Introduction: Dance Around the Sun Wirework Pendant Tutorial

Picture of Dance Around the Sun Wirework Pendant Tutorial



This tutorial teaches you how to make an intricately wrapped pendant with swirling bands of woven wire across the front.
You can weave the front in almost any pattern you wish. Instructions are given for the design shown here as a suggestion. These instructions show you how to attach the woven bands to each other while working them. Once you learn these techniques, they can be applied to many other designs.

The stone used in this tutorial is a bead that is drilled lengthways. You can also use cabochons and other un-drilled stones for this pattern. If you do use a stone that is not drilled, you can use painters tape or quilters tape to hold the stone and the frame together while weaving. You will also have to make sure that the pattern you choose for the woven stripes across the front holds the stone in place.

*NOTE*
I wrote this tutorial back in 2008. That was before I learned how to keep the weaving as neat, clean and even as it should be. The weaving in the instructional photos here may not be up to my usual standards, but the basic construction techniques are good. You can improve upon the weaving shown in this tutorial by following the guidelines in one of my other tutorials, Basic Weaving Techniques. By using an extra wrap around the frame wire, as in Weave 3 in the Basic Weaving Techniques tutorial, you can achieve a much cleaner look.

You can find the Basic Weaving Techniques tutorial here:

http://gailavira.blogspot.com/p/free-tutorials.html


Materials:
• 1 30mm x 40mm stone bead (drilled vertically)
• 1 9” piece of 20g round half hard or dead soft wire (You could substitute 18g for this piece)
• 2 6” pieces of 20g round dead soft wire
• 2 4” pieces of 20g round dead soft wire
• 24’ 28g round dead soft wire

Tools:
• Flush cutter
• Round nose pliers
• Flat nose pliers
• Bent nose pliers
• Bail making pliers or other small round object the correct size for making a bail
• Ruler
• Needle file or wire rounder
• Pen or pencil or extra fine tip marker
• Permanent marker

Step 1: Part 1: Creating the "Map"

Picture of Part 1: Creating the "Map"


For this pendant, you first have to create a “map” of the stone. This map will help you shape the frame and place the wires used for the front of the pendant.

Step 1
Place the stone on top of the piece of paper.


Step 2
Trace around the stone with a fine tip pen or pencil. Or, if you prefer, you can use an extra fine tip marker.

Step 3
Place a ruler so that the edge runs straight across the oval, near the top, at the point where it is 1” wide. You may have to slide the ruler around a little bit to find the right place.

Step 4
Place another piece of paper or other object with a straight edge at the ½’ mark perpendicular to the ruler. Mark the spot where the edge intersects the top of the oval.

Step 5
Use your pen to make the mark from the previous step a little bit wider.

This line is notes the place where you will place the bail.

Step 6
Place your ruler so that the beginning marker of it is centered on the line for the bail. Angle the ruler so that it follows the curve of the right side of the oval. Mark a spot on the paper where the ¼” mark meets the oval’s edge.

Step 7
Again, starting with the beginning marker of the ruler centered on the bail line, angle the ruler so that the 5/8” marker meets a spot on the left side of the oval. Place a dot on this spot.

Step 8
Angling the ruler to the right side of the oval again, mark a spot on the oval’s edge that is 1 1/8” away from the bail line.

Step 9
Again, angling the ruler to the left side of the oval, mark a spot near the bottom edge of the oval that is 1 ½” away from the bail line.

These “spots” are the places that the wires will be attached to the frame.

Step 10
On the paper, note which wires will be attached at which point. The 2 4” wires will be attached at the spots closest to the top and the bottom of the oval. The 6” wires will be attached to the spots nearer the center of the oval..

Step 2: Part 2: Preparing the Frame Wires

Picture of Part 2: Preparing the Frame Wires

Step 11
Mark one of the 4” wires in the center with a marker.

Step 12
Place the tip of your bent nose pliers on the mark from the previous step.

Step 13
Bend one side of the wire upwards right at the edge of the pliers so that it creates a 90º angle.

Step 14
Bend the wire on the other side of the pliers so that it also creates a 90º angle.

Step 15
Repeat steps 11-14 on the remaining 4” wire and the 2 6” wires.

Step 16
Shape the 9” piece of 20g wire so that it is just a little bit smaller than the oval.

It’s easiest to start at the middle of the wire and shape one side of the oval at a time.

Step 17
Place the frame on top of the back of the stone. Make sure that the oval is just a little bit smaller than the stone.

If it is too big, the frame will not hold the stone securely. If needed, make the oval just a little bit smaller.

Step 18
Place the wire oval back on the paper. Bend the wires at the top upwards at the place where the bail is marked on the paper.

Step 19
Put a small dot on the frame at each of the points that were marked while creating the map.

If it is easier, you can mark the places for the 4” wires with a different color than you marked the places for the 6” wires.

Step 3: Part 3: Putting the Frame Together

Picture of Part 3: Putting the Frame Together

Step 20
Begin wrapping the right side of the frame with the 28g wire. Stop wrapping just before the first point that is marked on the wire.

At this point it is ok to open up the frame a little bit to make wrapping it a little easier.

Step 21
Hold the flat end of one of the 4” wires against the frame and wrap it onto the frame with the 28g wire. Try to wrap it at least 5-6 times.

Step 22
Continue wrapping the wire past the frame.

Step 23
Add the other three wires, at the correct points as you wrap the rest of the frame.

Stop wrapping about ¼” away from the left side of the bail. If you have at least 3’ of wire left, continue wrapping. If not, cut the wire, press it flat against the frame wire, and start wrapping with a new piece of wire that is about 3’ long.

Step 24
If you have at least 3 feet of wire left, skip this step and continue wrapping as shown below.

Cut the wire and press it flat against the frame wire.

Step 25
Start wrapping with a new piece of wire that is about 3’ long until you reach the bend in the frame wire.

Step 4: Part 4: Making the Bail

Picture of Part 4: Making the Bail

Step 26
Hold the two bail wires together and wrap them 4 times with the 28g wire.

Step 27
Push the bail wires apart above the binding. How wide the “V” should be depends on how wide you want the finished bail to be.

Wrap the 28g wire around one of the 20g wires 1 time.


Step 28
Pull the wire down between the 2 20g wires then wrap it once around the wire on the opposite side as the first wrap.

Step 29
Again, bring the wire down between the 2 wires and wrap it around the first wire.

Step 30
Continue weaving in this pattern until you have woven a section that is about ½” long.

Step 31
Bend the bail wires above the weave so that they are parallel to each other.

Continue weaving for about 5-6 weaves.

Step 32
Bend the bail wires towards each other so that they meet approximately 3/8” above the weave. At this point, bend the wires upwards so they are parallel to each other again.

Step 33
Continue weaving, following the shape of the bail wires. Weave to about 1/8” past the point where the two wires meet.

Do not cut the wire.

Step 34
Use your flat nose pliers to hold the frame at the binding for the bail. Bend the bail wires forward just above the binding at approximately a 45º angle.

Step 35
Curve the bail wires towards the back until the end of the weave meets the top of the binding wire.

Step 36
Wrap the 28g wire around all 4 wires at the base of the bail 4-5 times.

Step 37
Wrap the 28g wire around one of the 20g wires below the binding. Cut it and press it flat against the 20g wire.

Step 38
Push the 20g wires apart. Cut them about 3/8” below the bottom of the biding wire and file the ends smooth.

Step 39
Using your round nose pliers, curve the ends of the wires inward so they resemble an upside down heart.

Step 40
Press the curve of each wire closed with your flat nose pliers.


Before moving on to the next step you need to check the frame to make sure it is still in shape. Place the frame back on the paper and adjust any areas that may have become misshapen while wrapping the bail.

Step 5: Part 5: Attaching the Stone

Picture of Part 5: Attaching the Stone

If you are using a stone that isn’t drilled, you can use painters tape or quilters tape to hold the stone in place while weaving the front. If your stone is drilled, attaching it to the frame with wire will add to the stability of the pendant while allowing you more freedom in how you place the woven bands. If you are using a stone is not drilled, make sure to position the bands so that they will hold the stone securely, with no places where it can be "squeezed out" between the frames.

Step 41
Cut a 6” piece of 28g wire (you can use 26g if you prefer) and bend it in half.

Step 42
Loop the wire around the bail. Make sure it sits at the bottom of the binding wires.

Step 43
Pull the wire down the back of the frame, then forward between the two small loops formed in step 39. Pull the wire tight so it is secure.

Step 44
Insert both ends of the wire into the stone and position it so that the stone is centered on the frame.

Step 45
Pull the wire through the frame to the back.

Step 46
Turn the pendant over and pull the wire all the way through, being careful to make sure the stone stays in the correct position.

Step 47
Wrap one of the wires around the frame 5-6 times.

Step 48
Wrap the other wire around the frame on the other side of the stone.

Cut both wires and press them flat against the frame.

Step 6: Part 6: Weaving the First Band

Picture of Part 6: Weaving the First Band

The first band you will weave is the one closest to the bottom of the pendant (4” wire).

*Note: all bands will begin in a similar fashion to this one.
See note on the Intro page for more information about the weave used here.

Step 49
With the pendant lying face down, wrap the 20g wire with the 28g wire 3-4 times. Keep the longer piece of wire close to the stone, and wrap with the tail of the wire. Cut the 28g wire close to the 20g wire and press it tight.

Step 50
Begin weaving in a figure 8 pattern. Weave over the wrapping from the previous step.

Continue weaving until you have a section that is a little bit longer than the thickness of the stone.


Step 51
Grip the beginning section of the weave with your flat nose pliers by lifting up the frame slightly and pushing them underneath it.

This will keep the wire from pushing the stone out of place while shaping it.

Step 52
Shape the wires around the stone, bringing them to the front of the pendant.

Step 53
Using your thumb to press the wire against the stone, pull the wires down to create a soft curve towards the bottom of the stone.

Continue weaving.

Step 54
Once you get to the beginning of the curve, wrap the wire around the upper wire (the outside of the curve) 1 time.

Step 55
Continue weaving around the curve, adding an extra wrap around the wire on the outside of the curve between each weave.

Step 56
Once you get to the end of the curve, continue weaving in a figure 8 pattern until you reach the edge of the stone.

Step 57
Shape the wires over the side of the stone.

Step 58
Continue weaving in a figure 8 pattern until you reach the frame wire.

Step 59
Bend the wires outward so that they are even with the frame.

Step 60
Turn the pendant over. Using the weaving wire, bind the wire closest to the bottom center of the stone to the frame by wrapping them together 3 times.

Step 61
Coil the weaving wire onto the remainder of the 20g wire until you are about 1/8” away from the end of the wire. Cut the weaving wire and press it flat against the 20g wire.

File the end of the 20g wire to smooth it out.

Step 62
Spiral the coiled wire. Try to position the spiral to cover the hole in the stone.

Step 63
With a new piece of wire, wrap the other 20g wire 4-5 times.

Step 64
Bind the 20g wire to the frame by wrapping them together 3 times.

Step 65
Continue coiling the wire. Coil a ½” section. Cut the coiling wire and press it flat against the 20g wire.

Cut the 20g wire 1/8” away from the coil. File the end smooth.

Step 66
Spiral the coiled wire and press it flat against the stone next to the woven band.

Step 7: Part 7: Weaving the Second Band

Picture of Part 7: Weaving the Second Band


The second band you will weave is the second band up from the bottom of the pendant (6” wire).


Step 67
With the pendant lying face down (and upside down), wrap the 20g wire with the 28g wire 3-4 times. Keep the longer piece of wire close to the stone, and wrap with the tail of the wire. Cut the 28g wire close to the 20g wire and press it tight.

Step 68
Begin weaving in a figure 8 pattern. Weave over the wrapping from the previous step.

Continue weaving until you have a section that is a little bit longer than the thickness of the stone.

Step 69
Grip the beginning section of the weave with your flat nose pliers by lifting up the frame slightly and pushing them underneath it.

This will keep the wire from pushing the stone out of place while shaping it.

Step 70
Shape the wires around the stone, bringing them to the front of the pendant.

Step 71
Shape the wires into a wave that first goes towards the bottom of the pendant, then sweeps upwards.

Make sure the curve sweeps low enough to be attached to the first woven strip.

Step 72
Continue weaving in a figure 8 pattern until you reach the lowest point in the wave.

The curve of this strip is not sharp enough to require an extra wrap on the outer wire of the curve.

Step 73
Insert the weaving wire into the weave on the curve of the first woven strip. If needed, you can use a sewing pin to push the wires aside to make space.

Step 74
Pull the wire all the way through the weave, then back up between the first woven strip and the second one.

Step 75
Pull the wire back down between the two 20g wires of the strip you are working on.

Step 76
Pull the wire up over the top 20g wire, and back down between them as in the regular figure 8 weave.

Pull the wire back up between the two woven strips again.

Step 77
Insert the wire into the curve of the first woven band again, in the space next to the one you inserted the wire the first time.

Step 78
Pull the wire all the way through and back up between the two woven strips again.

Step 79
Continue weaving the second strip in a figure 8 pattern for another 1/8”.

Step 80
Shape the 2 20g wires so that they curve downward slightly towards the edge of the stone.

Step 81
Continue weaving in a figure 8 pattern until you reach the beginning of the curve.

Step 82
Weave the curve with an extra wrap around the top wire until you reach the edge of the stone.

Step 83
Push the 20g wires down and shape them around the edge of the stone.

Step 84
Continue weaving in a figure 8 pattern until you reach the frame.

Step 85
Turn the pendant over so that the front is facing down. Bend the two 20g wires outward along the frame. With the weaving wire, bind the uppermost wire to the frame by wrapping them together 3 times.

Step 86
Coil the remaining wire onto the 20g wire till you have a ½” section.

Cut the 20g wire a little bit above the coil and file the end smooth.

Step 87
Shape the coiled wire into a spiral and press it flat against the side of the stone.

Step 88
With a new wire, coil a 1/8” section of the other 20g wire.

Step 89
Bind the 20g wire to the frame wire by wrapping the two wires together 3 times.

Step 90
Continue coiling the 20g wire for another ¼” section.

Step 91
Bend the wire upwards so that if follows the curve of the bottom weave.

Step 92
Insert the wire into the bottom woven strip.

Step 93
Pull the wire all the way through and bring it back up between the bottom weave and the wire you just coiled.

Step 94
Continue coiling the wire for another ¼”.

Step 95
Curve the wire again by pulling the end toward the left side of the stone. The end of the coiled section should meet the strip that
you just finished weaving.

Attach the 20g wire to the second woven band in the same manner that it was attached to the first woven band (steps 92 & 93).

Step 96
Continue coiling the 28g wire onto the 20g wire until you almost reach the end of the 20g wire. Cut the 28g wire close to the 20g wire and press it flat. File the end of the 20g wire smooth.

Step 97
Shape the wire into a spiral and press it flat against the stone.

Step 8: Part 8: Weaving the Third Band

Picture of Part 8: Weaving the Third Band

The third band you will weave is the one on the upper left side of the pendant (6” wire).


Step 98
With the pendant lying face down (and upside down), wrap the 20g wire with the 28g wire 3-4 times. Keep the longer piece of wire close to the stone, and wrap with the tail of the wire. Cut the 28g wire close to the 20g wire and press it tight.

Step 99
Begin weaving in a figure 8 pattern (shown below). Weave over the wrapping from the previous step.

Continue weaving until you have a section that is a little bit longer than the thickness of the stone.

Step 100
Grip the beginning section of the weave with your flat nose pliers by lifting up the frame slightly and pushing them underneath it.

This will keep the wire from pushing the stone out of place while shaping it.

Shape the wires around the stone, bringing them to the front of the pendant.

Step 101
Pull the wires downward towards the bottom right of the stone.

Step 102
Holding the wires against the stone with your thumb, pull the ends of the wires upwards to make a sharp curve.

The ends of the wires should be positioned so that one is on each side of the bail.

Step 103
Weave around the curve, making sure to wrap the weaving wire around the outer edge of the curve and extra time between each weave.

Step 104
Once you reach the end of the curve, continue weaving in a regular figure 8 pattern until you reach the point just before the edge of the stone.

While weaving, you may need to adjust the curve slightly to keep it in position.

Step 105
Bend the 2 20g wires over the top of the stone, keeping one wire on each side of the bail.

Step 106
Continue weaving until you reach the base of the bail.


Step 107
Turn the pendant over so that it is facing downward again. Bind the 20g wire to the right of the pendant to the frame with the weaving wire by wrapping it around the wire and the frame 3 times.  The binding should be as close to the bail as possible.

Step 108
Coil a ½” section of the 20g wire. Cut the 28g wire close to the 20g wire and press it flat.

Step 109
Cut the 20g wire just above the coil and file smooth.

Step 110
Shape the coiled wire into a spiral and press it against the stone.

Step 111
Coil a new wire onto the other 20g wire. Coil a 1/8” section.

Step 112
Bind the 20g wire to the frame by wrapping them together with the coiling wire 3 times.

Step 113
Coil a 3/8” section.

Step 114
Attach the coiled wire to the weave the same way described in steps 92 & 93.

Step 115
Coil another ¼” section of the wire.

Step 116
Curve the coiled section upwards so that it meets the weave at another point.

Step 117
Attach the coiled wire to the weave again as described in steps 92 & 93.

Continue coiling until you almost reach the end of the 20g wire. Cut the 28g wire and press it close to the 20g wire.

File the end of the 20g wire smooth.

Step 118
Shape the coiled wire into a spiral and press it flat against the stone.

Step 9: Part 9: Weaving the Fourth Band

Picture of Part 9: Weaving the Fourth Band

The fourth band you will weave is the one closest to the bail (4" wire).

Step 119
With the pendant lying face down (and upside down), wrap the 20g wire with the 28g wire 3-4 times. Keep the longer piece of wire close to the stone, and wrap with the tail of the wire. Cut the 28g wire close to the 20g wire and press it tight.

Step 120
Begin weaving in a figure 8 pattern (shown below). Weave over the wrapping from the previous step.

Continue weaving until you have a section that is a little bit longer than the thickness of the stone.


Step 121
Grip the beginning section of the weave with your flat nose pliers by lifting up the frame slightly and pushing them underneath it as in step 100.

Shape the wires around the stone, bringing them to the front of the pendant as in step 100.

Step 122
Shape the wires so that there is a slight wave going towards the left side of the stone. The wave should be place so that it is close enough to be attached to the previous weave.

Step 123
Continue weaving until you reach the point in the curve that meets the previous weave.

Step 124
Insert the weaving wire into the previous woven strip.

Step 125
Pull the wire tight and pull it back up between the two strips.

Step 126
Bring the wire down between the two wires in the strip you are currently weaving. Weave it once onto the current strip, then repeat
steps 124 & 125.

Step 127
Bend the wires towards the right side of the stone so that the wave becomes a sharper curve.

Step 128
Weave around the curve, wrapping the wire around the outside curve wire and extra time between each weave until you reach the end of the curve..

Step 129
Coil the wire onto the 20g wire closest to the left side. Coil a ¼” section.

This may seem like it is too short to reach the second woven strip, but it needs to be this short in order to tighten up the entire front and hold the stone securely.

Step 130
Curve the coiled wire towards the left side of the stone.

Step 131
Insert the coiling wire into the second woven strip at a point just before the bottom of the curve.

Step 132
Pull the wire tight, then repeat.

Step 133
Finish coiling the rest of the wire onto the 20g wire. Stop coiling when you almost reach the end of the 20g wire. Cut the wire then press it flat.

File the end of the 20g wire smooth.

Step 134
Shape the coiled wire into a spiral and press it flat against the stone.

Step 135
With a new wire, coil the other 20g wire until you have a ½” section.

Step 136
Shape the coiled wire into a ¾ circle. The end of the coiled section should meet the last woven strip.

Step 137
Insert the coiling wire into the woven wire then pull it back up between the weave and the 20g wire you are working with.

Step 138
Continue coiling until you almost reach the end of the 20g wire.  Cut the coiling wire and press it flat against the 20g wire.

File the end of the 20g wire smooth.

Step 139
Shape the coiled wire into a spiral and press it against the stone inside the circle you just created.

Step 10: Part 10: Have Fun!

Picture of Part 10: Have Fun!

There is no limit to the designs you can come up with using these techniques.  It's not just limited to pendants either. This works great for rings, earrings, and even bracelets. For earrings though, I would suggest making a wrapped loop at the top instead of a woven bail.

This also works well with other sizes and shapes of stones too. When making this type of pendant with other size stones, you have to change the measurements used when creating the map. You will also have to adjust the length of the wires used for the frame and the wires used to frame the front weaves. I've used stones as small as 7/8" with this design. However, when using such small stones, it's a good idea to use smaller wires as well. I usually use 20g for the back frame and 22g for the front frames, with 30g for the weaving when using smaller stones.

Comments

craftclarity (author)2014-05-22

Those are super-pretty. Thanks for being so thorough in how you explained the way in which you made them.

JudesJewels (author)2014-05-22

It's a given, Donna that yours should win. There are some nice entries - and some not so nice - but your tutorial is easily the best, both in design and instructions!

Madeaj (author)2014-05-04

This is beautiful! And its a tutorial too! WIN!

djaramillo (author)2014-05-04

groovy

afauxnome (author)2014-05-03

Amazing!!!

lreale (author)2014-04-30

Holy Meow! That is beautiful!

susanjerrell (author)2014-04-30

I am speechless.

andrea biffi (author)2014-04-30

Jewels you make are real art!

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-04-30

Amazing :). Thank you so much for sharing.

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)2014-04-30

Excellent work! loving those swirls!

emilyvanleemput (author)2014-04-30

Wow, this is beautiful!

Thank you :)

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