Thursday, July 2, 2009

Embrace your inner turtle - or Just be yourself!

My friend Liz tells me to embrace my inner turtle. When she tells me that, she means for me to slow and take a breath. Don't sweat the small stuff.

It has progressed from that to meaning - do your own thing, be yourself. do not be afraid to embrace who you are. Where is all of this going you ask?

I was at Liz's shop last weekend. she has been kind enuff to offer me space in her shop to showcase my jewelry, free of charge. She is great at promoting local products and artists. While I was there setting up my display, i noticed she has all these great stones all over her shop as decoration and filler. Great piles of river rock, naturally polished, not highly glossly polished, but that natural smooth tumble that only water can give. I picked up a small black river rock, she offered it to me as a gift, and I told her, only if i can wrap it and give it back to her. She was thrilled.

That is where all of this is going. I am going to show you my style of wrapping. I love wire wrapped stones. I adore all the scrolling/twisted wire styles out there and appreciate the work. It is not for me. I wanted my own style, my own statement to be made when ppl saw my wrapped stones they would know it was my work. I like my work to be a bit more free, or organic - ppl like to use that word right now :)

here is what I did.

Measure the circumference of the stone - you can use painters tape or string.

Double that lenght and cut 2 pieces of wire to that lenght - I used for this 21 ga. square sterling half hard wire from Sterling Supplies in Tucson, AZ

Next, cut a piece of anchor wire, for this I use about 2 inches of 24 ga. round sterling half hard wire from Sterling Supplies in Tucson, AZ

Find the center of the wire and wrap it with the 2 inch wire to create an anchor point for your stone.

Snip the ends and give it a good squeeze

Shape the wire up around the stone to give yourself a rough idea of where the other anchors and the bail needs to be positioned.

Place your wraps, like you did your center anchor

Trim the tails and now bring the wire up and shape it around the top of the stone and put a right angle bend on both of the ends to mark where the bail will be.

pry open the double strands of wire to create a 'diamond' type shape. These will be used to secure the stone in the wire.

Fit the stone back in the wire to make sure they openings are big enuff. And adjust them to bring them in over the stone.

Create your bail with one side of the top of the double strand of wire.

Fit the stone back in the wire frame, and close up the wrap. Take the top wire and wrap it around the wrap of the bail.

See how the second wire is bent back out of the way? Clip the extra and use your needle nose pliers to squeeze the snipped in flush with the wrap.

Now bring the other wire around and give it several good wraps - leaving the tail forward.

Use your chain nosed pliers and make a loop to give a fancy touch of artistry, or a signature loop on the front of the stone.

Take your chain nosed pliers and grip the wire perpendicular to the stone. Give the wire about a quarter turn to finish anchoring the wire to the stone. Alternate top and bottom on each side.

here's the front

Heres the back

Spread the double wire of the bail to give it a fancy look - And there she is kids! A wire wrapped stone, a perfect personalized gift that takes about 20 minutes!!!

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