It was somewhat mesmerizing to watch Costa Rican wire artist Sol Antic make his sun rays around a cabochon! He does this by eye.  I had to watch several times just to see how he uses his pliers not just to hold the wire before bending but also as a gauge to spacing. I suggest you watch it with the playback speed in the settings down to 0.5!

He uses a grooved cabochon which makes it easy to situate the rays. You will have to adapt the design with a bit more wire work if you cannot find a grooved cabochon.  Another option is to use the technique for other jewelry designs - not necessary as a surround for a cabochon.  Check here to find grooved cabochons.
He also uses a stress technique to cut his wires. The only time he used his wire cutter was right at the end!

His other tutorial shows a much more even approach to making the rays :

In this variation, he makes the pendant into a flower!

Before You Go :


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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM