Sunday, 11 May 2014

The making of a green clockwork necklace


Today I felt like writing about my latest steampunk necklace. I made this is a large green banded agate I had. Once again I forgot to take pictures from the very beginning, but I am pretty good at describing what I did from start to finish :)

Front view
I did a 5 wire soumak weave to start, with 18g copper base wires and 26g sterling silver filled weaving wire. Once I bound the wires together with the small section of weave, I inserted one base wire through the hole (I don't always work with stones with holes, but when I do, I try and hide them LOL) and since I had a little bit of weaving wire left, I coiled around the wire until it was gone. At that point I started with some 28g copper weaving wire, took the outside weaving wire protruding from the bottom of the weave, and started coiling it until I was far enough down that I thought it would be okay space wise to add a watch gear.

In my little baggies of watch parts, there are some less often used pieces, like the spring cases, which we thought would look great on this! I wired on the spring case and coiled until my wire ran out. I use pre-cut pieces of small gauge copper wire, mainly, because I am an avid recycler and I strip old electrical wire to use for weaving.
Back view

 I then made a further hole hiding effort, by making a rose shape on the top. I wove a two wire (I think it was 5 and 1) weave down the wire a bit, echoing the patterns in the stone, and then I made curlies on that wire and a couple of the base wires from the bottom of the soumak section. At this point I strung a large holed bronze bead on one of the wires that I had been weaving on the top.. swirled around it.. and then brought that wire over the top of the stone and around to the back. I coiled the wire from the bead onwards, securing it to the wire protruding from the hole, as soon as I was far enough to do so. At that point I started adding clockworks to the back, first a gear, and then a jeweled gear plate.. all the while doing my best not to obscure the cool banding on the stone.

Back, with silver coiled wire added
Now, because I hate it when my pendant flips over, I always strive for a full reversible piece, no matter what I am doing. I kept working on the back by bringing over another wire and coiling it with the silver filled, securing it to the gear and gear plate as I went.

I like silver filled wire for the whole reduced cost aspect, but it is actually a little harder to weave with than full sterling, because it is a sterling bonded to white brass and brass is a much harder metal than either copper or silver. I know this because I work with brass when I have to LOL

Front, with more beads and coiled wires
Back to the front. I feel that you can't work on just the front or the back until you are finished, because you have to make sure that everything flows and fits together.. so I go back and forth while I am working.

I added an interesting brass tube bead to the bottom wire that was protruding from the 2 wire weave, and then coiled the wire, with a curly, bringing it around the back.

I then pulled two of the base wires around to the back to see what I needed to do with them.

I flipped the piece over, added a curly and kept coiling, bringing the wire over towards the side of the stone and adding another gear and some beads as I went. The beads were dual purpose.. they also secured the wire I had brought over from the front, to the structure on the back.

Back, with more progress
At that point I discovered that I didn't have long enough wires to bring them around to the front again, so as I was going I rounded the ends of the wire, and wove one wire from the front and one from the back together. I then coiled up the wire and added another bead, as well as doing a securing weave near the top.

Back to the front again. I used more silver filled wire and did another two wire weave down the front, shaping it to echo the bands of the stone, and then I made a partially coiled rose thingie and used the end of that to secure one of the wires from the back. I grabbed a side wire from the back and brought it around the front, using it to secure the bottom of the spring case. I added another bead, and coiled over the wire loop from the other weave, coiling until my wire ran out. At that point I bent the bottom wire over to anchor and secure the whole piece together because up until this point there was still some movement from the stone inside the wiring.

Almost done!
Almost finished front

Many hours of work went into this pendant, and at this point I still wasn't sure what I was doing for the bail, or what was happening to the wires on the bottom.

The protruding wire from the bottom was begging for another gear, so I used that wire and the wire that I had brought over from the front, coiled,  shaped, and secured. During that process we figured it needed more brass to be a truely mixed metals piece, so part of the coiling and securing was done with 28g brass wire.

 
Almost finished back.
We figured out that adding a piece of 18g NuGold brass wire, and then weaving with that 28g brass, was exactly what was needed for the bail.

Final back shot before adding the bail
You may see me do this kind of bail a lot.. I really like how it looks. I used my beadsmith metal mandrel to shape the woven section, and then grabbed both end wires and coiled them around the mandrel before securing them to the rest of the piece.


Back shot after bail
I really like how this turned out!

The bail looked great, but every single cord and chain that I put with it, did not. Fortunately I ordered some copper ball chain from ConfettiTheBeadPlace on etsy.. which when it got here was MUCH larger than I expected.. but worked perfectly with this piece. It actually took a little bit of work to get the ball chain into the bail, but it was like my muse knew it was coming and had designed the bail just for that.
Front shot after bail




I still have yet to take lightbox pictures of this necklace, but I am happy I managed pictures almost every step of the way :) (edit.. light box pictures are at the bottom of the post)










6mm ball copper chain

After aging and polishing
I took a picture before aging..

I wasn't 100% sure I was going to age this piece, but once I got the ball chain on it I knew it had to be done! So everything went in the gun blue.. and then I hand polished the whole thing.






the pretty pictures :)


So this has been the journey of the creation of my green clockwork necklace.

Thanks for reading!

B

No comments:

Post a Comment