In this most recent issue of Interweave’s “Step by Step Wire” there was a polymer mixed media lunala pendant, by yours truly! I hadn’t had anything published in a while, and I was thrilled to be in this penultimate issue. Sadly the magazine will be ceasing publication in 2017.
If you haven’t seen the tutorial – I decided to share the basics with you here! ( I have simplified a little, but have confidence you can follow along!) *Materials list at end of post*
These Luna pendants were inspired by ancient “lunala” motifs. The upturned crescent is often a symbol of the feminine and of creativity, appearing in folk art from Celtic Britain to Eastern Europe and Russia. The idea partially developed from the stash of teeny tiny gems I had – that wouldn’t take 24 gauge wire! So I started brainstorming ideas for smaller wire, and a sturdier form. I love them – and think the design has infinite variations, great options for customization.
1. The polymer pendant: Condition your clay. I use a blend of 2 parts white and 1 part translucent so its not a heavy flat white. Roll out to largest setting on pasta machine – app 3/32 – 1/16″. Cut circle and reposition same size circle cutter to cut crescent.
2. Stamp your designs! I use metal stamps and Tandy leather stamps because the scale is correct for this size piece. Cure your piece according to manufacturer’s specifications.
3. Brush on heat set oils with an old toothbrush – really scrub it into the designs. Make sure to do front, back and edges. Wipe color back as desired. Heat set oils for 15 minutes at 275 deg.
4. Wet sand the surface as desired to lighten the color and create a distressed look
5. Mark holes with sharp pencil. Drill by hand with a drill bit. Note: Not too close to the edge! and space them according to the beads you plan to use…
6. The wire frame… Pictures show 20 gauge sterling wire, with balled ends. I have also used copper, and spiraled the ends. Your choice! Curve to fit… fiddle and tweak as needed. Hammer the balls/spiral to work harden and strengthen. When the large curve fits the crescent – then curl ends in to hook over tips of crescent. (See next picture)
7. Stitching – Using 28 or 30 gauge wire, stitch your gems to the moon! The wire is secured at tip of crescent with a few wraps. When you are at the other end, trim and tuck ends into the interior. Add jump rings and chain. You are done!
Please check out Step by Step Wire and see the whole article! Thanks for stopping by – and Happy Holidays.
Above pix – scenes from Girls Bead Night where I shared this project. Yes – those are margaritas….
Tools and Supplies
- White and translucent polymer clay/pasta machine
- 20-gauge sterling silver wire, approximately 4″
- 28- or 30-gauge craft wire, approximately 8-12″. ( I use Parawire)
- Circle cutter, approximately 1 1/2″
- Leather, metal, or rubber stamps
- Heat set oil paint in viridian blue, old toothbrush
- Fine or extra fine (320 grit) sandpaper
- Drill bit # 58
- Wire cutters
- Butane torch & tweezers/bench block and chasing hammer
- Round-nose pliers/ Chain-nose pliers,