The Daily Shiny — 1/8/12 (picture heavy)

It all begins with a stone.  A stone and crackers and hummus.  It keeps your mouth full so you don’t drop as many cusses as you’d like when you cut your hands.

...also lunch, dinner.

The Breakfast of Champions

I guess it’s mostly a feeling that leads me to a particular stone or color combination.  There are new-agey artists cashing in on the jewelry sporting witch crowd by claiming inspiration and drive from the power of stones and it’s not that hard to understand that feeling.  Shiny stones rock my face off hard (This is not an attempt to malign those who truly believe in the healing powers of minerals and the like, just that I’ve seen folks try to mine these beliefs for delicious, delicious money and that’s kinda lame.). Left to my own devices, though I just think ‘I LIKE TURQUOISE’ or ‘THIS SHAPE IS GOOD’.  The likeliest scenario is that whatever powers-that-be will forego blessing my humble attempts at art.

FEEL IT!

Feel its power to get dropped and subsequently lost in my blankets for half a frickin' hour.

I’ve a king’s sterling buttlourde of pretty rocks at my fingertips, so choosing any particular focal piece to work with takes a bit of hemming and hawing.  Where can I see this going?  What do the curves and divots nature’s carved into its surface suggest?  Generally, I try to design around the natural lines of any given stone.  Sometimes I’ll choose a stone based on an idea knocking around in my head.  Anyway, it’s time for the wire itself to be cut and shaped.

Try untangling it! I dare you!

Hell yes that's an original Caboodles organizer.

Picking the correct gauge of wire is fairly key, as well as hardness.  For this project, I went with 20gauge soft silver wire for framing/supporting the turquoise and 28 gauge silver wire for the wire wrapping details.  The larger the number, the thinner the wire, and I want some fairly small, tight wraps.  If I were making a bracelet, I’d likely choose either 14 or 16 gauge wire (14 can get a bit expensive.  Sometimes, I’ll fudge it enough to use 18 gauge, but the sturdier, the better with something that wraps around your wrist).  If the pendant were mostly metal-worked, I’d likely choose 18 as a frame.  Anyway, I eyeball-measured a length of 20 gauge wire, bent it in half with a small, rounded bend, and started it wrapping around the turquoise.

It gets better, I promise.

The sloppy looking initial formation.

As the king and queen of all cosmos look on with holographic majesty, I’m forced to admit that it doesn’t look very promising at this point.  It’s more a harness made of silver than anything else.  Some shaping, wrapping, and cussing later, I have something a bit more interesting.

But still not perfect!

East Side wrappin'

The wire along the bottom looks a bit thicker due to it being wrapped in 28 gauge wire.  Now, to connect the plain wires with some weaving to form a sort of mesh.

Please excuse my fingernails.

Some kind of mesh.

The frame is built, the wires wrapped.  Now time to turn it into a full on necklace using complementary beads.  I went with pyrite in some kinda black stone and amethyst.

And on to Etsy

Almost done!

And now it’s been posted on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/90081866/gold-in-them-thar-hills and we’re done!  Here’s a high def picture for those of y’all still reading.

Sweet sweet future coinage.

There's gold in them thar hills.

See you guys tomorrow when I attempt to do this in a less wordy way now that many parts of my process are revealed.  At least I didn’t bleed this time.

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