Tinned copper foil surrounds dichroic cabochons which are then placed on swirls of sterling silver to create this pendant.
-- Designer --
Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®To learn more about Tammy Honaman, read her jewelry artist success story here
|Measure a length of foil to fit around the perimeter of a dichroic cabochon. Make an impression then trim at the impression. Peel a little of the paper backing from the foil then center the cabochon onto the sticky side of the foil.
Continue to peel the backing away and wrap the cabochon neatly--keeping it centered as you go.
Note: If you do not keep the foil even, the copper will look uneven on the top of the cabochon. You can use this as a design element if you’d like.
|Neatly press the foil against the cabochon. Using a burnisher, smooth the foil so it is pressed securely and neatly.
Repeat to wrap each cabochon in your design with copper foil.
|While working over a heatproof surface, grasp a cabochon with fiber-grip tweezers. Using a flux brush, apply flux to the foil, making sure to apply it to all areas of the foil. Solder will not stay on the foil if it isn’t fluxed properly.|
|Plug in a soldering iron or, if working with the soldering torch, place the soldering tip onto the torch and ignite; allow the tip to heat up. Press the heated tip to the solder so a little bit of solder is gathered. Apply the solder to the foil. Repeat until the foil is covered in solder--or tinned.
Repeat Steps 3-4, tinning each of the cabochons in your design.
|Create a spiral at the end of the 5-foot piece of 16-gauge wire. Make the spiral large enough to extend out past the largest tinned cabochon. Apply flux to the center of the spiral covering an area as wide as the cabochon. Apply solder, tinning the fluxed area so it will merge well with the cabochon.|
|Place the cabochon onto the tinned area on the spiral. Apply a small amount of solder to a spot between the cabochon and the wire. The heat will circulate around the wire and the solder from the cabochon and the wire will begin to meld. Add more solder if needed.|
|Position the next cabochon in your design. Work the wire toward the cabochon then curve the wire around it, so the cabochon is nestled.
Repeat Steps 5 and 6, tinning the area of the wire where the cabochon will be attached and soldering the cabochon in place.
|Repeat Step 7 until all of the cabochons are in place. Trim the wire to allow for 2-3 inches beyond the last cabochon. Form a spiral at the top. Add a jumpring to the spiral so you can hang your pendant from cording of your choice.|
The pieces featured in the Gallery of Designs are copyrighted designs and are provided for inspiration only. We encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.