Skill Level: Advanced
Technique: Flat, Formed Prongs
A solitary flower can symbolize a lot of things; to me this pendant means spring, summer, life, growth, and just honest beauty. To enhance this lovely Mother of Pearl carving, I decided to keep the setting very plain. I hope you enjoy learning to make this simple statement of beauty that would be a suitable gift for a bridesmaid, or to celebrate a sweet 16 birthday.
Straighten, then measure and mark the center of 22-gauge wire at 7 ½ inches. Use chain-nose pliers to hold the wire at this mark and press both ends straight up. Then squeeze the loop closed.
From the looped end down, measure ¾ inch and mark across both wires. At this mark, use chain-nose to hold on to both wires while using your fingers to separate and press each wire about 50° toward its respective side (meaning, in opposite directions).
Mark each bent wire, ¾ inch up from angle. Use chain-nose to hold each wire at this mark, and bend the wire up and back toward the 50° angle, forming a loop. Gently squeeze the loop closed.
Repeat all of steps 3 and 4 on the remaining wires, building two prong legs on each side of the first/center one made.
On just the first three prong legs made, use the 1" pieces of 20-gauge half round to make 4 wraps to show on each leg, working from each angle toward the tip/looped end.
On the last two wire lengths, mark each ¾ inches down from the loop end. Use chain nose pliers to hold this mark and press the free end of the wire back to lie alongside of the newly made 'leg'.
Remember to begin and end all of the half-round wraps on one side (which is the back). On each of these new legs use a 1 ½ inch piece of 20-gauge half round to make 4 wraps to show, working from the angle toward the loop end. From the last wrap made, measure 3/8 inch toward the loop end and mark. Use a 1 ½ inch piece of half-round to make another 4 wraps to show, from this mark working toward the end.
Bend each of the two remaining wire lengths toward each other and then measure and mark each, 1/4 inch up from the wraps. These are now the bail wires. At each mark, make a bend that will bring the two wires together. Use half round to wrap the bail wires together, 4 to show from the marks up.
Place one Swarovski crystal bead on each of the three headpins. Place chain nose pliers tip on the headpin immediately under the crystal and hold while using fingers to bend the pin at a 90° angle. Repeat on each headpin. Bundle the three headpins. Use the end of one headpin to wrap all of them together, beginning immediately directly the crystals and trim. Twist the two remaining headpins together and thread them through the front of the center hole in the mother of pearl flower.
Use chain nose pliers to hold the twisted headpin wires close to the back of the flower to hold crystals in place and twist the remaining headpin wires together. Trim and gently press the wires to the back of the flower.
Mark each leg 3/16 inches from the looped end. With the wrap ends facing you, place the chain nose on the 3/16 inch mark and bend up slightly. Repeat on all legs. Place this harness on the back of the mother of pearl flower and arrange the curved legs to fit between the petals as shown. Remove the harness and use chain nose pliers to add a small curve to the end of each bent leg, forming prongs. Replace the mother of pearl flower and use flat nose pliers to gently press the prongs between the petals, locking the flower into the harness.
Mark the bail wires at ¾ inch above the top of the flower and make another mark 1/4 inch beyond the first. Use flat nose to hold the wires at the ¾ inch mark and bend the wires back. At the second mark, hold the wire with flat-nose and bend down to form the bail. Use 1 ½ inch of half round wire to make 3 wraps to show, working from the top of the flower up, wrapping the bail in place, and trim.
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