Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Challenging Wire Wrapped Coral Jewelry Project

By on Saturday, September 03, 2011 6 Comments

Earlier this year, I completed a most challenging wire wrapping project.  One of my colleagues had some coral which she bought in her native Algeria more than 20 years ago.  Khalida said she bought it from people who collected it off the Mediterranean coast.

She loved the color but as you can see from the 3 pieces, there were a few issues for me to tackle. The first was obviously the shape. The main piece was akin to knobbly chicken feet due to the branching feature of red coral.

The two small irregular dagger pieces were also undrilled.  After some consultation with Khalida, copper was chosen.  So I tested out some grouped wrapping with swirls which worked because the wire work did not hide the coral. This was important to Khalida.

That design feature was carried over to the earrings. The only thing holding these dagger pieces to the ear wires is the wire wrapping. The coral pieces were not equal in length either but I tried to keep the distance between the top and bottom wrappings the same for both earrings.  This makes the earrings visually "balanced."

The next decision was the necklace.  Khalida wanted a simple necklace but she did not like the black cord I initially suggested.


She preferred a neck wire in the same metal as the wire wrapping. So I made one out of 18G copper wire, hammering it lightly with a nylon hammer to work harden it.  I attached a lobster clasp and a short copper chain to the wire loops at the ends.

Was she pleased with the final result?  Yes! Phew.

Before You Go :
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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6 comments:

  1. Beautiful work Beading Gem. I love the mix of copper and coral - the colors really work well together.

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  2. Beautiful. I love copper. It's such a warm metal.

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  3. nice work on the earrings there...
    In many communities they wear a sprig of coral(like ur neck bead) as an evil eye protection. Nursing mothers and infants also wear it as it is said to promote good health and protect from lung/chest affecting diseases.

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  4. Those are gorgeous! I love the earrings especially, the bold wire wrapping really sets them off. I wouldn't have known what to do with them! I love your description - chicken-footed coral, hahaha!

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  5. Thanks, all. I love that bit about wearing coral as protection.

    Believe me, Khalida was teased about the chicken foot part at work! But she truly loved those pieces which is why she kept them for so long. Her decision to go with copper rather than silver was inspired!

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  6. It was a daunting project but you tackled it wonderfully and the finished pieces are gorgeous. I'm sure the customer was ecstatic with her lovely set.

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