Creating jewellery with rough gems is fast becoming a popular trend. This is a really simple wire wrapped project using undrilled gems to make some drop earrings. You only require a few hand tools to create them and no need to solder. You could also create earrings using some of our other rough gems which are available in stones such as topaz, garnet, turquoise, aquamarine and opal
We've used a 0.3mm sterling silver wire to wrap the gem as it is a nice flexible size for manipulating around the stone and creating fine, neat wire wraps.
You will probably only need around 40cm of the silver wire for each earring, but we have included extra in the shopping list in case there is a size difference in the gem or if you wish to experiment with the wire wrap.
If you leave the wire in a continuous length and only cut when you have completed the first earring you will not waste any wire. If you are new to wire wrapping you may find it easier to cut a shorter length to start with.
To start, use side cutters to cut a piece of wire 40cm long and cut in half again. Create a cross by rotating one piece at 90 degrees angle and place it in the middle of the other piece so you have 4 equal lengths. Twist the centre of the cross 3 times to join the wire together and create approximately 0.5cm of twists.
Place the crystal in the centre of the wire and pull all four sides up around the crystal to the top. Hold the crystals and wire in one hand and hold the four loose strands at the top the snipe nose pliers.
Gently twist with the pliers 2 full turns to tighten the grip around the crystal.
Next, keep one strand of wire long and cut the other 3 to approximately 5mm above the crystal. Use round nose pliers to bend a small loop in the top of the wire, leaving a stem of about 5mm under the loop, leaving a small stem at the end will mean the loop will be secure and the stem will be hidden by the wraps of wire.
This will be the loop that you will connect the rest of the earring to.
Wrap the wire around its stem and the three loose ends to secure. Use side cutters to trim the end of the wire and use your snipe nose pliers to squeeze the end so it is tucked very neatly against itself and so will not catch on clothing.
Your gem is now captured inside a little wire cage. Finally complete your earring by opening the ear wire and threading the loop on to the ear wire to sit in the dip.
Side cutters - to cut wire, not suitable for memory wire
Snipe nose pliers - for opening and closing jump rings
Round nose pliers- to form loops in wire
The Encyclopedia of Wire Jewellery Techniques By Sarah Withers
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