by craftbits (shellie wilson)
To explain humankind’s connection to heaven and earth and the interconnectedness of all life. The roots of a tree sink deep into the underground, the branches stretch up to the sky and all the parts connect to a central trunk. What a perfect metaphor! Whether you’re drawn to the symbolic meaning or you simply appreciate the beauty of nature this artistic representation of a tree will look stunning hanging in the garden or a window as the sun shines through the green “leaves” and reflects off the copper wire.
What you need
A 7-inch copper ring (or an embroidery hoop painted with copper paint)
16-gauge copper craft wire
Assortment of green glass beads
Cut 9 pieces of wire in random sizes from 18 to 22 inches long. Fold them in half. Arrange the wires in groups of three, making sure there are some shorter and some longer wires in each set. Slide one group of wires over the bottom of the ring, capturing the ring between the folded wires. Place your hand through the center of the ring and grasp all three wires (6 halves). Twist them together, letting the bunch poke up and over the top of the ring. Repeat with the remaining two groups of wire.
Braid and twist the three groups together to form a trunk.
Divide the wires into sections to form the main limbs. Make some branches thicker than others. Work with one limb at a time and string beads onto individual wires to create a leaf effect. Twist, shape and bead the branch until you’re satisfied with the look. Loop the ends of the wires around the ring to secure them to the form, but do not cut them yet.
Continue shaping all the main branches in the same way.
When each branch is finished you’ll have several inches of unused wire sticking out beyond the ring. Bend some of these pieces back toward the main limbs to create the look of smaller branches growing off of them. Bead and twist these smaller branches and wrap the ends around the larger limbs to connect all the wires securely.
Trim off any unused wires and wrap the ends neatly around the ring. Use a scrap piece of wire to fashion a display hook at the top of the charm.
Hint: If your tree looks more like a senseless mess of wires in the beginning don’t panic! After the main limbs are established it will begin to take a familiar shape. Keep playing with the wires until you’ve created a pattern that looks balanced and attractive like a well-trimmed tree.
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