Free Picture Tutorial - Part 1 - How to Wire Wrap a Designer Cabochon, Creating a One of a Kind Wire Pendant

I've been emailed several times, being asked if I could create a tutorial on how to wire wrap an un-drilled cabochon.  It's a difficult request in that most designer cabochon are not of a uniform shape or size... making the giving of exact measurements a hard thing to do.

Then I realized... more important than giving exact measurements, is to perhaps, give the 'idea' and thought process behind wrapping an un-drilled stone.  So I invite you into my studio during the creation of this pendant... and I'll share 'what I was thinking' while I built it.  I'm still a learning student of this art myself... so there might be better ways, but this is one of 'my ways' ;)

When wire wrapping, using a stone or bead WITH a hole makes 'capturing' the stone or bead, fairly easy.  You put a wire through the hole somewhere in your design process and wrap around it in a beautiful way.  Wrapping a cut cabochon, with no holes, is another matter and requires a different thought process.

The un-drilled cabochon won't stay in place or secure within the wire, unless you're able to build a 'harness' around the stone, all the while, creating a beautiful design and functional bale, in the case of a pendant.

I've put together images hoping to show this process.  I don't always have a design in mind to begin with, other than the initial bale I intend to use.  Many times that alone, will drive the rest of the creation.  Many times, the shape of the stone and any color variations it might have, will also drive the over all design.

Due to their unique shapes, using grid paper helps to keep an eye on symmetry.  Even though many of my pendants are more 'free form' than not, there is still a balance to maintain... keeping the stone centered within the pendant for example.  Re-aligning your project to grid points will help a great deal, while you work.

I hope these 'tricks and tips' of mine, help you along your creative way!
My other tutorial projects can be found for sale in my Etsy jewelry store.  I hope to see you there!

Click each image to enlarge and get a close up.  Enjoy!


For stones with odd shapes, use a string, wrapped around the stone, to help measure for wire length needed.  For this project, I used four, 20 gauge, sterling silver wires for the frame, cut to 13 inches each.






I used 30 gauge sterling for wrapping wire, in various lengths throughout.  Using grid paper helps to keep your stone centered during creation and aids with symmetry throughout the design/creation process.





The stone has to be 'captured' from all sides....

'Locking down' wires along the way, helps to keep the pendant harness tight around the stone and the design stable.  Needless to say, it's also a matter of added quality, to your finished piece.

While the back side gets a bit 'sacrificed' to secure wire ends, invest the time to keep it as neat and attractive as possible.  The back side wires should also be placed with purpose, to ensure that they secure the stone into place and prevent it from 'slipping out'.








Designs in front should be created with the same in mind... they serve a decorative purpose, but also to secure the stone into place.



Bringing wires from the back to the front and from the front to the back, in decorative and elegant ways, begins to build the layers of this 'harness', around the stone.  Using this type of 'harness', leaves a lot of room for free form creativity.






Wires can be terminated either in the back of the pendant or in the front.  Either way, try to secure the end in such a way that it won't catch or shift out of place.  Longer lengths might require some type of loop to lock them into place, such as I have done in the image below.  Short tight spirals that don't have a long wire length lay much neater against the stone and don't require so much thought about 'catching' and bending out of shape.

While sides might look like they are secure, always 'jiggle' your stone with reasonable pressure to test it.  Do this BEFORE you cut away any remaining lengths.  You might need to add additional 'design' to secure the stone.

In this case, I created a coil and brought it down the long side of the cabochon.... I'm locking it into place, using the two decorative wires from below.  



I create a decorative loop, add a bead and bring the wire back up the front side of the cabochon.

It's locked into place along the back, using an attractive spiral.





The stone can still slip out the top of the pendant... so I use the two remaining wires from above, to secure this remaining 'side'.
Come back for Part 2 and see how this beautiful pendant is finished...

In the meantime, I hope you'll consider to visit my store for some of my other wire projects!  

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PerfectlyTwisted

While this project is a 'visual' about design... the tutorials within my store contain all the fine details, including materials, lengths and step by step instructions on how to create these weaving patterns. 

Doing Donuts, A New Wire Wrapped Pendant Necklace Tutorial! https://www.etsy.com/shop/PerfectlyTwisted

Where have I been?  Enjoying my doughnuts with coffee of course!  ;)

I've been hard at work designing a new pendant tutorial for you.  I've decided to use a 'donut' stone since they can be found easily and have so much potential for jewelry making!  You can get it in my Etsy Jewelry Store... https://www.etsy.com/shop/PerfectlyTwisted

Click here to go straight to the tutorial listing!

This is a Tiger's eye stone, 1 1/4 inches in diameter, drilled and I got them at my local Michael's craft store. You can also use an undrilled stone, either will work for this tutorial.


There are two files in this project.  The first, primary file, walks you through creating a pendant harness around the stone as well as creating the bale.  The 'end result' is what you see in the two images below.  The image on the left is the 'front' of the pendant, the one on the right, the 'back' of the pendant.  You will learn two different weaving patterns used to create this piece as well as a clever way of creating the bale neck which locks your wires around the stone.  The backside will always be clean and as lovely as the front.  All wire ends will terminate as a spiral design, so there won't be any 'unsightly' ends anywhere.  This will be the base design for many fun and creative variations.

 

And the second Variations file, will show you exactly that!  The file is designed to be 'progressive' and will walk you through adding decorative rounds beads, as well as additional decorative wires.  Adding decorative elements will create a more intricate and complex design... yet all the steps are EASY and you'll see that with some imagination, the different styles become limitless.


The first part of the Variations file will show you how to attach decorative round copper beads.  Certainly, you can also use stone beads, Swarovski crystals, glass beads and so on!

You can stop here or continue through the Variations file and add decorative wire.  There are two different Styles and detailed instructions are included for each.

You can click each image to enlarge for a close up.
 

A couple sample images from the tutorial...
 



Learning to Solder Jewelry

No matter how many videos you watch on this... it's not as easy as it appears... at least not for me.  I mangled about 14 inches of bezel wire before I was able to get these 2 inches into a pendant.  :))  While I'd love to say I had a plan, the honest truth is, I didn't.  I was just learning how to create my own bezel and solder sheet and wires together.  Along a series of 'happy accidents', this pendant came about and I love it.  I used too large of a bezel wire for the stone width, but after I added the round wires and polished the whole piece up, I actually prefer the way it looks... a more earthy, organic or 'rustic' feel to the design, rather than technical perfection of bezel.

I used a thick gauge copper sheet, cut the pattern out by hand, fit the bezel wire to the stone, soldered them all together and then put a wide curve into the top 'point' of the copper backing to create the bale.  I added three, 18 gauge copper wires and used my handy torch to melt and ball the ends.

LOTS of hand filing and sanding to smooth the rough edges of all the copper sheet, then a soak in the Liver of Sulfur to add patina, another hand polishing and then a final seal to preserve the finish.

WHEW!  I hope you enjoy the eye candy.   Just a few more touches to the chain and a handmade clasp yet to go!

The beautiful deep blue stone I used is Lapis.  Over all, I'm pretty happy with it as  my first soldered piece.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PerfectlyTwisted

 

The Latest Grove of Wire Wrapped Bonsai Tree of Life Pendants! https://www.etsy.com/shop/PerfectlyTwisted

I've been hard at work creating new bonsai designs.  I have to admit that I love these and hope you find them inspiring!  They can be found for sale in my Etsy Jewelry Store...  https://www.etsy.com/shop/PerfectlyTwisted

Enjoy the eye candy!
Click each image to enlarge.
I've also just added two of them in sterling silver, so I've edited this post to add those...

 

These are moonstone on the left and Aqua Marine with Peridot on the right.
Below are several trees made of a beautiful deep orange Carnelian stone chips, Rose quartz, green Peridot, metal round ball beads and a soft purple mix in Fluorite.


 

 

 

New! Tree of Life, Wire Wrapped Bonsai Pendants

I just love making these and can't stop myself!  I've listed a few more wire wrapped Tree of Life, Bonsai pendants which can be found for sale in my Etsy Jewelry store.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PerfectlyTwisted

Enjoy the eye candy and thank you for your continued support!  In order from left to right, these are Peridot, Aventurine and Carnelian stones.

  

More Wire Wrapped Tree of Life Bonsai for your shopping treasures!

These have been so wonderful to make and I've had quite a few emails asking 'for more'... they go pretty fast so I made a few this time and have them listed in the store, ready for your holiday shopping!  There's still time to get this unique and wonderful wire wrapped Tree of Life Bonsai into your holiday stocking!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PerfectlyTwisted


The tree of life symbol crosses all cultures and stems back to our ancient ancestors. The sprouting seed, growing into a strong trunk and then branching off to produce 'fruit' represents the cycle of life and it's possibilities. As the tree ages, the roots grow deeper into the ground, stabilizing it against the hardships found within each season... and allowing it to survive and thrive throughout. It represents wisdom, strength, prosperity, protection, beauty and connection to our Earth.



The pendant is approximately 2.5 x 2.5 in diameter and comes with a 18 inch solid copper chain.

This unique and gorgeous Bonsai has a canopy of beautiful, deep purple Amethyst chips. 

 Click HERE to go directly to my store listing for this pendant.




The pendant is approximately 2 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches in diameter and comes with a 18 inch solid copper chain.

This unique and gorgeous Bonsai has a canopy of beautiful rich green and petite Peridot chips.   The solid copper wires have been hammered, oxidized, hand polished and sealed to preserve the beautiful antiqued finish.

Click HERE to go directly to this listing and see more images and other details.


The pendant is approximately 2 3/4 x 2.5 inches in diameter and comes with a 18 inch solid copper chain.

This unique and gorgeous Bonsai has a canopy of beautiful blue/green Aventurine chips. The tree cups a setting bronze colored Mother of Pearl sun.

Click HERE to visit my store listing, see more images and get the shopping details!


The pendant is approximately 2 x 2.5 inches in diameter and comes with a 18 inch solid copper chain.

This unique and gorgeous Bonsai has a canopy of beautiful, deep purple and light blue green, Fluorite chips.  Fluorite is a gorgeous stone, full of colors that range from purples to beautiful, soft blues and greens.   

Click HERE to go directly to my store listing for this pendant.


Shipping is free to customers and destinations within the US.  I accept Paypal, major credit cards as well as Etsy gift cards.  If you need these shipped to a loved one, simply email me with a destination address and let me know it's a gift.  I'm happy to get them wrapped and send them along with a gift receipt for you!

Thank you for considering my Etsy Jewelry store for your  holiday shopping!  I also offer many wire wrapped jewelry tutorials for the 'do it yourself' fan.  Each project file is an instant download and will be available to you immediately after purchase.  Enjoy the art of wire wrapping and learn to make these wonderful and unique pieces of jewelry!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PerfectlyTwisted

More for your Christmas Shopping / Wish List!

I love the look of tribal jewelry, hammered metals and rough wire.  I've spent the week creating a new line to add to my collection of wire wrapped jewelry.  I hope you'll consider visiting my Etsy store for your last minute Christmas gift shopping!  There's still plenty of time to get something ordered, something shipped and under the tree!  Enjoy the eye candy.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PerfectlyTwisted
I hand cut each piece of sheet metal, never using prefab forms.  I saw, I file, I hammer, I heat with a torch and I patina... then each item is hand polished and sealed to preserve the gorgeous antiqued finish.  I use quality materials and all of my heart, in each one of my designs.  I hope they're as much a treasure for you to wear as they were for me to create.



 

 



Holiday Shopping: Wishes and Gift Ideas

Thanksgiving is just around the corner as is our favorite gift giving time of year!  I've put quite a few new items up in the store to help you shop for that perfect and unique, wire wrapped jewelry gift this year.

If you're like me, you'd rather avoid the overcrowded stores, late night camping at department store doors and the possibility of a stampede when the opening hour comes.  I try to shop early in the year to avoid the crowds, but certainly, there's always the last minute shopping that I never seem to escape.

This is the beauty of online shopping!  There's still plenty of time to find the perfect gift for a special friend or loved one and plenty of time to have it shipped and wrapped for the holiday!

What better way to let someone know they're unique and special, than by giving them a one of a kind, handmade item.  Here are a few ideas from my Etsy jewelry store...

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PerfectlyTwisted

I created this gorgeous gemstone pendant out of sturdy 18 and 20 gauge solid copper wires, weaved and swirled around a AAA quality, plum colored Quartz crystal and accented with Peridot and Spinel beads. It's a sparkler without too much 'bling' . The wires have been oxidized, hand polished and sealed to preserve the beautiful and popular, antique copper finish.  It comes with an 18 inch solid copper chain and will be ready to wear upon arrival!

Click here to go directly to the store listing




This elegant and gorgeous pendant necklace is a truly unique piece of wire jewelry in that it's REVERSIBLE. This Labradorite stone is magnificent in color, cut and quality, smoothly polished and beautiful on both sides... so obviously, I had to create this pendant in such a way as to show both sides! An extra treat as it's really two pendants, in one!

Click here to view more images and discover the details about this wonderful and beautiful gift idea!





This unique and gorgeous wire wrapped Bonsai, Tree of Life pendant, has a canopy of beautiful, deep green Peridot chips and rondelles which cover a spiraling copper vortex of energy!  The tree of life symbol crosses all cultures and stems back to our ancient ancestors. The sprouting seed, growing into a strong trunk and then branching off to produce 'fruit', represents the cycle of life and abundant possibilities. It represents wisdom, strength, prosperity, protection, beauty and connection to our Earth.

Click here to visit the store listing for more images, price and details!



Out of gift ideas for that special someone who is a "Do-it-Yourself" fan? Purchase an Etsy Gift Card and have them try out one of my wire wrap jewelry tutorial projects!  I offer them as individual, downloadable, ebooks and I also offer this wonderful "Five Pack" bundle for the truly ambitious.  :)

Click here to view all of my wire jewelry tutorials and give the joy of learning how to make wire wrapped jewelry!


All items, including the tutorials can be purchased directly within my store using credit card or Paypal... the Etsy Gift Card idea is yet another way to shop with me.






I offer free shipping for all customers within the United States.  I ship USPS, Priority Mail, which is a 2 day delivery service to all US destinations. Thanks for considering my Etsy jewelry store for your holiday gift shopping this year!