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Wire Wrapping

A few weeks ago, I saw some jewelry at a festival that I really liked. It was a slice of fossilized coral (similar to this) set into a pendant. Unfortunately, the cost was a bit out of my current price range, so I didn't buy the one I saw for sale. Then, a couple of weeks ago at the Santa Rosa Wednesday afternoon market, one of the vendors was selling little ammonite fossils. At $3 a piece, those *are* within my price range. :) So, I bought one, and decided I was going to figure out a way to turn it into a necklace.

Originally, I thought maybe I could find adhesive foil (like the copper foil used for doing stained glass), and do something with that and my soldering iron. But after a bit of looking around on the internet, I realized that making a metal setting for jewelry requires actual, you know, metal smithing, something I wasn't prepared to do. I did, however, find some pendants created with a technique called "wire wrapping." I thought they looked pretty, and it didn't look too difficult, so I thought I'd give it a try. One roll of silver wire later (cost: under $5), about half an hour of labor, (guided loosely by the instructions on this website), and I have this:

Ammonite, after wire wrapping

Here's the ammonite before being wrapped (along with some chain stuff I later decided not to use):


It was really, really simple to do, and I'm very happy with the results, especially for a first effort. I think with a little bit of practice, I could make things with this technique that would look much more professional. In fact, I'll probably do some of that. (Hah. Some of you may be getting jewelry this year for the holidays :D).

Here's another view of the necklace:

Another view of the wire-wrapping

And here's me wearing it, so you can see the size of the finished piece:

Wendy and her new necklace



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 11th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Oooh, pretty!
Jun. 11th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
Very nice. :) I always mean to learn those things because I'm always seeing a zillion women selling this stuff for outrageous prices at all the craft fairs, but I never get around to it. A former co-worker taught herself to do it and started making bracelets, necklaces, etc. and opened a store on eBay. I think she also taught herself to make dog/cat collars to sell there too. I'm just not that into crafts, although it would be a nice sideline if one had the time.
Jun. 11th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
That's pretty cool!
Jun. 11th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's gorgeous. Both the ammonite and the wrapping. I like the simplicity of it, and I like the way it looks like the inner shell has sort of dropped to the bottom of the amber.

Jun. 12th, 2009 02:27 am (UTC)
Nice work - good job. :)

Jun. 12th, 2009 05:53 am (UTC)
hi darling, love the necklace. have become terribly lazy on comments and want to just click "like" as on facebook. breastfeeding wee one as i type. love you xxx
Jun. 12th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
I love it! Makes me wish I was crafty; I couldn't make something like this in a million years.
Jun. 20th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
That's really nice! At times, I've considered learning wire-wrapping, but my manual dexterity probably isn't up to it.

I have quite a few nice stones that would be great wire-wrapped. If you decide that you like wire-wrapping, I could send you a bunch -- you could send me back a few wrapped ones, and keep the others for yourself.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
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