial on my Anthro-Inspired Wire Wrapped Beaded Necklace post. (Sorry I’m not sharing each exact step here today – I normally do. I was working with my heart rather than taking photos to share the step-by-step on this project.)
Finally, I bent the “tail” back, and hammered that as well. I formed a stand with it, so that the name can stand freely without being propped up on anything.
I wasn’t entirely sure about the end result, but it’s always therapeutic to me to work with my hands when I’ve got something on my mind. When I finished, my heart felt a lot lighter, so it was a much-needed project. And my husband raved about it, so I thought that some of you readers might enjoy the idea, too. It’s a nice personal way to pay tribute to important people, those still with us as well as those who aren’t.
On a lighter note for the day – wish me luck on my golf game. I sure need it!
See you tomorrow for a fun upcycled piece (oh yes, we’re still on that kick around here)…