I guess I'll have to write a post a day until I'm all caught up.
I decided to start with a couple of easy, but very pretty, techniques to wrap undrilled stones.
Whether it's beach glass, shells, polished stones from a tourist place or a rough stone picked up along a hike - I have tons of these stones that I know could do so much more than sit in a bowl.
I found two different ways to wrap them - the traditionalist approach that uses hardware store wire (actually - any wire, it doesn't have to come from the hardware store!) and basic wire wrapping tools, or the component approach combining a really pretty pre-made component with your stone and a little wire.
This is the traditional wire wrap approach to making a pendant from an undrilled stone.
It uses 24g copper wire for the wraps. I have published full step by step instructions to wrap a polished stone at beadwork.about.com. I really like this method since you can cover as much or as little of the stone as you like with wire.
And it doesn't take long before you are pretty good at it. Maybe it's even a little addictive... I plan to darken some of these with liver of sulfur patina eventually, which I think will make the stones pop a little more.
When I was digging through my jewelry supplies, I found these components from Beadalon called Artistic Wire Wrappers. I'm not wild about the name, which is confusing for someone who is always writing about wire wrapping, but the components themselves are very cool.
I'm not sure how I overlooked them for so long except I forgot I had the box of goodies entirely. Beadalon sent them to me when I first became the beadwork expert at about.com. There are some other fun tools and wire beading frames in there too, so yay!, more jewelry goodies to play with and tell you about.
I had a lot of trouble deciding which shape to use - but the hexagon shape wrapper seemed a little more unusual for an undrilled stone. I'm thinking of making earrings using the teardrop shaped ones (which they call pear shaped).
And I really, really, really like it! I used gold filled wire for the wrapping.
It's such a simple pendant, but a great reminder of our summer trip to the Calico Ghost Town outside of Las Vegas - which is where my daughter and I picked out the stones from one of those huge bins.
I have a free tutorial to make the pendant using the undrilled stone and wire wrapper component - but it is really, really, easy.
So Cal Bead Shop Hop 2015
You can print the 2015 Bead Shop Hop Brochure that includes all twenty bead stores participating in the event. Even if you don't live here, the brochure is a great bead store guide if you ever plan to visit and need to know where the So Cal bead stores are located. It has a map with instructions from the major freeways.
For me, it's a great excuse to visit some new bead stores and drop in on the ones that I've been neglecting to visit lately.
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