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.

L.A. Rain Results in New Designs

Posted by Rebecca Stone on February 8, 2010
Feb 082010

What is it about rain that makes me feel like creating something? Whether it’s homemade soup, muffins or a new trim job on my hair, the minute those drops start to fall, my imagination seems to jump into hyperdrive. This time, the storms of the past week found me working on my wirewrapping technique. I’m using copper mostly, to keep expenses down. But its rosy glow does lend interesting effects to my pieces. I’m picking stones that are complemented by the color, and my favorites this week have been Muscovite, Amazonite and Swarovski crystals along with tiny Myuki beads.

Besides wirewrapping stones, I’m also experimenting with creating delicate, bead-covered wire designs. Too much fun! I’ll be shooting some photos shortly, and will post as soon as I get them off my camera. Stay tuned….

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