Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The making of a pendant

Once upon a time, I made a pendant.

I started with sea glass. Since I was young, I have been fascinated by the bits of glass you can find on the beach, pounded by waves and buffed to a translucent satin finish. I collect sea glass fanatically, always with the notion that some day, I'll make something usable out of it.

Finally, I did it! Actually, first, I thought and planned and thought some more about exactly what type of jewelry I should make. Finally I settled on a wire-wrapped pendant. Kind of like the pink one I made recently, except this time I wanted the wire to be less of a functional cage and more of an aesthetic focal point.

I already had some wire (heavy-duty galvanized steel I'd bought at Home Depot—probably not ideal for jewelry making, but the spiral earrings I once made out of it didn't turn out too bad). So I was ready for action!

But first, because haste makes waste, some sketches of different wrapping patterns (I traced the piece of glass I was going to use to get almost the exact shape and size):

When I'd decided on the one I thought was the best (top left), I went ahead and started wrapping.

My first attempt didn't turn out so well:

But after a little practice, I was soon wrapping wire around the glass like a pro.

One thing I learned, if you're wrapping wire around glass, try do do as much of the work as possible before the wire is actually touching the glass. This will enable you to bend the wire at tighter angles, which will help it to grip the glass rather than just slide around it.

The other thing I did to hold the wire in place was glue it down with epoxy. Not exactly as elegant as I'd imagined when conceptualizing this piece, but it was all on the back, and it's mostly transparent, so you can't tell it's there when looking at the necklace from the front.

Here's the finished product:

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