Friday, 13 July 2012

BASKET CASE

BASKET CASE! ...
Yup!  That's me!

I've been experimenting with wire weaving for a
while and thought I would pass on a little basket
case tutorial, or 'cage' - for you to have a 'play' with!
It all started a couple of year's ago when I was creating
wire icycle decorations for a Christmas project, that
I realised I could fold up the wires from my frame to
encase a stone or bead to create basket cage pendants!

Woven wire jewellery has been around for a while
and they are some amazingly talented artists using
this technique in a very sculptural and contemporary
way.  One of my current favourites is KATHY FREY
from California, who incidentally has a book out,
called: ELEGANT WIRE JEWELRY.
Her pieces are just WOW!  Take a look at the images below:

 
I also love the work of jewellery and accessory designer,  
INES SCHWOTZER (from Germany). See below: ...


Have I wet your wire appetite yet??!

If so, step down a few more rungs of the wire ladder and have a go at 
making a simple basket cage for a stone.  You will need: 0.8mm and 
0.4mm wire, a tumbled stone (mine was about 1" (2.5cm) in height and 
approx. 1/2" (1.5cm) in width).  For tools, you need your usual buddies:  
Round, flat and chain nosed pliers and wire cutters, hammer & steel stake.
1.  Begin by cutting 2 x 5" (12.5cm) lengths of 0.8mm wire (or, at
least 5 times the length of the stone you're about to encase).  Also,
cut at least 12" (31cm) of 0.4mm wire and begin by binding it to
the centre of one of your 0.8mm lengths.

2.  Place the centre of the second 0.8mm wire across the first
(in a 'cross' shape) and use the fine binding wire to secure the
two pieces together.


3.  Weave the fine binding wire (up and under) the crossed wires
until you've used it all up and formed a central woven area, or base
to your cage.

4.  Place your chosen stone onto the woven area and bend the 4 projecting
wires up vertically around the side of the stone.

5.  Bring the 4 projecting wires together at the top of the stone and bind
to secure as one, using a short length (say, 3" - 7.5cm) of 0.4mm wire.
Cut off any excess binding wire and neaten the ends.

6.  Cut another, much longer length of 0.4mm wire ... approx. 18" ...
and starting at the centre of the wire AND around the centre of one of
the vertical wires of the cage, begin weaving the wire around the perimeter
of the stone, securing around each vertical wire as you go.
(*I start at the centre of the wire and frame and weave half the wire
downwards and the other half up the frame and that way I don't have to
work with an extremely long and awkward length of wire!)

7.  Once you've used up half the wire, wrapping the base part of the frame,
continue with the rest of the wire and work your way up to the top binding.


8.  Secure the end of the fine wire around the previous top binding and cut
off any excess and neaten the end.

9.  Spread your 4 x 0.8mm projecting wires out at the top and choose
one (the longest to be your link, 2 to be your decorative 'tendrils' and the
other (as above) can be wrapped tightly around the 0.4mm binding.


10.  After binding it around the top, curl any extending wire into a
small spiral and flatten at the top of the cage, hiding the binding wires
underneath.

11.  Hammer and flatten the 2 side projecting wires on a steel block,
leaving the central wire untouched ... this will eventually be your central
hanging link.

12.  Use the tips of your round nosed pliers to curl 'tendrils' (or, wire
ribbons) with the flattened wires on each side.  Make sure the cut ends
are pushed in and are not sharp, otherwise, they will catch on your clothes
when worn!


13.  Use your round nosed pliers to curl a link with the central and last
projecting wire. If, like me, you have enough wire to make a double link,
open it up at the top to separate, creating a double top suspension link.





14.  Et voila!  I've used the tips of my round nosed pliers to twist
(and tweak) the woven wires around the stone to create a little more
interest and movement ... but that's your choice!  All that's left to do
now is suspend it from a cord or chain!

************************************************************************************
EXPERIMENT AND PLAY WITH THIS IDEA! 
It's a great locket pendant 
for suspending, memento's, tumbled stones, etc...   
Below are a few more variations that I created using this technique:












... I'm just going to crawl back into my cage and create some more variations ...








10 comments:

  1. That's such a fabulous project Linda and many thanks for that. I've always admired the "basket cases" but shied away as it all looked complicated and I had visions of getting in a frenzied tangle of wire! Mind you, that's not a bad thing sometimes and can lead to all sorts of new designs. :)

    I especially like that first Kathy Frey photo and I love your last design up above here ...lots of inspiration as ever and I know what I'm up to this afternoon ...getting "cagey"! Sally xx

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  2. Would love to see some of your results ... maybe your mum could make some Fimo gremlins to be caged??! Post your experiments up on Facebook when you're ready! x

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  3. Hi! Wow!...I love this page!...it's a feast for my eyes and I'm so glad I found it... I love accessories/jewelries...I like looking at them and admiring them... I started making my own last year..and the idea that I made it myself...made me feel so accomplished....it was so funny coz the one I made the first time was not even pretty...the colors are all wrong and the beads are all wrong too...but because I made it...I don't know..it felt wonderful and from then on...it became a hobby...although I'm getting the hang of it...I still suck at color combination and design...lolz...but I'm not giving up...Far from it...So I will be reading everything on this site(every tip/advise)..and I hope I will improve!...hahaha.. Thanks again for thinking of sharing this site with us! godbless!

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  4. Thank you so much for your generous tutorial - awesome! peace

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  5. What a wonderful way to preserve meaningful little collectables, too, I would think. I'll be trying this!

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  6. I love this alternative! I have been using the "hippie" twist form of wire work to capture irregular nuggets.

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  7. PS. I forgot to mention that I will share this tutorial on my blog so others can come visit!

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  9. Thank you sooo much! I have had a small collection of raw black opal chips too small to set that i think would look awesome in a basket style pendant. I Now know how to approach this! You've made my day!

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