Sunday, May 02, 2010

Blue Embellished Flower

This flower was inspired by thread earrings. There are many ways to decorate the spiral wire petals with a contrasting color of thread. Skipping coils when weaving the contrasting color can make for a very pretty and unique creation. I have included a pictorial tutorial for this particular example.
The spiral wire is 4.5 cm long. Dark thread is used for the petals first (taken from left to right to make a long petal). The center is a 4 mm Swarovski crystal bicone.
When you are working with the contrast color, skip every second coil.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Red Flower with Ganutell

I started this flower quite some time ago and just now finished it. I feel that the petals are a slightly too large, but if you would like to make this particular example, it is made as follows:
1. Coil 26 gauge (0.4 mm) red copper wire around a 16 gauge (1.3 mm) straight stem wire. The 26 gauge wire is stiffer than 28 gauge (0.3 mm), so it is a little easier to work with when wrapping the floss around the coils (the coils won't deform easily). Use a 28 gauge wire to separate the coils evenly. 
2. Shape the petals into teardrops (use 24 gauge/0.5 mm wire).
3. Starting from the bottom, fill the petals from side to side. When you get to the top, fill the petals again from side to side until you reach the bottom again. Alternatively, you could take the tread up to the top, insert it slightly off center and fill from side to side until you get to the bottom.
4. The petals are decorated with 2 mm ganutell (also known as check purl or bullion). The silver plated version of this is from the Scientific Wire Company. Use invisible thread to tie the bullion wire to the coils.
5. A 5 mm silver stardust bead is used for the center. Bind all stem wires with 0.2 mm wire and cover with floral tape.

I have also added a new link: Monastery Work by Rita Agius. Her website is under construction, but it looks fantastic so far!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pink Flower

This flower is made by twisting (using the spindle) two 28-gauge wires together. I then wrapped them around a 1 mm wire to coil it. Doing this gives the petal edges a faceted appearance, although that doesn't come out very well in this picture.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Needlelace and Ganutell

When I first saw needlelace on Loretta Holzberger's website, I thought it would go really well with Ganutell. I made this little sample flower by first making the 5 lace petals (these are actually made after some practice) and then making the 5 Ganutell butterfly petals.
Since needlelace is a unique craft, coupling it with Ganutell would produce a flower that is obviously not a traditional example. Even so, I feel that the light, airy lace petals combine well with the Ganutell ones. If you'd like more information about needlelace, please visit
And a new Ganutell link: M's Pockets (Japanese).
Lastly, the Malta Crafts Council has a directory of crafts people who are registered with the society. These are various Maltese Ganutell artists who can be contacted and commissioned.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Small Flower

Just another example of a little spiral wire flower. =) The wire for the petals is about 5.5 cm long, and the center is made from 4 mm silver beads. The size of the flower is around 4 cm in diameter.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Pom-pom Flower

This pom-pom flower is made from instructions in the book Ganutell by Maria Kerr. Pom-poms can be used very effectively as fillers in arrangements. It's also possible to cut the chenille (what the pom-pom is made from) loops in order to get a different look. You can also make individual chenille petals and bring them together to make a flower. This particular example is just one long length of chenille wrapped around a central bead.
To make chenille, you can use a knitting needle, size ~0.5 cm. Fold the rayon thread in half twice and then tie it to a piece of 0.2 mm (32 gauge) wire. Wrap the tread around the cane as if you were making an embroidery button hole stitch. Then twist the wire around the thread to secure. Make several more stitches this way until you are satisfied with the length, and remove the chenille from the knitting needle. If you wish to make a pom-pom, wrap the chenille around a central stamen. If you want to make chenille petals, fold the chenille in half and bind it to a piece of wire. Make several more petals, then join into a flower.
If you would like to see some lovely examples of classic Ganutell flowers, then please visit Ganutell: A Beautiful Maltese Handcraft. There is a wide array of photos which show flowers for weddings, individual flowers, church work, etc. Enjoy!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Mint Flower

This flower is made using 3 strands (instead of the usual two) of mint colored rayon floss and 0.2 mm (32 gauge) wire. The beads are teal fiber-optic beads (4 mm for the petals and 6 mm for the center).

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Butterfly Petals and Spiral Wire

The thread used for this flower is metallic purple. It's a little thiner than rayon floss and so I used 3 strands with 0.2 mm (32 gauge) wire for the butterfly petal flowers. The pink spiral wire was made by wrapping 0.3 mm around a 1 mm (18 gauge) wire for coiling instead of the 1.3 mm (16 gauge) wire I usually use. Also, I used a 0.4 mm (26 gauge) support wire inside of it instead of the usual 0.5 mm (24 gauge). The smaller spiral wire was a little harder to work with and I was afraid that my thread would fall out of the coils, but the petals ended up all right in the end.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Kite Petal Flower

A flower made from kite petals. The instructions for how to make the petals are from Ganutell by Maria Kerr. The wire edge decoration is 0.3 mm (28 gauge) wire which was curled around a small rod to produce the coiled look. I got the idea for this embellishment from Teddy's Klosterarbeiten (from the Schlingendrahtblatt tutorial). Klosterarbeiten means monastery work in German. Some of the techniques of making flowers are the same as in Ganutell, except that no thread is used--just silver and gold wire.
About this flower: 2 strands of yellow rayon floss with 0.2 mm (32 gauge) wire. On the side, the flower is 4 cm (~1 3/4 inches) and on the diagonal 6 cm (~2 1/4 inches). Small petals: 10 wraps for the long arm of the petal, then 8 rounds on the frame. Large petals: 14 wraps on the long arm, then 7 rounds on the frame.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Beautiful Creations with Ganutell

This is a Ganutell book that is available from Wish to Read. "Beautiful Creations with Ganutell" by Catherine Balzan is a rather nice book. The book covers basics well by explaining how to use a spindle to twist the wires and rayon floss together. There is a wide variety of projects in this book, such as a strawberry bunch, a pretty hyacinth, even a duck and peacock, and many Christmas projects. There are also projects, such as "The Fan", that do not give specific instructions for flowers but teach you how to arrange them; in the case of the aforementioned project, in a fan shaped frame.
The only thing I didn't like about this book was that some flower petals (for example the bird of paradise, or orchid) look as if they were rushed, since the rows of the petals do not lie neatly next to each other.
Overall, this book is quite nice and provides new inspiration with its unique projects. To see some examples of what a few of the flowers look like in this book, please look at some of the souvenirs from The Wedding Site. The top row of flowers are wire flowers, which I think are particularly beautiful.

Blue Flower

I used 3 strands of rayon floss with 0.25 mm (30 gauge) wire for this flower. Traditionally, flowers are usually made using only two strands of floss (with 0.2 mm--32 gauge wire) instead of three since it makes the finished work look neater and more delicate.
The size of this flower is as follows: from the tip of a small petal to the tip of the larger petal across from it, the flower is about 5 cm (2 inches) across. From the tip of one large petal to another large petal is 6 cm (<2.5 inches). All petals are basic petals. The small petals had 10 wraps on the initial wire, with 12 rounds; the larger outer petals have a bugle bead on the initial wire with 20 rounds.
You can use a regular drop spindle for spinning the thread and wire. If you use an electric drill or something similar, you will have to spin your thread and wire horizontally. You will have to attach the wire and thread to something, and you will need a lot of room for the wire and thread to spin. The spindle, however, works in an upright manner, so you do not need a lot of room for spinning. Also, you won't need to attach your thread and wire to anything since you'll be holding them in your other hand. In addition, a spindle will give you a more even twist than you would get from an electrical machine due to the fact that it is spinning vertically.
When you spin the thread and wire with a spindle, I think it's a good idea to spin it several times to ensure that the wire and thread are wound together well. Keep the prepared thread on the spindle and work your flower from that. Give your thread an extra twist right before using it.

Making Spiral Wire

I make my own spiral wire for molla flowers. I use a long piece of 1.3 mm (16 gauge) wire on which I wrap 0.3 mm (28 gauge) colored wire. (In the picture on the left, the green wire is 1.3 mm, and the blue wire is 0.3 mm). The wire has to be wrapped fairly neatly. I then use a piece of 0.25 mm (30 gauge) wire to space out the coils in the 0.3 mm (blue) wire. (In the picture on the right, the silver wire is the 0.25 mm wire). When spacing, do not take the 0.3 mm (blue) wire off the 1.3 mm (green) wire. Fold the 0.25 mm (silver) wire in half and place it between two coils of the blue wire. If you wrapped the wire in a counterclockwise direction, then pull the silver wire around the 1.3 mm wire in a clockwise direction.
You can also use a 1 mm (18 gauge wire) to wrap the 0.3 mm wire around. If you do this, you should use a 0.4 mm (26 gauge) wire inside instead of the usual 0.5 mm (24 gauge).
I hope that these directions were understandable. If you have questions, you can leave a comment or e-mail me.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Spiral Wire Flower

This small flower is made from round spiral wire petals. The first layer has 5 petals, all of which are made from two colors: yellow and red. The second second layer has 6 red petals. The center is a cream colored wonder bead.
The molla (spiral) wire is 0.3 mm (28 gauge) which was wound onto a 1.3 mm (16 gauge) wire.
The technique of filling a small wire coil with thread can look very lovely when used in jewelry. For an example of this method used for earrings, please see Magpie's Mumblings.
Also, please visit Graziella Tanti's website. She has lovely examples as well as instructions for sale on her site.

Small Rose

A small rose from maroon thread with a wire of similar color accompanied by three leaves. The rose is made from t-petals. The prepared thread was made from 2 strands of floss with 0.25 mm (30 gauge) wire. The first row consists of 3 petals with 7 rounds on the frame. The second row is made of 5 petals, each with 10 rounds on the frame. The leaves have the basic petal shape, and the thread for them was made of 3 strands with 0.25 mm wire.
Also, since there flowers are quite small they can be used in jewelry. Sam's pictures show Ganutell flowers made entirely of wire used in hair clips, as well as other unique flowers.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Spiral Petal Flower

This is a flower made with spiral wire. The spiral wire is made from 0.3 mm (28 gauge) colored copper wire. One ply (from a 2 ply strand) of rayon floss is used to fill each frame. For more pretty spiral wire flowers, please visit this site by Marie.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Butterfly Wing Flower

Here is a 'butterfly wing' petal flower. Directions for the technique are from "Ganutell" by Maria Kerr, which is a lovely book. Instructions are given for a variety of petals, with examples of the flowers given, although the pictures of individual petals and some flowers are a little small. The instructions are almost entirely textual, but they are easy to understand. Also, there are several pictures of different types of mounts and flowers for inspirational purposes (no specific instructions are given for these, but they use the methods described in the book). The methods are clearly described and can produce lovely results if followed correctly. Spiral wire (molla) flowers are also addressed in this book. Several ways of how to "fill the frame" are described. I think it would have been useful to give instructions on how to make the spiral wire (the thickness of the wire and what to wrap it on), if it is not available to buy.
I would highly recommend this book if you are interested in learning this beautiful craft. The flowers in this book are carefully made and beautifully presented. I purchased this book from Stitch 'n' Craft Ltd. and I was pleased with their service.
The flower here is made using 3 strands of rayon floss and 0.25 mm (30 gauge) wire.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Square Petal Flower

This is a small Ganutell flower of my own invention. The petals are all square, the beads adding variation. To make the twisted wire and thread, 0.2 mm (32 gauge) gold colored wire and 2 strands of metallic gold thread (from a six-ply strand) were spun together. The flower is quite small, about 4 cm (1.5 inches) on the side and 7 cm (>2.5 inches) on the diagonal. To make the outer petals, the wired thread was wrapped around two pieces of 0.5 mm (24 gauge) wire which were in the shape of a cross. Beads were added on the ends of the wires, and the petals were finished off with the rest of the prepared thread.
The small inner petals were a little tricker. The small bead was placed on the vertical base wire (0.5 mm). I held it, and the horizontal wire in place while I carefully wrapped the spun thread around them.
This flower was fun to make since it was interesting to experiment and make the design.

Basic Flowers

Here are two new ganutell flowers. They're made using the basic method which is wrapping floss twisted with wire around a basic stem. These flowers are done in a similar manner to French Beaded flowers, except that they are much smaller. When I made them, however, I didn't realize this. I made the "basic row" in both of them very long. Since the twisted thread and wire is very thin, it was quite difficult to make them look as large as beaded flowers. I will definitely make them much smaller next time!

Small Molla Flower

Ganutell is the beautiful Maltese art of making flowers with wire and floss, and it originated in the fifteen hundreds. If you'd like to read more about its beginnings, you can check out Maria Kerr's website. It is filled with absolutely gorgeous flowers. Someday I hope to reach that standard, but for now I have started with this.

"Molla" is the Maltese term for the colored coiled wire some flowers are made from. I made this flower (which is photographed on a rock sphere) using instructions from Beadsky, a Russian "beads and handworks" site. The designs at the bottom of the page are just lovely. There is also another website, which features the "basic method" of Ganutell. For more information check out Wire and Floss Instructions from Loretta's Custom Stitchery, which details the same method. She also does really beautiful Brazilian embroidery; be sure to have a look! There is also an Italian site which shows how to make vertical petals, although they are made to a much larger scale.