Friday, 24 September 2010

The WireWorkers Guild

Wirewrapped Agate Pendant made by Linda Jones
created under the tuition of Jessica van Zanten
of the London Jewellery School.

Anyone who is creating jewellery to

sell, will now be thinking ahead to
their busiest time of year ... (I hate
to mention the word Xmas so early!) ... but
good planning will help you make the
most of your business.
For supplies,
tools and all resources ... not to mention
inspiration ... don't forget:



The second one this year to be held at
Sandown Park (Racecourse), Esher, Surrey

Take a look at:

for more information and ticket bookings.

I will be there, demonstrating on the BEAD Magazine Stand,
selling and promoting my new book and I can guarantee
you wont be disappointed with the wealth of suppliers -
great for stocking up on all your Xmas jewellery commissions
and presents!


I also want to let you know about the London Jewellery School ...

As some of you will know, I am totally self-taught in wireworking, as
there was no-one around teaching it in the UK, when I started 12 years
ago! However, I have since discovered the London Jewellery School
which is based in Hatton Garden, EC1, set in amongst London's
bustling jewellery quarter.

The school was set up by designer, Jessica can Zanten in 2008
and she has developed it into one of the largest independent jewellery
training centres in the U.K. with 60 different classes to choose from.
Classes range from basic Beading, Metal Clay, Glass Lampworking,
Resin & Silver and traditional Silver Jewellery workshops ...
There's definitely something for everyone, at every level!

Anyhow, the reason I'm telling you this, is that I recently attended a
Wire Wrapping course there, with Jessica as my teacher. I felt after
12 years, I should be on the other side of the table for a change!
My review of the day workshop was 5 star: EXCELLENT!*****

Jessica was incredibly instructive, warm and bubbly and led us through each wire
wrapping technique at a very digestible pace. I was very impressed with the quality
of the semi-precious stones available for wrapping and the choice of square
and half-round copper wire that we were able to 'play and twist' with - previously, I
have only seen these types of wire in sterling silver or gold in the U.K. (although
it's readily available in the U.S.) Hopefully, with the surge of popularity in
wire wrapping here, I do hope these wires will soon become available from
UK suppliers.

I can highly recommend the London Jewellery School for it's workshops and
standard of teaching and I hope to be featuring Jessica on our 'Artist Profile'
very soon, so you will learn more about her and the school in general.

In the meantime, for more information of courses running:

Tel. 0208 693 4195

Earrings I made at the London School of Jewellery workshop under
Jessica van Zanten's tuition


Interestingly enough, MAKE JEWELLERY magazine has just published
a feature on wire and I was commissioned to illustrate how to wire wrap a
basic stone for the magazine BEFORE my session at the London Jewellery
School. Having taught myself and without using square or half-round wire,
it may not be as successful or traditionally beautiful with round wire, but
believe me, it's definitely possible! Below are the instructions that were printed
in the magazine.

It also features how to make my Bib Necklace, Earrings
and Bracelet project on page 56!

Above: Silver wire & Brown Crystal Bib & Earrings set

Above: Bronze Wire & Topaz Czech Crystals designed for
Issue 19 Make Jewellery Magazine

project shown on page 68-69 of 'Make Jewellery'
Magazine Issue 19. This illustrates, if you haven't got
the right ingredients (i.e. square or half-round wire)
you can always improvise with what you have (round wire!).
That's the beauty of designing your own jewellery. Be as
creative as you can - there is no fixed template, rules
or regulations, or codes of doctrines you have to
abide by ... improvise with what you have, using
your imagination to the full and your creativity
and originality will shine through!

Frame Mounted
Black Glass Stone

To make this frame mounted black glass pendant, you will
need: 0.4mm,0.6mm and 0.8mm silver wire, black cord,
masking tape, a cabochon stone. The tools required are
round, flat, chain nosed pliers and wire cutters.

1. Using a piece of string or paper, measure the
periphery of your 'stone' and add at least 5cms (2")
to this measurement: to which you cut 1 length of 0.8mm
plus 2 lengths of 0.6mm silver wire. Straighten out the
3 wires and bind together at three spaced intervals
with a small lengths of 0.4mm binding wire,
keeping the thicker wire (0.8mm) at the centre and
the thinner wires on each side. (Make sure all your
cut ends are on the same sides, as they will all need to
be on the INSIDE of the frame).

2. Cut 3 pieces of Masking tape and stick the centre
of the bound wires to the base of your stone. Using
your fingers, push the rest of the wires around the
outer edge of the stone and tape to secure the wires
to the stone, covering over the bound areas . Push the
wires around the stone, until they completely cross over
at the top .

3. Using the tips of your pliers, bend one
of the 0.8mm wires up, so that it projects
from the top of the stone (this will eventually
be turned into your suspension link). Using
your fingers, wrap each of the other extending
wires around this projecting wire, to secure
them at the top of the stone.

4. Leaving the projecting wire intact, create
small spirals (or shapes of your choice) with the
remaining wires, curling them up to the centre top
and flattening against the wrapped wires underneath.

5. Using the tips of your round nosed pliers
(or chain nosed) pull out the 0.6mm wires
around the front and back of the mount
and between the taped areas, keeping the thicker
0.8mm wire framing the outer circumference of the stone.

6. Once you are satisfied that the stone is well secured
within the mount, remove all the Masking tape and
create a double link with your round nosed pliers with
the projecting wire.

7. The pendant is now ready to be suspended from a cord
chain or ribbon and if it's very plain, like this black glass
stone, create a wire 'S' spiral out of 0.8mm wire and secure
(with Superglue) to the front of the stone for extra decoration.


* When you become confident and more proficient with frame
mounting, you can experiment using more than 3 wires, keeping
2 or 3 around the diameter of the stone - this will also be necessary
for thicker, chunkier stones.

* Experiment with twisted wires around the frame mount to add
extra decoration and detail.

* For extra large stones and irregular shapes, bind in more than
just 3 places on your frame mount.

* To create asymmetric and irregular kinks and lines within your
framing, use the tips of your pliers to twist and tweak the front and
back wires holding the stone.

* Try creating a framed brooch instead of a pendant. Omit the top
suspension link and curl all the top wires into spirals or rosettes and
flatten over the top of the stone and glue or wire a brooch pin to the back.

* Experiment with coloured wires - creating the frame with varying
coloured wires that either contrast, or blend with your stone.

* This framing technique can be used on beads, as well as pebbles,
sea-glass, dichroic glass ... etc... as well as semi-precious cabochon stones.

Here are some more pieces I created a while ago, with left over glass
shards that were given to me by my friend, Irene, who creates beautiful
glass fused plates, candlesticks and bowls ...

(Above: Purple & Dichroic Glass Pendants with Earrings)

(Above: Blue Dichroic Glass Pendants)

(Above: Brown & Dichroic Pendant with gold wire)

(Above: Red Dichroic Glass Pendants)

(Above: Pink Dichroic Pendant ... with added silver
beads at the top of the frame mount).

I hope that's 'food for thought' and
will inspire you to have a bash at
wire wrapping and frame mounting
anything you find, from tumbled
pebbles, to stunning semi-precious

GET WRAPPING!! (... in time for Xmas ...)


  1. I would just like to say a big thank you for sharing all your tips and ideas with complete strangers! I discovered your site by accident a few months ago (I already own one of your books) and visit regularly ever since! I'm always inspired by your work and it often triggers ideas of my own and this latest blog on wire wrapping has definately given me food for thought! Thanks again, Debbie

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