The Athena Pendant

Embellish this stunning labradorite cabochon with layers of woven wire for the perfect summer pendant. By Laura Binding

Article

Laura is a jewellery maker and teacher who specialises in wirework. She enjoys creating organic and intricate pieces and working with a variety of materials to help complement her wirework. Use a selection of different weaves and layer them around the caged stone to help create this statement pendant. This setting allows the beauty of the stone to shine, whilst still creating a perfect everyday pendant. When the sunlight hits the labradorite stone, it creates the natural optical effect, known as labradoresence, which really brings the stone to life.


MATERIALS

  • 0.8mm (20 gauge) silver-plated wire
  • 0.25mm (30 gauge) silver-plated wire
  • 0.6mm (22 gauge) silver-plated half-round wire
  • Labradorite oval cabochon

Designer Tips

  • You don’t have to use all the wires to decorate the stone; you might want a subtle design so cut the wires around the bail and cover with a woven section.
  • Try creating this piece using different colourways of wire to create different effects. 
  • Try using different shapes, cuts and sizes of gemstones for different looks.

1

STEP 1

Cut three lengths of 0.8mm wire. This should be the circumference of the stone plus 30cm. Using 0.6mm half-round wire, bind the centre of the three wires together five times, Cut both ends on the same side, halfway across. Bring the outside wires up, leaving the centre straight. Use pliers to bend the wires back horizontal to create a sharp bend. Repeat on the other side.


2

STEP 2

Open the two angles and place the stone inside. Gently bring the centre wire up to sit on the edge of the stone. Bring the two outer wires to sit next to it, making sure the angles you created sit across the front and back of the stone for security. Do this on both sides. Wrap wires tightly together at the top of the stone with 0.6mm half-round wire.


3

STEP 3

The two centre wires and an extra side wire will form the bail; separate two more to the front and one to the side. Bend the bail wires in the centre to create a diamond shape and weave about 4cm. Wrap three times around one wire, under the middle one, over the next wire three times, then back over the middle one and over to the other side. Cut two 15cm lengths of 1mm wire and fold them over the bail. Bring the tails under and hook them, then use the lengths to start more weaving on the opposite side. Wrap three times around one wire, under the middle one, over the next wire three times, then back over the middle one and over to the other side.


5

STEP 4

When the bail is woven, fold the whole woven piece horizontally to the front of the pendant. Place the bail pliers in the centre and gently fold back over towards the back to created the bail. Bring the outer wires of the bail to the front of the pendant and middle bail wire, through a gap and to the front.


5

STEP 5

You will now have six pairs of wire to use for decorating the stone itself. Pair the wires so they sit nicely next to each other. Take two wires and form wrap one wire three times and then both wires three times. One wire will become completely coiled; it’s your choice which one. Continue weaving until the wires reach the bottom bind, shaping as you go.


6

STEP 6

Wrap the tails and open them back out, wrap five times on one wire, in the middle, five times around the other wire, hand coil one of the wires, trim and spiral for a finish. Bring the other tail wire back to the bottom and cut. Repeat this weave on a second set of wires at the top, swirl to hide the bail base, bring down the other side.


7

STEP 7

Fold the woven section and hand coil one wire; bring down the stone to the base. Bring the second wire down the back of the pendant and meet the wires together, wrap them around the base of the pendant and bring together. Do the three and three weave and bring the wires back up the pendant. Wrap the ends to blend in with the design.


8

STEP 8

With the last pair of wires, repeat the weave and bring it down the right side of the pendant, place it behind the original three and three weave, weaving all the way down. Fold the woven section for texture and feed the wires to the front of the pendant through a gap at the bottom. Swirl these two wires up the left side of the pendant and to the bail.


9

STEP 9

Bring the tails of the last two wires around the bail, tuck one just inside the bail and cut flush, press to make sure it’s secure, hand coil and spiral the final wire and blend into the design. Go over the piece with nylon pliers and settle the weaves, make sure there are no sharp edges and add to a chain.


EXTRA PROJECTS

Make a pendant and a ring


pendant

PENDANT

Repeat steps 1–3 but add two side binds and use excess wires to flow down the stone and tuck in between the frame.


ring

RING

Use 0.8mm and 0.25mm wire and weave a ring shank. Place on the stone and use excess 0.8mm wire to wrap and swirl the cabochon
in place.


RESOURCES

www.jewellerymaker.co.uk

www.wires.co.uk


CONTACT

www.youniqueyou.com

www.facebook.com/youniqueyoujewellery


PHOTOGRAPHY

Laurel Guilfoyle, Laura Binding

Article Details

  • Date 3rd April 2017
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