Thursday, May 1, 2008
I tried something new this week, wire-wrapping some stones to create an abacus-style pendant.
I've seen similar pendants in which multiple stones are strung across, abacus-style. (I think Eni Okin even sells a tutorial.) But I have these interesting cube-shaped malachite beads which I thought might work with a variation of the design.
I was going to try this in silver, but the green malachite just cried out for copper. It took me a a little while to figure out how to get the wire wrapping all around the rectangle, but I finally finished it.
Originally I had planned to put the pendant on a cord, but I thought it would look better on a chain. A problem with working with copper, is that I can never find good copper chains, so I would have to make one myself if I wanted it to be a good color-match with the pendant.
Using 2 different sized mandrels (Ok, I'll be honest, one was a real mandrel, the other was a chopstick - sometimes you have to be resourceful) , I made jump rings and put them together in a pattern of 3 small and 1 large. I also added a handmade clasp.
Then everything went into a quick Liver of Sulfur bath to oxidize, followed by an overnight spin in the tumbler. (Copper is so soft, I've found that if I tumble it for at least 12 hours, it hardens up nicely and I have no worries with jumprings accidentally opening up.)
I don't think it turned out too badly for my first attempt at this technique.
I just listed the necklace in my Etsy shop and I have plans to do another one in silver and turquoise. Possibly with a different chain - but who knows!
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