Ever since I first got started with wirework, I've loved it. From golden snitches to dragon wings, I always try to find a way to incorporate it in my designs. Well over a year ago, I used the technique to add a stone to a ring. It was still quite experimental and turned out too small, but I really liked the look of it.
So, what better way to spend my free summer days than finally get back to that project! I still had the stones I wanted to use last year laying around, so that was an easy choice as well. Despite a few mess-ups along the way, I think it turned out really nice! It has a certain kind of style to it which I think works great with the colour of the stone.
Step 1: Materials
What you'll need to create your own ring:
- Wire / I'm using silver plated copper wire; 0,35 mm for wrapping and 0,6 mm for the ring base.
- A set of pliers
- Mandrel / a round object with the right circumference will also work just fine.
Step 2: Previous Attempt
For my last attempt of this ring, I used a small amethist stone. It turned out great and I was really happy with it, but in my excitement of making and wrapping I didn't check often enough if it still fitted. Theoretically, it fits. Practically, however, I have a problem once I put it over the knuckle of my ring finger. It did still give me a really nice base of knowledge on how to make this type of ring.
Step 3: Sketch
To have a bit of reference when working, I personally find it quite useful to make a quick sketch of how I want to incorporate the stone in the wire. This can also help to give an impression of how much wire you'll need.
Step 4: Cutting the Wire
Start by cutting off three pieces of the 0,6 mm wire. For the length, I took the approximate circumference and multiplied it with three, giving me 15 cm to cut off.
Step 5: Get Wrapping
For the other wire, the length to cut off is a bit harder to indicate. Most of the time, the easiest thing to do is to cut off quite a long piece that still has a length you can properly work with without it getting all tangled up. In the end, this turned out to be just slightly too short for my ring. Because it was all the way at the end it would have been more work to continue with a new piece, so I decided to leave a small piece of wire on one side of the ring unwrapped.
Once you've cut your thinner wire, carefully bend it to find the middle. Start wrapping in the middle of two of the three wires - we'll be going from the middle to both sides. The first two coils can lay a bit apart from each other, if they do just use flat nose pliers and gently push them towards each other.
Step 6: Adding the Third Wire
Once you've wrapped the first two coils around the two wires, add a third wire between the two sides of the wrapping wire. Join the new wire to the previous two by wrapping one of the sides of the wrapping wire around it two times.
Step 7: Keep Wrapping
Follow the pattern of wrapping the first two wires twice, followed by the third wire twice. To keep the length of the wires equal on both sides, try to keep an eye on the middle of the three wires and wrap to an equal distance on both sides. For a ring that I'd normally use 5 cm for, I made this wrapped part about 4 cm, since the stone will also take up part of the circle.
Step 8: Making It Round
Using the mandrel, carefully start shaping the wire wrapped part. Don't shape the unwrapped parts yet, just leave them straight. This shaped wrapped part will give you an impression of the way the ring band will look.
Step 9: Splitting Up
Bend the three wires apart slightly, keeping the second and third wire parallel. The first wire will be the backwire to hold the stone in place. The other two make up the parts that wrap around the front of the stone.
Continue the wrapping pattern of two coils per side, but now without the first wire.
Step 10: More Wrapping
Continue wrapping both sides until you think the wrapped parts are long enough or until you run out of wire. If the latter happens, there are two options: leave it like that or add a new piece of wire.
Step 11: Wrap It Up
Once you're done wrapping, cut off the remaining wire and use a pair of flat nose pliers to let the end of the wire sit nicely against one of the main wires.
Step 12: Using the Backwires
Please note: thanks to a few mess-ups in the following steps, I ended up not using the backwires like this. They can however still be useful when working with the stone, since they give it something to lay against when wrapping the other wires.
Take your mandrel again and shape the ring around it a bit further by wrapping the two unwrapped wires around it. Let them cross in the middle and twist them around each other once to lock the shape. This will create a flat and sturdy base for the stone.
Step 13: Check If It Fits
At this point, put on the ring to see whether it fits properly. The backwire is basically the inner part of the stone, so it will determine the ring size.
Step 14: Adding the Stone / Messing Up #1
Take your stone and place it against the backwire in the way you want it to sit in your ring. This is where it went wrong for me the first time: in my sketches and approximations of lengths I had used the narrow side of the stone as a reference. As you can see however, I placed it horizontally instead of vertically. What happens because of that can be explained in the first image.
The stone has a flat backside, but you're placing it on a cirlce. Because of this, the circle shape of the ring will flatten a bit and become more of an oval as you work. Using the stone like this is no problem, as long as you think about it beforehand and make the base of the ring band a bit longer.
Step 15: Messing Up #2
So, I took the stone out and tried it again. At this point, I didn't realise yet that the problem was the horizontal placement, providing me with mess-up number two. The reason that I'm showing this step is because of a decision I made in the end: I unlocked the backwires of the stone.
In the final ring, they are wrapped differently than I had planned to do initially. For making this, however, I'd recommend the locking method, since it's a really simple and effective way of creating the backwires.
Step 16: Properly Getting the Stone in / Trying Not to Mess Up a Third Time
For attempt number three, I moved the ring back to the mandrel. Word of advice: wrap the main direction of the wires with your ring placed on the mandrel. It saves a lot of trouble since you don't have to worry about the ring disforming or about the stone falling out at the back (though that was caused by me unlocking the backwires).
Step 17: Locking the Wires
Once you're happy with the way it looks and the stone sites properly in the wrapped wires, wrap them around the ring base to lock the shape. Make sure to wrap this part tight enough, you don't want these wires moving around anymore.
Step 18: Checking Its Fit Again
Before cutting off any of the wires, put it on once more to check whether it fits or not. Be careful while doing this, those wires poking out are pretty sharp.
Step 19: Backwires
For the backwires, as an alternative solution to locking them together I just lead them to the other side of the stone and locked them by wrapping them around the ring band the same way as with the wrapped parts.
Step 20: One Last Check
Since this is the final look and size of the ring, give it one final check.
Step 21: Ending the Wires
Cut off the ends of the wires and use the flat nose pliers to clamp them down. Repeat this for all six wires, three on both sides.