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Monday, August 08, 2016

A sweet and breezy necklace for summer

By Cindy Goldrick

I've been working on my Now That's a Jig! a lot this summer and it's such a joy to use and design on. Watch for my fall classes that feature this amazing tool. There's a Jig in the Beadfx metal studio that you can try out any time if you ask!

Here's a quick and fun Jig project that can be completed in under an hour and customized to match any outfit. It's also a great way to use up or feature a few extra pearls or glass beads. 

I've got two versions for you. 

Here's the Jig peg set up:

Wrap 18 ga annealed steel wire, or 16 ga craft wire, around each of the seven pegs, double wrapping the first and last pegs. Remove the frame, trim the excess wire flush then lightly tap with a hammer on the bench block to work harden. If you need to flatten it, hit it with a rawhide hammer too. Clean the wire with steel wool and seal with Renaissance Wax. 

Wire wrap beads of your choice (I used pressed glass flowers) and join them directly to each of the five centre loops. Join chain with a jump ring to each end loop. Finish chain with the toggle or lobster clasp of your choice. 

For a shorter version, set up your Jig like this:

Wrap and finish as before. On this example, I didn't double wrap the end loops. I featured some vintage glass drops. I also didn't wire wrap the beads directly to the loops - instead I added them with jump rings. There's a lobster clasp on one side since I intend to add chain on the other loop and have it hook up in the front on the other side. 

I love the evenness and the swirling flourishes you can achieve with this framework. The Jig makes it easy. You could achieve similar results with round nose or bail making pliers, but you would take a lot longer and would have to carefully mark and measure along the wire the exact placement of each loop. 

Go ahead! I encourage you to give the Jig a try. It's so much fun. 

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