Picture of Art Deco wood necklace
I made this necklace for my lovely wife. She wanted a "Big, bold, art deco statement necklace".

It's made from small pieces of highly polished wood, threaded on embroidery thread, with an antiqued brass chain.

If you like it, please vote for it in the jewelery contest.
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
A good way to find small pieces of unusual wood for jewelery is to look for "pen blanks", which are used make ball point pens (pen making or "pen turning" is a very popular hobby). A typical pen blank is about 5" long, and about 3/4 inch thick. For jewlery makers, a little wood can go a long way. You could easily make this necklace with a single pen blank. Pen blanks range from a few cents each, up to a few dollars each. Even the very rarest woods are less than $10 per blank. Go ahead and google "exotic wood pen blanks" and you'll find lots of woods you've probably never heard of.

I used two kinds of wood; Tulipwood and Kingwood. They are very hard, dense woods which take a very fine polish. They are also naturally colored. I used no stains or dyes. Tulipwood has an orange color with pink streaks, and kingwood has a purplish brown color, with black streaks.

Tulipwood and Kingwood are both rare woods that grow in Brazil, so you may want to use locally grown woods, or wood from sustainable sources. All the exotic wood I use is reclaimed wood found at estate sales.

The rest of the materials are easy to find at any hobby shop that sells jewelery making supplies. waxed cord or embroidery thread. about a foot of necklace chain, a few "Jump rings", and a necklace clasp. You can buy starter kits with enough supplies to make a bunch of necklaces.

Gorgeous work! Micro mesh makes such a huge difference in the final look of hardwoods, I think.

Out of curiosity... what's in your paste wax or "salad bowl finish"? I've found that shellac (the stuff you mix yourself using the flakes and denatured alcohol) can really bring out the shimmer in some woods (like pink ivory, purpleheart, and cocobolo). A paste finish made from some shellac dissolved in denatured alcohol, beeswax, mineral oil, and a bit of (optional) pine resin is only slightly less glossy than straight shellac, but still allows the wood to feel like wood, and still really enhances the beautiful sheen from the exotic hardwoods.

In case you ever wanted to get nerdier about your wood finishes. :)

I used General Finishes salad bowl finish, which I thinned a tiny bit with mineral spirits and wiped on. These are such hard woods they don't really need any protection, so it's mostly just to deepen the grain and give it a sheen.

the paste wax was Johnsons paste wax, in the big yellow can.
Professor-Mousedude (author) 10 months ago

oooooooh boy!

Congratulations on being a finalist!!

Professor-Mousedude (author) 11 months ago

Thanks! I appreciate it. The compliments mean a lot coming from such talented makers.

shazni11 months ago

just when I was thinking of it! ;-D

Love it!

Awesome :)

action pig11 months ago

Beautiful work!

I love it!