Skill Level: Advanced/Designer
Technique: Pattern Wire
Like about all of you, I like to collect unusual items to make jewelry with. Sometimes these work-up into pendants that are smaller than some of my customers would like, so I designed this "Double Sided Frame." The result is stunning as the frame really sets off both, unusual charms as well as smaller faceted stones, making them into seriously "eye-catching" designer pieces!
Please Note: this is an Advanced/Designer pattern, meant for you to create a frame for whatever pendant desired. There are no specific lengths of wire, as each sized pendant would require a different amount. As an Advanced Designer, please keep track of your progress in a notebook so you can recreate your own similar sizes repeatedly.
Determine the desired finished size and shape (e.g. oval, circle, etc.) of the frame. Hint: Do this by using a tape measure to lay around my chosen "pendant charm." Cut one piece of pattern wire the length of the finished size. Cut a second piece ⅛" shorter than the first. Cut four pieces of 21-gauge half hard square wire, 2½" longer than the patterned wire. Twist two of these wires. Measure and mark the centers of all four square wires and mark the center on the fronts of the pattern wire.
Place the pattern wire pieces back-to-back and place one twisted wire and one plain square wire at each edge, the twisted wire going on the outside edge. Line up all of the center marks and tape 1" in from each end of the "pattern wire bundle." The shorter pattern wire side is now the back of the frame.
Plan the placement and width of the wraps needed and mark the bundle accordingly. Using 18-gauge half hard half round wire, make a wrap at center of the bundle. Note the "crimp" as the half round wire goes over the two outside wires. This is necessary to hold everything securely.
After the center wraps are complete, use an appropriately sized form and begin bending the bundle in the center to create the desired shape for the frame. Then add any additional sets of wraps alternating sides as you go. (This allows the inner patterned wire to slide as the bundle is bent).
Use a piece of 22-gauge square wire to wrap the front wires together where they meet. Do not cut this wire. Bend it backwards and wrap the back wires as you did the front. It does not hurt to carefully wrap the front and back clusters of wires twice keeping them aligned with the outer edges of the frame. Make a bail using the back pair of wires as you normally would.
Wrap the featured stone, leaving one wire extending out of the top. Use this wire to make a wrapped loop. You can also use a headpin and suspend a featured item from that, making a wrapped loop in the top of the headpin. Before making the loop in either application, cover the exposed wire or headpin with beads or tubes. This helps secure the pendant, keeping it from pushing up.
Using a scrap of square wire about 2" long (this can be twisted if you like), make a tight spiral, about 3/16" in diameter. At the top of the spiral make a 90° bend back. Then bend the same wire up 90° about 2mm behind the first bend. Insert this wire through the loop in the top of the pendant.
Spread the front wires left and right 90°. Feed the wire from Step 6 up through the opening at the top of the frame at the front. Bend this wire across the top of the frame edge and 90° down. Spiral the side wires to stabilize the center wire. Spiral the wire hanging down the front and tuck it under the edge of the frame. This locks the pendant into place.
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