Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wire Wrap Woven Pendant Tutorial part 1

If you happen to wander into this post, please bear with me as I work out writing a decent tutorial. I have found that taking this many pictures is an exercise regime all by itself! So please feel free to comment any suggestions, or questions if I miss something. I would love the feedback.
Materials and Tools

masking tape or small clamps (which ever you find more convenient)
wire straighteners
bent nose pliers, or chain nose
wire cutters
round nose pliers
18 or 20 gauge wire (for frame)
24 gauge wire (for weave)
flat circular focal 
(this onyx was 1.5 inch in diameter)
one lap weight to keep you in your chair!

To get started with the frame I form the 20g wire around the outer edge of the focal. Leave just a hairline of space between the wire and the focal for wrapping. Cut the wire, leaving at least 2 inch tails at the top.
Next cut 2 more 20g  wires the same size as this first frame work and do a loose shaping of the circle. I find it easier to hold the 2 together and shape at the same time for continuity.At the bottom center give the 2 wires a slight pinch to create a soft point. The curves need to be slightly smaller than the original diameter..set each piece of new wire on the focal and push gently to shape with the face curve of the stone/ bead. These two wires will be taped in place at the bottom center. One on the front and one on the back. This will cage the focal when it's woven, and make sure the back is pretty too.

Make sure all the tails at the top of the tear drop shape are in front, center, and back order on both sides. looking at the front of the piece determine how far away from the focal you want the top of the teardrop frame point to be. hold the point there, and tape (or clamp) on each side (all 3 of the wires keeping them in order) right next to the 'V' junction to hold the point space in place.
To start on the weaving I cut 2 pieces of the  24g wire approx 30 inches long. One for each side. I like to work both sides simultaneously in order to keep the shape , and tension true. At this point I work by holding the piece in hand, but some people might find a bench vice or clamp handy to hold the piece for them. If you prefer to use one of these tools, please use some padding or batting to protect your pendant from possible scratches.
To start weaving/wrapping we're going to go back to elementary school and use the old over / under technique we all used making goofy colored pot holders.
  1. Start at the top take  the 24 g wire and slide it under just the center frame wire leave an inch or so tail.
  2. wrap the 24g around that center wire 4 times to create a small coil. 
  3.  use the bent nose pliers to crimp the coil together and nudge to the top. We're going to leave the tail there to be able to hold the coil in place while we start the wrap
  4. whichever side the long end is on start by wrapping 'over' that side frame wire twice
  5. the pattern should be: over back wire twice, back under center twice,over front wire twice then back the other direction. alternating the over/ under.
  6. for now just nudge the wires close to each other with your thumb.
 Weave down about an inch and repeat the process on the other side to keep the tension balanced. At this point remove the the side pieces of tape. Clean any  tape residue from the wire and focal now. Continue weaving down each side. Depending on the size of your pendant you will have enough wire to meet both wraps at the center bottom. In my case I cut a third length to finish the bottom. If your wire breaks, or you need more length. Make sure you end on the center frame and leave a small tail. To start the connecting weave, wind your around the center frame wire at the bottom, lining up the wrapping wire at it's halfway point. Continue the pattern of weaving up both sides to end and meet on the center wire with 2 wraps where you left off

To finish the tails lay the wire over the center wire, and with the flat side of you cutters laying against the center wire, snip the wrapping wire leaving the tiniest fraction to tuck under the center frame wire. Use the tip of you bent nose or chain nose pliers to push that end under the frame wire to hide it. Do this with all tails.
So here's a good point to take a break and work the kinks out your fingers, and get some chocolate energy! Stay tuned for part 2 Embellishing, and the Bail. I will try to get the rest posted by tomorrow! :)
Bright creative blessings, Theresa


Baroness Bijoutery said...

What a great maybe this old woman can get it right. hehe
You are so talented my darling Brat.

Laura Beth Love said...

Great tutorial!

Alyssa S. said...

I saw you were doing a tutorial and I practically peed my pants! OK, maybe that's bit melodramatic, but you did a great job and now I want to try it. It's going on my "to try" list.

humangal said...

i have got to try this tutorial sometime! thanks for posting it!
comment, follow, enjoy.

Unknown said...

I love your blog and this tutorial. I tried something similar to this recently - had the idea that three woven pieces of round wire would be great around a cab - well it didn't fit the cab I made it for, but I did get it to fit another stone was done freestyle, so was not near as organized as yours is. You have given me the structure I needed to do it and next time wil be easier - I hope! Thank you for sharing your talents! Anita

spiritdance said...

Always wanted to try I have step by step..thanks

RockMeGently said...

So nice of you to share this tutorial(shared by Magpie Gemstones on fb)! Grand step by step and photos, am bookmarking!
Thank you!!!

FlightFancy said...

Thanks for all the great feedback! I just hope it proves useful :) Happy creating♥ T

geoduckfest said...

Damn Flurfy cat!!! :D

Mei Tan said...

Wonderful tutorial and instructions.
I have link your page to my blog here -
Hope you don't mind.

M said...

this is trully art!

vierose said...

It's beautiful.

Stefania said...

very nice :)

Stefania said...

Great tutorial. Keep on...

Diana Katerina said...

Hi. Thanks for this fabulous free tutorial. I am making this right now but I only have an oval stone to practice on. Will let you know how it goes.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing it!Awesome work!

Joel and Janice Whitaker said...

I am a new follower and found your site by googling sea glass jewelry with wire wrap. I am pleased to say I do some traveling and find sea glass. I'm currently in Spain and have found quite a bit of sea glass and very much want to start making jewelry. Your wrap designs are beautiful and when I get back in the states I will start getting the tools to do so. I will also follow your blog for more tutorials. I will send you pictures if you'd like down the road of my accomplishments. Our blog website is:
Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

What a great tutorial.Thanks for sharing!! I hope you don't mind me sharing this link on my blog. Wonderful work Thanks.

Anindita Basu said...

Thanks for this beautiful tutorial. I'll try it and give you credit with a link. I hope I can make it. Dita

Anindita Basu said...

I so wanted to do a design like this. You showed very clearly with details. Thanks for your generousity in giving this tutorial free. I came to your site from Pearl's site. I am going to try it tomorrow and show you how it came out. Dita

Judy said...

Question: how do you keep your wire from kinking? I have sooooo much trouble with this.
Comment: love the tut! You mention not using pliers to hold your pieces? sometimes I use my Nylon tip pliers if I really need a grip on something and don't want to mar it. :o)

HJC Editor said...

Finally, I have featured this great tut on my blog! Here's the link:


Unknown said...

Thank you so very much. I have had a difficult time finding the basic instructions of this technique. So informative. I will try it today!

Regina said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. You have made it look fairly straightforward. I found you through All Free Jewelry Making.

Great tutorial. Thanks again for sharing it.