“Rocco’s Heart” Standing Wire Name Form

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.

"Rocco's Heart" Standing Wire Name Form at www.happyhourprojects.com

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

"Rocco's Heart" Standing Wire Name Form at www.happyhourprojects.com

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.

"Rocco's Heart" Standing Wire Name Form at www.happyhourprojects.com

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.)

"Rocco's Heart" Standing Wire Name Form at www.happyhourprojects.com

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.

"Rocco's Heart" Standing Wire Name Form at www.happyhourprojects.com

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)…

Adrianne Signature


  1. says

    well that’s a heartbreaking story – but I love that you made a beautiful reminder of his name! Very creative – thanks for sharing :)

  2. says

    I’m so sorry for your friends… I can’t imagine losing my child – my heart goes out to them.

    I love the way this turned out, Adrianne! I think that metal script is so lovely. You did a great job!

  3. says

    What a fantastic charity event for such an important cause! And I love the piece you made…it will look great at the registration table :)

  4. says

    What a beautiful way to pay tribute to a friends child! I can’t imagiane loosing one of my own. :( I’m sure they loved it. I hope golfing was great, what a fun way to give to a great cause!

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