Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Best Way to Wire Wrap a Briolette or Side Drilled Stone

If you have tried to wire wrap a briolette

: any pear-shaped gem having its entire surface cut with triangular facets

or any side drilled stone, you know it’s a tricky skill to master. You’re trying to be consistent and if you have to do a lot of them for one piece, they all have to have the same clean consistently wrapped look. For example, a cluster earring or a briolette drop necklace has to be uniform. Sloppy wire work will drag the piece down. You want it to shine in your design and play up your wire wrap knack. I’ve had my early mishaps and frustrations while mastering the briolette wrap and I’ve been doing it for a long time. There were a few techniques that I have used through the years and this is by far the best way to do it. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be using much less wire too, as this technique has little waste. I’m using way too much wire on the how-to digi here but it’s so I can show you clearly how to do this. You’ll also need to develop a light touch while wrapping with the wire as to not mar it while contorting it to your wishes. Try it this way and you'll be a wicked wire wrapper! I've listed the step by step as well.

The best way to wire wrap a briolette

  • Take a length of wire and thread it through the the holes of your briolette, sliding it to about a quarter of it’s length.
  • Bend the wire sharply against the briolette on both sides, making sure that the two wires cross each other centered over of the top of the stone.
  • Take a non-serrated chain nose pliers and hold it securely just above the crossed wires and twist firmly twice.
  • The twist should be uniform, compact and sturdy, but not too tight as to break the wire or the the stone.
  • Cut the short end of the wire flush to the top of the twist.
  • Take your round nose pliers and place it right at the top of the twist.
  • Form the wire around the pliers so that you get a nice round shape, bringing the wire behind the pliers and bringing it perpendicular right under the round loop.
  • Take your flat nose and grip the end of the wire and keeping it exactly perpendicular to the loop, begin wrapping tightly around the twist, make sure each row of wrap is right up against the last row of wrap, wrapping 3 to 4 times.
  • Cut the excess wire flush. Then take the chain nose and push down any excess cut end piece so it’s smooth to the touch.
  • Straighten out the loop and the wrapped stem to make sure it’s nice and straight.
  • And there it is!
Please send me some pix of your mastery of this technique. I'll post them in an upcoming blog!


red said...

love this!

Jewelry Assembly Chicks said...

Thanks Red!

jami said...

this is so cool. I am going to try it!!

Jewelry Assembly Chicks said...

You will love this technique. It's neat, trim and streamlined and will make your designs shine!