Let's Wrap!

Posted by Rebecca Stone on December 26, 2010
Dec 262010

Hope you all had a good holiday! It’s been just over a year since I started blogging, and while I continue down the endless path of jewelry design skill development, I think I’ve made some progress over the past 12 months. There are so many things to learn that it’s hard to focus on just one kind of skill, but lately, I was forced to do this due to a customer request (bless her!). She wanted a necklace — one with a pendant — made for a friend. No problem — I thought — until I started to look for one. I scoured the Internet and all of my local suppliers for a small (11-15 mm) trapezoid-shaped lapis pendant in a natural deep shade of blue. At that size I found it tough to find in the pendant category, and the shape was not so easy to find among beads. But I finally hunted a few down and was able to wrap one with a lovely bead cap. It came out quite nice, so she was then interested in having me make another necklace in a similar design, using snowflake obsidian. In this case, the only pendant approximating that size and shape was a cabochon — undrilled, of course.

Sterling silver-wrapped snowflake obsidian cabochon. Square wire made a huge difference!

Sterling silver-wrapped snowflake obsidian cabochon. Square wire made a huge difference!

It had been a while since my last pendant wire-wrapping adventure, so I was kind of glad to get back to it, though unsure if my skills were up to the challenge. I refreshed my memory with a few books and online tutorials (I must say that one of the most helpful tutorials I found is A Basic Pendant Wirewrapping Lesson by Junesse Farley through the San Francisco Gem and Mineral Society). Up to that time, I had only worked with half-hard, round wire. I decided to try square wire.

Really got on a roll with this one, using a finer-gauge sterling wire. So many briolettes, so little time.

Really got on a roll with this one, using a finer-gauge sterling wire. So many briolettes, so little time.

What a difference! I found it much easier to keep in place, and using 20-gauge square, along with 22-gauge round for the cross wraps, I was overjoyed with the result — and so was my customer. I wrapped two for her to choose from and she went for the smaller stone. So, while I still have the larger one for inspiration, I’ve managed to collect a virtual quarry of jasper pendants and cabs to wrap, and am also experimenting with smaller-gauge briolette wraps. Now that the Christmas rush is done, I can’t wait to get started.

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