Saturday, October 16, 2010

Netted or Needle Lace Pendant

Next Class I'm teaching at Bead Island on Nov. 7thIn Murrieta, CA

It’s funny, I’m looking back at my only other two post and both of them are featuring copper pieces, honest I do work in silver. :-) Just check out my website
This pendant is my next upcoming class; I know it will be fun and challenging at the same time. (for me at least) Once you know the techniques it is an easy concept. But knowing how to work the wire is what takes a little more time and practice.  There are two parts to this particular piece the first technique is called a netted pendant or needle lace or I’ve use the term buttonhole stitch (it’s the same concept). The netted weave uses 28 or 30 gauge wire, I'm not sure if I would go any larger in gauge but I'm sure it can be done with the proper tools. You attach your wire you’re stitching/weaving with to a base or frame wire which needs to be strong enough not to bend under a little bit of pressure. I like using 18 gauge wire.

NOTE: If you are using sterling silver as your base wire, after shaping it to fit your stone or bead, you can put it on a steel bench and with a mallet lightly tap the silver. You don’t want to flatten your silver that is not what we are trying to achieve. By tapping the silver with a mallet it cause vibrations to run through the silver and it actually hardens it. Hope this little tidbit of info helps. :-)


The other technique on the bail in this piece is, as Barbara Berk refers to as, the Soumak weave or a variation of it. It originated in the country of Azerbaijan which is south of Russia and Georgia, north of Iran and boards the Caspian Sea.[1]  This has to be one of my favorite weaves, especially when you add in 4 or 5 base wires to weave together. It’s very clean looking with quite a bit of detail.

Another  thing I’ll be going over in this class is, when you use 28 or 30 gauge wire, especially repeatedly bend this small of a gauge wire, it can become very brittle and snap. Instead of ripping it apart and starting over when this mishap happens. I can show you how to add new wire to continue the weave with it looking clean and not so obvious.

I’m really excited to teach this class and if you live or happen to be in the neighborhood on Sunday November the 7th please stop by Bead Inland in Murrieta, CA. The class is only $35.00 per person plus supplies.  The women are always a blast in the classes and I really enjoy their company. Hope to see you!

Bead Island
25359 Madison Ave
Suite #108
Murrieta, CA 92562


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Inspired by Alice in Wonderland

It's been a little time sense my last post, so breaking out of tradition here I am.:-)

This piece is one of my newer pieces and it was created after see the movie Alice in Wonderland. I absolutely love Tim Burton’s style!
The chain was inspired by Nancy L. T. Hamilton she is an awesome jewelry artist who has some really great video tutorials on her website. The center pendant is a design I created. It definitely was not easy using the 28 gauge wire on the sides, took me three times on each side to get it right. The center is created using the basic pendant wrap setting, with a couple of different twist here and there. After finding couple of really good free wire wrap pendent tutorials online (listed below) and reading through them a couple of times and making a few changes to the way I like aesthetically. I was ready to take it to the next level.

In the basic wire wrap pendant you would bind together 3 or more square wire, 21 gauge square, to create what is called a sheet. The number of 21 gauge square wire depends on the width of your cab. Usually you would have one sheet of “so many” wires that is bound by half round 20 gauge wire four times along the sheet and you would wrap and form this whole sheet (on piece) around your cab. But in the case of the piece above I took two sheets, both bound twice with the half round wire and then bound them together on each end (just under the spirals in the picture above) again using half round wire. The rest of the wire extended out past were the two sheets were bound, I did a basket weave using the 28 gauge then secured it against the main frame.

The clasp is pretty much a story in itself… to be honest it was a pain in the butt. I didn’t want to use a store bought clasp, it definitely had to be handmade. So being handmade my main concern was security. I didn’t want it to come undone to easily, naturally. On top of all that, the clasp had to be the widths of the bracelet. I figured a hook clasp would be best, but not very secure. So in final thought I did a double hook clasp, or at least that is what I’m calling it. :-) After do about four or five of them I ended up sticking with the first one I did. It was the most symmetrical. Once I hooked the bracelet together with this clasp, I knew it was the best clasp for this bracelet. It won’t go anywhere, yet easy to do and undo.