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 :)
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.
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|
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|
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|
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 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.|
|Final back shot before adding the bail|
|Back shot after bail|
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 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!