This month’s AJE Component of the Month challenge was from Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio. She makes awesome polymer clay beads, but recently she has been making hand painted leather feathers. For this month’s challenge, we could choose either a single larger feather, or a pair of smaller ones. I chose the smaller blue pair.
I wanted to make some bicone beads to match these feathers, but as soon as I got back from Bead Fest I started working my other job again, and quite honestly have not wanted to even look at my torch right now. I had these pretty round swirl beads that matched perfectly, so I went with them!
I knew I was going to make earrings, and wanted to figure out a wire wrap, instead of punching a hole in the feather. It took me a few tries, but this is what I came up with. If this is a technique that’s already out there, please just bear with me! Here’s what I came up with:
I folded over the tip of the feather, and made a wrapped loop. Here’s how I did it. First, I took about a 7″ piece of 20 gauge copper wire, and bent it in half.
I formed a loop, and kept both ends of the wire horizontal.
I then inserted the tip of the feather into the loop, and folded it over. I held it in place with my chain nose pliers.
I began wrapping one end of the wire around the front of the feather. I wrapped it several times.
When I was comfortable with the number of wraps, I cut the excess wire off in the back and used the chain nose pliers to push the end down so it would lie flat and out of the way.
Then I took the other end and did the same thing – please excuse the gnarly wire – I had to unwrap at one point, and that’s why it looks this way!
When I was done wrapping, I cut the wire in the back the same way and made sure the wire held tight by gently tugging on it. After that, I just make my lampwork bead dangle by starting a wrapped loop, inserting the feather segment and finishing the wrapped loop. Then I added a copper wavy chip bead (don’t know what to call these!) my lampwork bead, another chip bead and made a wrapped loop at the top. Add ear wire and you’re done!
Please check out what everyone else made with Rebekah’s feathers by following these links!
The AJE Team