Tuesday, 18 July 2017

PEBBLE CAGE TUTORIAL

Are you heading off for a summer break? It could be
exotic, tropical, or local ... Wherever you go, look out
for pretty pebbles, sea glass, any interesting found object ...

This is what got me into jewellery making in the first
place. I just love the fact that you can turn a simple
everyday object into an aesthetic heirloom piece, which
has a story, or personal memory and meaning behind it!























If you can't get away to find your own treasure, you can
purchase polished pebbles and sea glass online.
In fact, for teaching purposes, I use a company called
BAKER ROSS, who do mixed packs for children's
creative activities! Alternatively, this project also works
beautifully for semi-precious stones and wires!
















So, if you're sitting comfortably? I'll begin ...

STEP 1


















Choose your 'stone' and decide which way you're going to
suspend it. Then, using a piece of string, measure around
it and add about 4" (10cm) to the overall length.

STEP 2

















Once you have your string measurement, cut 3 pieces
of 0.8mm (20-gauge) wire to that length.  Spend a little
time, straightening out the lengths through your fingers
(or if you have them, use nylon jawed pliers, or wire
straighteners).

STEP 3






















Cut an arm's length of 0.4mm wire and use the end,
to bind a couple of times around the centre of 2 of
the 0.8mm wires.

STEP 4


















Twist the wires open to separate, forming an 'X' shape
and begin weaving the thin wire around the 4 projecting
wires in a figure of '8' tight motion.

STEP 5


















Place the third 0.8mm wire at the centre and secure that
in with the rest of the unit. Keep the weave tight and close,
pushing it into the centre.

STEP 6






















Use up all your wire and neaten up the end. You should
now have a 'spider's web' effect at the centre of your wire
'star''.

STEP 7
















Place the base of your chosen stone on top of the woven
area and fold all the projecting wires tightly around it.

STEP 8















Pinch the wires together at the top of the stone and using
the tips of your chain nosed pliers, bend a kink at the
centre top, where they meet.

STEP 9












Use one of the projecting wires to bind all the others
together at the very top of the stone.

STEP 10















Keep one wire straight and central for your suspension
link and bend the others at right angles in a star formation.
(*If some are much longer than others, you can always
trim them down to the same length).

STEP 11

















Use your pliers to form spirals out of the side wires and
flatten these around the top wrap, keeping the central
stem projecting.

STEP 12






















For extra decoration, you can thread a bead to the central stem
wire (to sit on top of the spirals), before making a double wrapped
loop with the projecting end.

STEP 13


















Separate the top links out a little and now you're ready for
suspending it onto a cord, chain, ribbon, key ring finding, etc ...

STEP 14






















For my suede cord, I created a couple of 0.8mm wire coils and
threaded these onto the ends, bringing the cord back into the wire
coils to form a loop. To secure and tighten in place, I pinched the
top and base of each of the coils (like a crimp).

STEP 15





















I suspended beads with decorative wire headpins from the end
loops of the cord, which means the pendant can be tied and worn
at variable levels, keeping the back and front decorative!




















Have a go with different wires and varied shapes stones!






















It works well for irregular shapes of glass too!



















Also, experiment with coloured wires to match your summer
outfits!













Or, take it one step further and add a tassel of beads to the end!

ENJOY YOUR SUMMER and 
THIS SUMMERY PROJECT!
I will be back taking WORKSHOP BOOKINGS in
late August and September ...