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Beautiful Wire Wrapped Jewellery - How to Wire Wrap a Faceted Gemstone Pendant
Kick it up a notch
Once you have been making wire wrapped jewelry for a while, you start looking around for something more challenging to create. This next pattern is not for the beginner, unless of course, you happen to be patient, precise and enjoy a challenge!
The lady who created this pattern has been wire wrapping for many years. Her designs appear simple, as do the steps, but looks can be deceiving. You need to take the time to straighten the wire so that they fit together for this piece to look like the pictorial below. This may seem like a waste of time, but trust me, it is the most important step to creating a beautiful piece of jewelry.
This, believe it or not, leads me to my next 'mini' lesson - the wire. Most people don't know the differences in the quality of wire used for wrapping. Many equate it with electroplated costume jewelry. Now I'm not saying that all wire wrappers use better quality wire, but the majority do.
Different types of wire
There are several different types of wire available for jewellery making. The most popular ones are sterling silver and 14k gold filled. Gold filled should not be confused with gold plated. Gold plated wire has a very thin coat of 24k gold brushed on and then electroplated. This type of wire will lose it's 'gold', just like gold plated costume jewellery.
Gold filled, or "Rolled gold" wire, is a laminate, wherein actual sheets of solid gold are fused with a base layer of silver or brass. It is then rolled out afterwards, hence the name. This wire looks and wears exactly the same as 14k gold because it is an alloy, and will not wear off, however it is much more economical to use and is stronger and more resistant to dents.
All pictorials and instructions are courtesy of Mavis Llewelyn.
Materials Needed for This Project:
- 4 feet of 20-gauge square soft wire
- 1 foot of 22-gauge half-round hard wire
- 4 1/2 inches of 22-gauge square hard wire
- A faceted stone
1: Cut six pieces of 20 gauge wire each 8 inches long. Place them tightly together and tape the ends of the wire. Mark the middle to center the stone. Cut a 5-inch piece of 22-gauge half-round wire, and wrap the wires at the middle mark. (approximately 6 full wraps)
3: Make sure you finish on the same side as you started, keeping all unfinished ends on the inside of the piece. Measure a 1/4 inch from your center wrap and draw a line. Then measure another 1/4 inch and draw a second line. Repeat this on the other side as well.
4: Remove the tape, and slide the first wire (top one) out on a slight angle on both sides of the center wrap. Bend the wire down at the first mark, and up at the second one so you have an inverted triangle, (see illustration for clarity) and repeat on the other side, then retape the wires.
5: Make sure everything lines up properly before you start wrapping. Make four wraps starting at the outer mark, working outwards on both sides.
6: Make sure the ends of your wraps are on the inside, and then use the mandrel to curve the wire.
7: Place the stone in the curve, making sure it's a good fit, and bend the triangles to hold the stone in place.
At this stage, you need to make sure the stone is sitting firmly against the top wire, and slide it carefully under the triangles. Don't expect it to stay in position just yet, you still have to anchor the top of the stone first. Bend the triangles firmly over the bottom of the stone to secure a good fit.
(In order to achieve the look of the illustration, you need to bend the triangles up where the arrows are pointing.)
8: Continue bending the wires until they cross the center point at the top of the gem. Then bend both sides up until they meet and tape them together. Use your flat nosed pliers for a cleaner edge.
9: Cut a piece of 22-gauge square hard wire and hook it over the wires. and hold it in place and wrap it four times, towards the gem as shown.
10: Again, check that your stone is sitting correctly in the curve of the wires, with the wraps just under the edge of the stone.
11: Remove the tape, and separate the wires, bringing the top two wires forward, over the front of the piece, and tape them together.
12: Cut a piece of 22-gauge half-round wire and make five wraps. Take the tape off and gently spread the remaining wires. Curve the top two wires toward your stone and wrap six times.
13: Anchor the stone in place by tucking it under the tips of the triangles, then curve the two wrapped wires over the top of the stone, as shown.
14: Spread wire across the top on each side of the stone, and bend them towards the back. Curve the wire and thread it through the base of the triangle.
15: Gently pull the wire through and lay it flat against the side. Cut the extra off, making sure to leave enough wire to tuck in. Repeat with the second wire.
16: Bring down the rest of the wires, one at a time, leaving two for the eye loop. Cut off and curve in toward the top of the stone, forming what will look like a crown.
17: Make sure the stone is secure. Cut the bottom two wires, at the top of the pendant, about 1/2-inch long and make overlapping loops. These will form the eyelets.
18: Cut a 1 and 3/4 inch piece of 22 gauge wire and make a loop at each end, making sure to center them so they match.
19: Bend the wire in the middle, matching the loops. You should be able to open and close them like you can a jump ring. Thread them through the loops on your pendant and you are finished. You now have a dazzling faceted gem pendant!