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Daily Wire Tip July 18: Wire Wrapping a Briolette
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
July 18, 2011
My question is about how to hang or wrap faceted crystal briolettes that have a hole across the top. I have ruined so many of them when trying to insert a pinch bail, and even when trying to wire wrap them. Some of them are so fragile!
Besides crystals, I currently have one lot of vintage turquoise briolettes, and 2 lots of vintage quartz crystal briolettes, and I’ve already cracked the tops off of 2 of 4 that I’ve worked with. I’ve also had a problem with some moonstone nugget drops, where I cracked about 1/3 of the tops off. Do you have any tips for hanging these … besides being as careful as humanly possible?
-Sheryl in Eagan, Minnesota
I know exactly what you mean Sheryl. Briolette beads are so elegant but some are really fragile! There are several ways to wire wrap a briolette, each depends on the look and the use of the bead. I did an Internet search using the phrase "wire wrapping briolette" and found several free tutorials as well as videos.
The easiest way I know of is to use thin round wire and chain. (Now I know that I am not supposed to link our Free Email Patterns to my Daily Tip answers, but without doing so I cannot explain this particular technique.) If you follow this link, Briolette Earrings Free Pattern, you will discover how easy my technique is!
The main thing to remember is that when you are making any bends on the wire inside a briolette, concentrate on putting any pressure down toward the bottom of the hole where the bead is thickest.
Here's another way to wrap briolettes: Take 26-gauge round dead soft wire., insert the wire through the hole, and carefully bend the wire up each side of the bead with your fingers. These briolette earrings are by Mint Schlief (see her comment below for full details).
If you don’t ready receive our Free Email Patterns, I really recommend that you sign up for them here: Free Jewelry Patterns by Email. The Wire-Sculpture Faculty and I work hard to bring you both simple and more complex Traditional Wire Jewelry Designs all based on important techniques.
Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong
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