Skill Level: Advanced
Technique: Soft Round Wire
Rhonda attended our first workshop retreat in Buffalo, NY in 2009, so it was fun to see her enter this wonderful snowflake project. I love the way she included a couple of crystal drops, adding motion to the pendant, like it was snowing behind the featured snowflake! (This pattern is another of my personal favorites - Dale "Cougar" Armstrong).
Make a bundle of wires with two 3" pieces, one 2" piece in the center and 2 more 3" pieces. Tape if you want and make two more of the same.
Mark bundles ¾" from the top.
Wrap at the marks with 1½" half round wires. Measure halfway down each pair of outer wires and curve each pair away from the center, forming a wide U shape.
Continue to make and wrap bundles in this pattern by bending up the 2 outside wires from each finished bundle and sliding a 2" wire between them.
When all the bundles are joined, gently pull the (point) center pieces out about ½" and shape the star frame.
Snap the blue topaz into the snapset and set aside. The star is very delicate at this stage, so handle gently. On every other (3) branches bend the 2 outer wires wide enough to drop a 4mm clear AB crystal on each one. Make the smallest possible loop at the top of each wire and roll away from the center.
Twist the next set of outer wires on these branches. Make a large loop (¼") and wind the wire away from the center.
On the center wire of these 3 branches, put a 4mm aqua crystal and a large hole pearl on top. Twist and wind the extra wire. On the bottom of this wire put one 4mm clear crystal and loop the wire.
Secure sections of snowflake with tape as necessary.
For the remaining 3 branches, twist the outer wires and drop a 6mm aqua crystal on each. Roll towards center and bend at a 45° angle.
Twist the next set of outer wires and drop 2 clear 4mm crystals on each wire. Roll outward.
On each remaining center wire place three 4mm aqua crystals and one clear AB 6mm crystal on the top. Twist the extra wire and roll in the opposite direction of the wire on top of the pearls.
Bend all the large loops (under the pearls) in slightly towards the center.
Use about 6"of the 24-gauge round sterling wire to secure the snapset in the middle of the branches. Wind and loop the wire until the snowflake is secure and you like the shape.
With more round wire add crystals and wire filigree around the topaz until you are happy with the result.
Using the 19-gauge round wire, make about a 5mm loop, but don't close all the way. Attach it to on of the large loops on the branches and close. Loop the top of the wire in the opposite direction and attach the silver chain in its center before closing the loop all the way. Count links to make sure you have the exact center.
Set this part aside.
Bundle two 3" pieces and three 2" pieces of wire alternating long and short pieces. Center everything and wrap with ½" pieces of half-round wire ½" from each edge.
Bend wrapped wires into an arch.
Fan out wire ends.
Twist and rosette short ends in an asymmetrical pattern.
Bend the bottom wires inward in a curve. Bend the top wires into large loops over a mandrel and finish the ends with small loops. These large loops become the bale.
Hook about 1" of the pendant chain over each bottom loop, leaving the rest of the chain dangling. Count links to make sure the two sides are even. Complete loops with pliers. Trim the chain as desired.
Wrap a tiny loop one end of a ½" piece of 22-gauge round wire and make a spiral. Add a 4mm AB clear crystal and make a half loop on the other end. Repeat so you have two crystal drops.
Attach crystal drops to the chain ends and complete the loops.
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