Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wrapped-Wire Shell Pendant

The most recent Action Pack has directions to wrap a pretty stone or shell in twine or wire to make a pendant. I'm not sure why this never occurred to me before. I've seen necklaces for sale constructed in this way, we've made necklaces out of shells before (the ones with the pre-existing holes, though), and I have jewelry wire right in the art/craft table. I also have some beautiful, small pieces of polished purple quahog shell, so I decided to give it a try.

I quickly learned this is one of those things that is a little trickier than it looks. I chose some fairly thin wire, about 28 gauge, so as not to overwhelm the delicacy of the shell, but with my first attempt I didn't feel the loop was terribly secure. I didn't think to take a picture; I just took it apart and tried again. The second time, I strung the wire through a small bead, curved a loop, brought the wire back through, and then twisted the wires around each other a couple of times. I then had two longish pieces of wire to wrap around the shell, and the loop felt much more secure.

See the long piece that comes from the bead and goes all the way down the shell? There's a matching wire in the back, and then I just twisted and wrapped those two pieces around the shell until I was  happy, twisted the ends together in the back, tucked them under, and clipped them close. (I used wire cutters, but this wire is so thin scissors would work too.) The shell still moves around in there a little bit, so we'll have to see how it stays with actual use. I'd like to try some thicker wire, too, but like I said, this shell piece is so small and delicate, I'm not sure how it would look.

I searched my jewelry box for a thin, delicate chain to match, but realized I didn't make a big enough stringing loop to get a jump ring through. Next time, I'll put the chain through, then size the loop down and continue wrapping, but for now, I used a ribbon and cord concoction that used to hold a pendant, which broke the second time I wore it.

The thin cord is knotted through the shell's hanging loop, and everything is attached to a metal chain/clasp set-up in the back. I'm not sure, it might overwhelm the shell a bit, but on the other hand, the purples are nice all together.

The great thing about this, of course, is that it's fairly easy to take it apart and try again. Also, the beach is full of shells.


Olivia said...

So pretty! And that's one of the things I love about making jewellery, when you're tired of a piece or something breaks you can just pull it apart and re-invent.

Donna Lee said...

They look like they belong together. The purples match and the "ribbon/cord concoction" accentuates the delicacy of the shell.

Bells said...

wow, you're right it's an obvious thing to think of. What a great way to make a wearable keepsake out of beach treasures!

Cameron said...

Oooo, this is so pretty!! I love that purple color in the shell :)