When I was a beginner jewelry artist, I made a lot of necklaces, but then ear cuffs and wraps took me over slowly… In the last 2-3 years I’ve made almost exclusively ear jewelry, which was OK for a while – but now I feel it’s not enough.
In February I’ve made several new rings, and this month I’m creating necklaces and pendants again.
Making something different than I do daily was a bit scary first, but remaking an older piece is a great way to get back on track and build confidence.
I’ve always loved the Moon and the starry night, and I really missed making (and wearing) moon-themed jewelry, so I’ve decided to make a crescent moon pendant.
As you can see, I have several older ones that I can use for inspiration, though I don’t want to copy any of them exactly. I’ve learned a lot of things since I made them, and I want to use that knowledge to create the best new thing I can. 🙂
This is NOT a tutorial, which means that you’re not allowed to copy my jewelry, but hopefully you’ll find seeing my process interesting, and I hope you’ll also find some of the tips and tricks useful in your own work.
Materials I used
I used 18 G silver filled wire for the base, 24 and 28 G nickel free silver plated wire for the rest.
- Semi-precious stones
I’ve decided to use moonstones for this piece. (What else? :D)
- Three pairs of pliers
for shaping and cutting the wire
- Soldering supplies
solder, flux, ceramic soldering board, torch, file, tweezers, hammer, ring mandrel
My little helper, lots of coffee, and a good movie/music in the background for motivation, inspiration and coziness.
1. Soldered base
Since silver plated wire cannot be soldered (the heat ruins the plating), I used 18 G silver filled wire for the bases. I made a soldered ring, and ball ends on a curved piece of wire. I hammered them so as they keep their shape; hammering not only flattens the wire, but also hardens it.
I’ve prepared a third piece of base-wire too, but in the end I did not use it.
2. Wire wrapping
I did take several photos of the wire wrapping part so as you can see how the design develops.
The first three photos show the basic wire wrapping.
I not only use this to weave the base wires together and create the main shape, but also to create a base for the cabochon and the decoration.
This is not the most exciting part, but I like it, because I use this time to think about the design. I don’t like to plan everything, because I’m an intuitive artist and it would ruin the fun for me, but I need a basic idea of what I want to do. I know that I want to create a symmetric design with the cabochon in the center.
When the crescent moon shape is filled with wire, the next step is to set the stone.
I need to create a bezel that holds the cabochon safely.
I cut a piece of 24 G silver plated wire, and a long piece of the 28 G wire too. I want to be sure my wires are long enough for whatever design I’ll create, so I cut them about twice as long as I think I’ll need. Sorry, I cannot be more specific.. after 10 years of wire wrapping I usually just feel how much wire I need for a project 🙂
After setting the stone (and making sure it won’t fall out) the last and most exciting part begins. It’s like adding the highlights to a painting 🙂
I have my own signature style which means that I use similar elements and wrapping patterns in all my designs, but the end result is different every time I create something new. Here I used my beloved swirls which create a delicate looking pattern. I work on both sides of the stone to be sure that it’s symmetric. When I run out of the space my pendant is ready.
Now the only thing I need to do is to add the chain and make a small ‘S’ clasp with a matching design.
About a week before I’ve made this piece I created another moon pendant, because it’s a bit hard to work on a brand new design and remember to take w.i.p. photos at the same time. 🙂
You can see that though the base is similar, they are different, and also they are very different from the old ones. This is what I love the most! If you change only a few small details, or colors, you’ll have very different pieces in the end.
All my old moon necklaces are sold, but these new ones are available in my etsy shop if you’re interested.
I’m celebrating the 9th birthday of my etsy shop this month (on the 24th) :O, so next week I’ll share some tips and tricks about being a full time etsy seller.