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October 21, 2012

Wire Wrap Earrings: Back to Basics

I went to dinner with a good friend last night.  I was very flattered that she was wearing some jewelry that I made for her several years ago.  I was also surprised how much I liked them.

First, there was a pair of gemstone earrings - golden citrine and red garnet.  I always found that combination to be very striking - especially with the warmth of gold wire.   The necklace was asymmetrical, and I think used the same gemstone combination.

It made me miss the nights that I would spend making wrapped loops - either rosary style necklaces, link bracelets with gemstones or wire wrap earrings.

So, with my memory jogged, I decided to allow myself to take a step backwards and re-visit styles I have made in the past.

For whatever reason, some grossular garnet briolettes were the first gems to call for my attention. They range from a beautiful yellow-green, to the light green you see in the picture, all the way to a honey brown.  I separated them by size and color to find matching gems to make my earrings.

I tried a new technique for wrapping the brios - although I'm still not sure if it is easier or harder than the 'old fashioned way' of making a triangle above the briolette point and wrapping from there.  I think my new method allowed me to make a much shorter 'neck' on the wrap - which I prefer.  The longer brio in the center of the picture above was wrapped the usual method.  The two shorter ones on the side were done by making a wrapped loop on a piece of wire, inserting the wire into the brio, forming the triangle above the brio like you normally would, and then wrapping the remaining end under the wrapped loop.  It wasn't as easy to hold - but I like the shorter wrap - so I will probably try this method again in order to perfect it.

To match the grossular garnets - I happened across some hessonite garnet rondelles - which are a variety of grossular garnets that are primarily honey, brown and reddish pink colored.  The strand I have also has some grey garnets.  Together, the grossular and hessonite garnets seemed to capture the season of Fall - so I made a couple of pairs or earrings with this combination.

I like to make ear wires to match my earrings - because I think it really makes them more distinctive.  These are pretty simple - with a red garnet  surrounded by wimple wraps.  I oxidized them to make them more rustic looking.

I may continue to play with my 'old style' for a little while.


  1. Nice earrings, I do love Grossular Garnet the colours are so lovely!

  2. I have to admit - I kept the last pair for myself. The color really is fantastic and they seem perfect for Fall weather (even though it rarely feels like Fall in Southern California!) I popped over to your blog today- and I love your trees. Also perfect for the change of season!

  3. Great color palette, Lisa. I would have kept them, too.