“Caged” gems

17 01 2012

My friend Paula and I learned how to make these whimsical earrings in a workshop last spring with the Gem Cutters Guild of Baltimore. We spent the day at the workshop in Baltimore while Michael and our friend Karen went museum-hopping and had lunch. It also happened to be Karen’s birthday that day, so we were to meet up with them (as well as Paula’s husband, Ken) later for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory in the Inner Harbor.

Our instructor had us work with sterling silver wire (an extra $25 materials fee due to this!). In the class we also learned how to make earring wires, headpins (see the coiled headpin in the earrings below? I hammered the coil flat on an anvil to create this look), necklace and bracelet clasps, and a coiled wire ring. The earring wires shown here were commercially made and provided for the project. This is the only pair I’ve made so far, but with the instructor’s detailed printouts, I think I can tackle it again. It was amazing to see how some simple coiling techniques could make such a cool pair of earrings!

I found this youtube video here that shows how to make the caged beads like we did.

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