When a sunbeam meets a tear, only one can stay
Even if that tear means joy, it will have to go away
Not only do teardrops have an amazingly intriguing shape, they can also symbolize so much, therefor using its shape in jewelry seems like a great idea for a beautiful pendant. The entire pendant is based on the shape itself and I've tried to find as much of a balance as possible in the end result.
The idea for this pendant started out completely different, as you will see in the next steps. It wasn't even anywhere near a teardrop shape at first. But, I'm really happy with how it turned out, I hope you'll like it as well!
Step 1: Materials
To make your own teardrop pendant, you will need:
- a (glass) bead
- wire, 2 different gauges. I used 1 mm/gauge 18 and 0,4 mm/gauge 26
- round object about the same size as the inside of the design (diameter of 1,2 cm)
Step 2: Designing
I started by wanting to make a variation on this pin: Copper Wire Weaved Pendant.
The idea was to add more swirl to it, maybe even let the two wires that circle around it swirl around the bead as well. With these ideas I drew the first picture. But, it wasn't looking right. The length of the piece was just completely out of balance with the rest of it. So, for the second drawing, I removed the entire straight piece. Of course, this left my pendant looking way too short. I didn't exactly want a straight connection, but there had to be something between the bead and the loop, thus the third picture was drawn. Eventually, a teardrop shape turned out to be the perfect solution in drawing number four.
Step 3: Final Design
Once I finally knew what the pendant I was going to make would look like, I sketched out my final design, basically to have something to look back at when actually making it.
Step 4: Shaping the Base
The size of the drawing, about 3,5 cm, seems to be a great size for a pendant, so you can just use the drawing as a guideline.
Cut off a piece of your 1 mm wire with a length of about 10 cm. Find the center and bend that around your round object. Keep bending until you reach a 'U' shape. Straighten out the not yet bent wire as good as possible before bending it further. Let the wires cross and keep bending until you reach the angle shown in the last pictures (it's 45 degrees.)
Step 5: Adding a Loop
Once the shape of your base is right, you can start bending your loop. For this it's easiest to use the bottom wire. At the point where the actual curve of the loop starts, hold the wire with the tip of your round nose pliers and bend it straight up as shown on the second picture.
Now you'll need to find the point on your round nose pliers where the diameter is the one you want your loop to be. Hold the wire at that point of the pliers while they are closed and use your fingers to bend the wire around the pliers, instead of moving the pliers themselves. Stop bending when the wire lines up with the other end.
Step 6: Working Away the Ends
Cut off the remaining bit of wire of the loop to make it connect with the teardrop shape. Since the wire slightly moves back after bending it, you'll want to bend your remaining wire just a bit further than lining up with the end you just cut. After that, cut that end as well and the two ends should line up completely. With this, your base is completed.
Step 7: Adding the Bead
Cut off a long piece of your 0,4 mm/gauge 26 wire. Find the middle and mark it. I just used the orange marker I also used to bend the base around. Basically anything that won't show up through your bead will suffice.
Note: I changed the bead here, I thought the brighter blue would just look a bit better in the pendant.
Put the bead on the middle of the wire. Find the exact place you want your bead to be and hold the wire in this position.
Step 8: Time to Coil
Lock that perfect location by coiling both ends around the base a few times as shown. When you just start coiling, it will still shift quite a lot, so I'd recommend to keep it in position as good as possible.
The actual design asked for only a little bit of coiling and a lot of weaving, but I decided to switch that in order to achieve a more balanced pendant.
Keep coiling until only the top part (about 0,5 cm) isn't coiled.
Step 9: Weaving the Top
There are two reasons that even after deciding to coil so much more I still wanted to weave the upper part:
- it makes the pendant sturdier, less likely to deform
- if this part would just have been coiled as well, the pendant would have been too empty, and completely out of balance again.
Since you have two wires on two opposite sides to weave with, you'll have to alternate them. Start with one of the sides. Make the wire go over the base wire on the other side and then coil it around. Next, repeat this for the other wire. Keep doing this until you've filled the entire part.
Step 10: More Coiling
Alternate in coiling both wires around the remaining part before you reach the loop. Once you've reached the loop, both ends can go their own way and you can coil the last part.
Step 11: Working Away the Ends
At the top of the loop, cut off the remaining bits of wire and use flat nose pliers to flatten down the ends and prevent any wire from poking out.
Step 12: Making an '8'
Of course you could also just add a jump ring, but I prefer to make an 8 with the same wire used for the base of the pendant. It gives a bit of a more sophisticated look and it matches the pendant better.
Step 13: Almost Done
So, you could decide to leave it here and say it is finished, which is exactly what I did at first. However, the bead can still move. The moving itself isn't exactly a problem, but the wire I'm using is coated. The moving of the bead can definitely damage the coating and thereby change the colour of the wire. If that's not what you want, I'd recommend you follow this last step:
Cut off a piece of 0,4 mm/ 26 gauge wire. Wrap it around the base wire a few times, just under the place where the coiling starts. Next coil around the thin wire towards the bead. Keep an eye on your bead, once it's sitting directly next to your coiling and in the middle of the pendant, it's time to move to the other side of the bead. This is shown in the fourth picture. After that, you can just continue coiling.
Once all the coiling is done, cut off the ends and admire your work!
Step 14: Finished
And that's it! I really hope you liked this instructable and maybe will give it a shot yourself :)