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Woven Bail Donut Pendant
by Judy Ellis, Wirejewelry.com
Wire Jewelry Free Pattern for February 10th 2016
Woven Bail Donut Pendant
by Rhonda Chase
We love it when our very creative contributors share beautiful patterns with us!
Today, we have a wonderful pattern by Rhonda Chase that let’s you show off your new found wire weaving skills and combines them with some beautiful donut gemstones into a wonderful pendant.
Woven Bail Donut Pendant
Designed by Rhonda Chase © 2015
Skill Level: All
- 1, 45-50mm gemstone pendant
- 1, 10.5 inch piece of 18 gauge, dead soft, round wire
- 24 gauge, dead soft, round wire – approx. 8-10 feet
- Bail Frame: Bend the 18g wire in half with the round nose pliers. Make sure the curve fits through the hole in you donut.
- Begin Weaving: This weave for this bail starts with a very simple, clean pattern. If you haven’t done much wire weaving, the straight pair of wires for this bail makes for easy practice. Essentially, you will loop the 24g wire back and forth around the 18g frame. In the illustrations below, the cord represents the 24g weaving wire and the dowels represent the base wire.
- The Weave Pattern:Leaving a 1.5 inch tail (to hold on to) wrap the weaving wire around one base wire twice.Hold the base wires so that the weaving wire ends on the top, facing you.Keep the base wires apart and parallel with your fingers. Now bring the weaving wire under the opposite base wire.Then wrap the weaving wire around the second base wire twice. This will also end on top.Continue keeping the base wires apart and parallel with your fingers. Bring the weaving wire under the opposite (first) base wire and wrap it twice.Go back to the beginning of the pattern and keep weaving until you have woven the length you want. Occasionally push the wires together with your fingers or pliers to keep the pattern close and tight.
- Follow the Pattern:Cut 2-3 feet of the 24g wire and follow the above pattern. Begin close to the curve of the base wire frame.Note: How much weaving wire you cut is determined by personal preference. Shorter lengths are easier to work with. Longer lengths require fewer pieces, which means fewer wire ends.
- Ending the Section: Weave until you have about 1.25 inches done. The section from the bottom of the base wire curve to the top of the weaving you just did should equal half the diameter of the donut.
Wind the weaving wire “tail” at the base around the 18g wire curve. Use pliers to pull the wire through. Cover the whole curve and trim any extra wire. Make sure the wire end is on the inside of the curve so there’s no scratchy piece sticking out. You can use chain nose pliers to secure the end. (If you ran out of wire before covering the whole curve, just spread out the loops you made.
Anytime you run out of 24g wire you will end the old wire and begin the new wire as described above. When you don’t need the tail wire for your design, trim as close as possible to the inside of the base wire and tighten with pliers. Always trim AFTER the weave is secure.
- Change the Shape: Angle the base wires out 5-10 degrees at the point where the weave stops.
Continue weaving, taking care to keep the new angles of the base wire. The weaving wire will get used up much faster as the space in between the base wires increases. Add new 24g wire as needed.
- When you have about 1 inch of angled weaving, put the straight part of your weaving through the donut hole. Bend the whole frame up where the angles start. The angled weaving will be the front of your pendant. Next, bend the bottom curve over the top of the donut with flat nose pliers. You now have a donut secured in wire weaving.
- Go back to weaving the angled wires until your weaving goes 3/4 inch above the top of the donut. Using your fingers, bend the angled weaving slightly, away from the donut. Then bend the top of the angled weave over a mandrel, bail pliers or pen towards the back of the pendant. This will be your bail shape. Weave another 1/4 inch and then angle the base wires in towards each other.
- Keep the weave going. With the base wires angled in, weaving will get much harder. You will need to keep holding onto the 24g wire to keep it from slipping down. You will also need to keep pushing the weave back together again. Be patient – it will look great!Weave until the woven section is in line with the top of the back of the donut.
- Bend the unwoven base wires out to the sides at a 90 degree angle. Press the bottom of the weave closer to the pendant front.
Wind the 24g weaving wire around 1 of the 18g wires tightly. Trim the extra 24g wire. Add a piece of 24g wire (about a foot and a half) to the other base wire and repeat.
- Keeping the mandrel in the bail, press the top of the bail into a round shape.
Then spiral the covered base wires in opposite directions with the round nose and flat nose pliers. Bend the spirals over the front of the bail with flat nose pliers. Squeeze gently into place.
Make sure you have filed or tucked any sharp edges. Finish with patina and sealer if you want.