Thursday, February 6, 2014

Product Story: Gem Frame Necklace

OOAK silver and gemstone necklace
by BokBok Jewelry
One of my most popular items is this green, silver, and orange gemstone necklace, so I thought I'd write a little something about it.

When I go shopping for supplies, I try to stick to things that I know I will use, and use often - the basic necessities, like clasps and head pins. I invariably wind up buying things because I like the way they look and I "might" use them one day, usually beads. Such was the case with the chain I wound up using for this necklace. I liked the shapes of the links, and it was cute by itself, but I wanted to add something to it; I just didn't know what to add yet.

At around the same time, my mom had been fabric-shopping at a craft store and came across a strand of big, chunky, assorted gemstones on clearance. She knows I can't resist new beads (especially when they're free to me), so she gave them to me.

The idea to combine these two components didn't come to me for a very long time. Initially, I was thinking about using each of the large links in the chain as a frame for pearls or crystals, and I had no idea what I was going to do with the gemstones. They're larger than the beads I usually work with, they're heavy, and the colors are out of my usual palette, so I didn't even have any smaller beads to use as spacers that would have complemented the stones well.

After months (maybe even a year) of having these building blocks but not knowing what to do with either of them, I finally hit on the idea of wire frames. I had been on Pinterest for a while, and wire bead cages were very much in; I thought I could do something similar, but simpler, by making just a frame. Initially, I was going to frame one stone and use it as a pendant, but while I was digging around in my stash looking for the stones or chain or something, I found this chain - the chain - and decided to use it, too.
Close-up of two of the wire frames.

Since I was doing something new, I decided to go all the way with the newness; not only does this necklace not have a central focal point, but it's also asymmetrical. I did this to add visual interest, and to see how I liked it, and because it's just generally good to think outside one's box once in a while.

I had the design - now I just had to make it. This necklace came together fairly easily, once I picked out the stones. First, I made the frames: keeping the heavier wire on the spool, I wrapped the end of it into a loop, then loosely bent it into the size and shape of the stone. Once I had the frame, I cut the wire. Then, I cut off about five inches (if I remember correctly) of a thinner wire, and used that to connect the stone to the frame. The chain came with a clasp attached already, so all I had to do, once the gem-frame units were complete, was to attach the frames to the chain with some jump rings.

And, there you have it. If you'd like to use the idea of framing stones in wire, hopefully this post will help you some. :) As always, questions and comments are more than welcome, and if you do make your own gem frames, please take a picture and share!

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