Over the weekend, I actually set some time aside to zone out, play, learn and make something new. I have made wired beads before for various jewelry pieces, but I never made a largish wire-wrapped center bead.
So, I played with some of my beading, wiring jewelry & other craft resources and when I got inspired, I designed a jewel of a bead!
It was fun and easy, and the pebble that we found at the beach found a new home.
I learned a few lessons along the way, and I thought to share these with you here.
Couple of tricks to make good wired center-beads:
1. Loop It Twice. loop it horizontally twice so you won’t lose your stones. Just look at the large coral bead in this necklace by Nichole W. Kennedy, or even these wired sea glass earrings which I spotted at Linda Schneider’s OdysseySeaglass.com.
Tip: the criteria for necklace centerpieces are really different than for earrings. For example, you want something large for your necklace, but for earrings, it’s best to use really light beads as weight matters a lot.
2. Use Useless Curls. Unless you use strong & firm wire, curls should probably be ornamental rather than structural.
3. Hide & Seek. Secure your wrap around at the back (i.e. like you would when putting a ribbon around a package)
4. Double It Up. if you have thin wire, go with double or triple layers at a time. Pick the right wire width for your stone to get it to look right.
7. Be Relaxed. Don’t be in a hurry making jewelry. Take your time.
9. Themed Approach. Repeat Repeat. Build a theme with your features, and build. E.g. All sides of this ‘cage’ around the rose quartz center bead are swirly. Individually they are just swirls. 5 together make an adorable cage.
Or, if you wrap with curls, consider making some curls of different sizes and repeat these curls also elsewhere in your necklace or at different parts around the stone.
10. Have Fun. Life is short.
This means that when you get all giddy, because you don’t get ‘this thing’ right, it’s probably time to go to the beach and have a refreshing dip in the lake.
3 Highly Recommended Wire Jewelry Resources
‘Bead on a Wire’
Bead on a Wire: Making Handcrafted Wire and Beaded Jewelry In this latest book, author Sharilyn Miller shows crafters of all levels how to get in on the popularity of jewellery and beading, with: An in-depth section on design and construction techniques that makes it simple to get started; More than 20 step-by-step bead and wire jewellery projects, including gorgeous earrings, necklaces, brooches of and bracelets; It only takes a few basic steps to start making fashionable jewellery that’s guaranteed to trigger compliments.
‘All Wired Up’
The step-by-step techniques featured in this richly illustrated book take the beginner who knows little about wirework on a journey to creating artistic and unique free-form jewellery. Using round wire that is readily available and economically viable, wireworkers learn everything from how to hold pliers to how to make ear wires, hook-and-eye closures, and cages for marbles and cabochons. Line drawings, photographs of finished objects, and a wirework gallery of pieces by the author and other contemporary wirework artists provide sample creations and ideas for the innovative wireworker.
"I have many books on wirewrapping but none is as explicit or has more helpful diagrams for beautiful wirewrapped jewelry. I highly recommend it for any level wire wrappers. I just wish I had the time to make all the beautiful works of art in this book." ~ review
Other Jewelry Articles at FineCraftGuild.com
Best External Links to Learn How to Wire Jewelry
Red Coral Necklace & wire-wrap white pendant (top left): Nichole White Kennedy
Whimsical Wire pendant: Silvia Peluso
Photo Pliers: Cristina Romano