Thursday, May 6, 2010

Jumping Lampwork - Step by Step

This necklace was preselected for a Stringing Magazine Issue.  It was not finally selected.  I was almost sure it was going to make it, bummer....
I still like it a lot.  It is made of leather, lampworked beads and silver plated wire and findings.

Here are the Step by Step Instructions:


2 multicolored polka dot 8x6mm lampworked barrels
14 multicolored polka dot 10-15mm lampworked beads (shapes: ovals, rondelles, barrels and rounds)
20-22” 18 gauge silver plated non tarnish wire
1 silver plated Hook-and-eye clasp
2 silver plated 8 x 4mm Crimp Ends (Inside diameter 3.6 – 4mm)
3 yd black 1mm Faux Leather Cord

Finished size: 20.5”


1: Cut the Faux Leather Cord in 8 equal parts. Form an overhand knot 5” from one end. Cut one of each of the 5” cords below the knot to these measures: 3 - 3.6 - 3.7 - 3.8 - 4.0 - 4.5 - 4.8 – 5 inches, and string a lampworked bead in each, tying a single knot at the end of each cord, try to vary colors and shapes. Separate the 8 cords above the knot in two sets of 4. String one lampworked bead into each one of the left and right set of cords, and make a single knot as close as you can to the lampworked beads.

2: Measure the desired length of the necklace and cut each set of 4 cords equally. Crimp each set with one of the silver plated crimp ends. Make a wrapped-loop, insert it into the crimp end before wrapping. Insert one of the 8x6 lampworked barrels, and make another wrapped loop with the hook-clasp attached to it. Repeat this step on the other crimp end, using the other 6x8 lampworked barrel and the loop of the clasp.

3: Cut a 3-3.5” piece of silver plated 18 gauge wire, and mark the center with a felt-tip pen. Place the center in the front part of the necklace, wrap until both ends meet at the back, and bring each wire again to the front, until you can see 3 wraps at the front. One wire would be at the upper part of the wrap and the other one at the lower part of the wrap. Make sure you have the same amount of wire left on each side unless you want different size spirals. You will usually need about 1” to make a two-loop spiral. Make the spirals facing opposite directions.

4: How to Make the spirals: start with a very small p-loop at the tip of your wire, and then use chain-nose or flat nose pliers to hold the loop while you use your other hand to bend the wire as close as you can to the p-loop. You have to do small bits of the wire at the time and move the pliers so that you always have half of your project between the pliers. Continue these steps until you have completed your spiral.

5: Repeat step four over each knot on the upper part of the necklace, and you are ready to wear your necklace!

I use a drop of glue in each crimp end before I insert the cords; this will prevent them from slipping out from the crimps and will make your design more durable.

Designs made with leather or faux leather cords tend to set in a shape of their own. I recommend you try on the necklace on to see how it naturally falls in place. That way you will identify the front of the necklace in order to decorate it with the spirals.

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