I had a lot of fun making today’s pendant. My wire wrapping is of course not flawless, but it was fun to combine elements to create an actual theme that’s meaningful to me. I used center-drilled beads, wire, and a stamped blank to create a floral scene. It’s actually a lot more spring-themed than what the calendar says, but I think flowers are universal enough that people appreciate them year-round, don’t you think?
Today’s post isn’t meant to be an exact tutorial, more of inspiration. I’ll show you how I made some of the elements and put them together, but it’s up to you to choose something meaningful to you! Because here’s where I get all mushy and tell you about what made me choose these particular elements.
If you see any of my metal stamping work or read my parenting posts, my kids’ names are Raya and Roman. When she was first born (until she learned to talk back) I called my daughter my “Raya Sunshine” – so, so cheesy and I will be thrilled to embarrass he with that when she’s a teenager, haha. But I picked out sunshine and ray-of-sun elements to kind of represent her going all the way back to when she was born. So adding the spiral sun to the piece is symbolic of her. I picked up these beads a while back at Happy Mango Beads – they are ancient Roman glass beads… and you know where I’m going with that, of course. So the Roman glass flowers and the Sun really mean my kids to me.
So you see why you would probably choose a design that’s special to you! :) I’ll still show you a little bit of the assembly and the elements I used.
- Wire: A gold colored craft wire that’s around 16 gauge, 18 gauge silver coated copper wire for the frame, and 22 gauge silver coated copper wire for the wrapping.
- A bench block, hammer, and stamping supplies to stamp my “bloom” message – I used ImpressArt’s Juniper font for this piece
- A chasing hammer for flattening the wire
- Wire tools: round nosed pliers, nylon pliers, and wire cutters
- Round-drilled beads and a metal blank
- A chain to finish it
First, I formed my frame. I just used a bead storage container for my shape and size! Wrapping around an existing shape is the easiest way to form a frame. I’ve got more detail about exactly how to create a frame in my post from last week, which was a simple pearl pendant design in a round frame.
Next, I hammered it to help harden it, and keep the frame from bending while I wrapped.
I punched a few holes in my metal blank, and plotted out where my elements would go, so I knew where to center my stamping.
Then, I stamped my message. If you’d like more information on stamping, I have a comprehensive beginner’s jewelry stamping tutorial with everything you ever wanted to know. :)
I coiled up a bit of gold wire and hammered it flat. You can see it in the photo above. Then, I used wire to attach the blank and the coil to the frame of the pendant.
Then, to create the flowers, I threaded about 10 inches of wire through a bead. I twisted it to make a stem, and then wrapped it onto the frame.
I added a second little flower, and added a chain!
This way of looking at metal frames opens up so many possibilities – I love the idea of filling the frame with all kinds of patterns (in fact, I can’t wait to try a few more artistic designs). I’d like to hone my skills a little more, but what do you think??