AJE July Component of the Month – Francesca Watson

Today is the day for another reveal for the AJE Component of the Month!  This month, Francesca Watson provided us with her wonderful dichroic glass cabochons.  She gave us the choice of having them in cabochon form, or drilled.  Here are the very tempting choices she gave us!

I chose the blue cabochon on to top second to the right.  I decided to keep mine a cabochon. 

 It is really hard to photogragh all the gorgeous dichroic colors that are in this cabochon.  My first idea was for me to do a beaded bezel with it.  Between visiting my 92 year old grandfather in Florida for a week, and a quick little getaway to Baltimore with my boyfriend, and Bead Fest prep, it just did not happen.

My second idea, then, was put a bail on this cab, and do a beaded necklace.  Not too fancy, just a wire wrapped one with my own lampwork beads as accents.  That did not happen either.  I wasn’t at all happy with that idea, and just about gave up.  It just wasn’t going to do the cab justice.

 Finally I got the brainstorm to do a kumihimo necklace and I am very very happy I did!  I think it matches the cab really well and doesn’t take away from it either. 

Nothing like last minute for me!  Thank you, Francesca, for providing us with the beautiful glass cabs and also for your patience in waiting for me to get this done!!!!  Please check out what our guests and other members made with Francesca’s cabs too!

Guest Designers

Deb Fortin – www.studiok24.blogspot.ca
Toltec Jewels – www.JewelSchoolFriends.com
Carol Briody – cbriody.blogspot.com


The AJE Team
Caroline Dewison – blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk
Susan Kennedy – www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Melissa Meman – melissameman.blogspot.com
Jenny Davies-Reazor – www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Francesca Watson – OUR HOST – www.francescawatson.com

Tutorial: Wire Wrapping Kumihimo Braid Ends

When I posted my necklace design with Jenny’s Component of the Month,
I used kumihimo braid.  I make a thin braid with C-lon and didn’t want
to use a bulky end cap, so I decided to figure out how to wire wrap the
ends.  Some people were interested in seeing a tutorial on how to do
this, so here it is!  The one I made for the piece was a messy wrap –
here I’m going to demonstrate a fairly neat wrap!

This
tutorial is really similar to any wire wrapping you would do with ball
chain, rhinestone chain, or any material that doesn’t have a clear and
viable loop.

Materials Needed:  Kumihimo braid, 6-8″ patinated copper wire

Tools Needed:  Two pair chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, wire cutters, embroidery scissors

Here
is the braid and the wire.  I think I used 22 gauge wire – it needs to
be strong enough to hold your cord, but workable too!

 Slide
your wire into the middle of the braid – make sure that you get it in
between strands of the cord, because that will be important to hold your
work.  Here you should have a sort piece of wire at the top (maybe 2
inches total), and a longer piece at the bottom for more wraps.

 Make a bend in your wire so you basically have a loop.  Here you can really see where I inserted the wire.

 Take your chain nose pliers and grasp the cord and wire – make sure that the pliers are in between the two sides of wire.

 Hold
the cord and wire tightly with the chain nose pliers – use your second
pair to start wire wrapping the cord.  If you want it neat, make sure
you get the wraps as close together as possible.  You can also use your
fingers to do this step – this will result in a more messy wrap.

 Keep
wrapping until you’re happy with the length of the wrap.  You can use
the chain nose pliers to tighten up the wrap and make the loops closer
together.

 Next,
cut off the braided cord above the loop you made initially with the
wire using embroidery scissors.  You can tidy this step up later.

 With the round nose pliers, make a wrapped loop with the top section of wire.

 Wrap
the short end of wire down to meet the other wraps you already made –
again, it’s up to you how many wraps you wish to make.

 Here’s
your finished wire wrapped end.  Not really too hard!  I would use my
thread burner to just tidy up the little pieces of braid that stick out
through the wrap.  You can finish your wire any way you want – I like to
hammer the loop to give it some strength and character, the way Deryn
Mentock does. 

And
there you have it – another way to finish a kumi braid end without
having to use an end cap!  This is also published over at Art Jewelry Elements Blog today!