Friday, December 19, 2008

How to Make a Tree of Life Pendant

The tree of life is an ancient religious symbol. They appear in folklore, mythology and religions from many parts of the world.In the 13th to 6th century BC, the tree of life decorated fortresses and the armor of ancient Armenians which is not surprising since it symbolized immortality.

The tree of life is also in the Bible's Book of Genesis and was a part of the old Norse religion. More modern uses of the symbol include the tree of life in science (phylogenetic tree) which is used to depict evolutionary lines and the anatomical term arbor vitae (Latin for tree of life) for the branching tree-like appearance of the brain's cerebellum.

I don't know who first came up with the tree of life pendant but it is a popular design for both wire workers and those who love artisan jewelry. It's not hard to figure out how to make one. Below is a picture of my take on the tree of life using green glass chips and this is how I went about making it (updated with new how to pictures):



1.Use a cylindrical object to form the round shape using 18G wire. This size wire holds its shape well. But if you find it tough, try a thinner gauge like 20G. Bend one wire end upright and the other around it.

2. Wrap the short end around the upright wire.

3. Make a wire loop and wrap again. Optional - make a scrolled accent with the tail of the wire if you wish to hide the bail you just made.

3.Cut 6 -8  lengths of 24G or 26G wire and wrap each to the frame. How many lengths will depend on how big your frame is.

4.Thread on the chips and adjust the number of chips. I find it useful to hold the piece upside down so all the chips move to the top of the pendant. It makes it easier to see if you need to add or remove chips.

5.Position the wires to a pleasing shape.Twist all the wires together to form the trunk. At the base, trim the wires. Then separate the wires into two groups and wire wrap around the frame.

7.Feed the necklace through the wire wrapped loop or use an additional jump ring.

The Bead Studio has a great tree of life tutorial. Theirs is different in a number of ways. First of all they make a giant jump ring. The open part of the ring is cleverly hidden with the wire wrapping. They also start from the bottom up, forming the tree trunk first. Personally, I find it more difficult to wire wrap at the top with all the chips in the way. However, it is perhaps a personal choice.

Beader Design #: 441
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

16 comments :

BetteJo said...

I would think it would have to be easier to wire wrap without all the other stuff in the way. Very nice job Pearl!

Bev's Jewelry said...

My first thought was to start at the bottom but your explanation for starting at the top wins out. Love the results either way.

Jean Hutter said...

I am going to try to make a pendant - thanks for the tutorial.

Carol said...

Thanks Pearl, i really like your version!!!

Jamie said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I have got to try it!

Jamie
Creations by JAE
http://creationsbyjae.etsy.com
http://creationsbyjae.blogspot.com
http://www.creationsbyjae.com

BeaderBubbe said...

I love doing wire - and always wanted to make a tree of life - your tutorial looks like something I can do - certainly will try, thanks for sharing.

Dee said...

Stunning project, I am going to print this now. I was a bit aprehensive when I found the tut last year as I had never done any framing. But I can now say I can make framed jewellery.

And also thank you for saving me money on this tut, I also bought it online - I am not going to mention the site as it wouldn't be fair. I am going to make chain & cord versions.

Well done Pearl, you are the best. Always look forward to recieving your daily emails.

The Beading Gem said...

You're very welcome! Remember there are usually more than one way to do things.

Lisa Crone said...

Hi there! I completely missed this when it was posted originally, I saw it in your shop and thought, hey this is great, she should feature this in a post and then I figured you probably already did! This is FABULOUS!! And, as always,you are so kind to share with all!! Hope you are having a nice weekend! -Lisa

DesertGator said...

Love your Toot, I'm finally inspired to try making a Tree of Life. Great job!!!
Karen aka Gator

Terri Richards said...

Thank you for sharing this with me!

Helen Wilsher said...

Thanks so much for the info. I am 76 years old and just starting to do jewelery. The top down idea gets my vote over the bottom up idea in making the Tree of Life. I am learning there are so many nice people in this world who share with others. May God Bless You and Your Family.
Helen

Pearl Blay said...

I'm glad you are also a top down person for this design! You are never too old to learn, Helen!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for this free tutorial.
I find those trees so wonderful that i will try to do one.
A thousand of thanks your shearing.

Christine

Ruth Trowbridge said...

:)

Ruth Trowbridge said...

Hi Pearl just googled this and you were first after youtube ones - great tut gonna make with an 8 year old tomorrow, i want to do mine on a cab for the moon with a little swing, who knows what will happen, thanks for the tut, peace

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