Enhanced

Here’s an interesting set of wire jewelry I recently finished.

This was a custom order, part her stones and part mine. We started off with an alternating brown and blue goldstone beaded necklace of hers. She wanted something more substantial and eye-catching in the front, like a pendant that looked like it was part of (beaded into) the necklace strand. Also a ring and earrings to match. Everything gold and silver, mixed.

I pulled out my stash of goldstone cabachons and she picked out the stones for the necklace and ring. I thought it’d be neat to create this as an enhancer that would be removable so that it could be worn separately or added to different beads or chips.

I did a rough sketch of the design, a similar construction to a piece I did about 12-15 years ago that turned out kinda cool. I hadn’t tried to do the enhancer part as opposed to closing it permanently, but no reason it shouldn’t work. Kind of figure it out when I get there.

The thing I like about this kind of work is I’ll start with a general idea, then things sort of develop as I go along.

The first step, always, with wire is guesstimating the length of wire to cut. I had to cut longer than normal because I intended to wrap the large stone, then split at the top and wrap two more.

Goldstone pics

Then, because I split the number of wires (V-shape over stone in pic above), I’m short by half the wires I need for the next bezel. Now to add an inner course of wires (arc above V-shape and inner long wires) to complete the interior bezels of both upper stones. The trick is keeping all the wire bundles together and not allowing things to bunch up. I use loose bindings from scraps to temporarily hold things together (little bumps along those long wires).

It wound up a cool serendipity that instead of three or four wraps a couple of places, I did a longer course of permanent wraps for the interior course. The resulting gentle arc between the split-V wound up visually echoing the lower multiple wraps on the bottom cabachon. Neat.

Goldstone pics

Notice all the extra wire, Just In Case. I can always chop off the extra and use scraps elsewhere, but can’t grow wire longer. Get stingy initially with the length and run out later, now have trashed ALL the wire and time.

Once the tops of the second bezels were together, now how to do the enhancer part so that it’s secure while on, but removable. And will accomodate a heavy chain or such. I wound up wrapping them with multiple wraps to echo the other components, then curled them over in enough of an arc to stay put, large enough circle for a chain, and just open enough to slip on and off the cord the beads are strung on.

Goldstone pics

It came out very striking looking with very clean lines. Bold but feminine. And functions the way I wanted. Also pictured are the earrings.

Goldstone pics

Forgot to get a pic with it actually on the beads, so use your imagination. Kind of a nice change of pace. I don’t do this construction often, and I enjoy creating something that meets that balance of aesthetic and functionality, and working through a technical question.

With this one, I put it on the mental back-burner for a couple of days. I figured something similar, but which particular wires so that it still had strength and then transitioning the orientation of them, I had to work that out. I like how it turned out.

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