04 September 2009

More Egyptian Coils and a New Steampunk Necklace...

As you know, I have been playing with the Egyptian coil technique for the past week. The whole time I was making coiled bracelets, the steampunk winged scarab I made as a demo for a step out article I recently wrote has been sitting beside me waiting to be made into something wearable. I wanted to incorporate the Egyptian coils into the chain for the pendant, but didn't want to overwhelm it with so many coils, and I only had a few feet of the 20 gauge copper wire I used for the frame of the pendant left - not enough to make the whole chain using the Egyptian coil technique, anyway. Another challenge I faced with this piece was how to attach the chain to the pendant.

As I looked at the wire wrapped scarab, waiting for the ideas in my head to come together, I decided to echo the spirals at the ends of the wings in the chain by making two sections of Egyptian coils, but with more open coils like the wings, and wrapping them with matching seed beads and watch parts, to tie the designs together. I had just enough of the 20 gauge wire to make six links - three for each side, and a shorter piece left over that I used to make the bail for the pendant. I also had some 5mm round Swarovski crystal beads left over from a bracelet I made for my daughter for Christmas last year that matched the seed beads, and I used these to make the chain, to give the necklace a bit more sparkle.

Each of the Egyptian coil links was wrapped with 4 feet of hair-thin wire, seed beads, and selected watch parts, and linked through the next. I didn't wrap a stone into the center of the coils like I did on the bracelets I'd made, as I wanted them to have free movement as part of the chain. The weight of the pendant helps keep the Egyptian links lined up when worn.

The bail was a bit trickier, and I doodled in my notebook for a while until I came up with the shape I wanted for it, and an idea of how I would attach it. I echoed the wrapped seedbeads from the wings around the top center of the bail, and wrapped one of the Swarovski beads into the loop, then curled the sides around and over the top of the wings to make loops to attach the chain. This also gave the scarab what looked like a head with curled antennae.

The bulk of the chain is made up of the wire wrapped Swarovski crystal beads. I added a couple of double coiled copper links to the chain, to give it some variation, and used a large, open gear at the top of one of the Egyptian coil sections to attach it to the rest of the chain. And, to finish the design, I made a coiled hook clasp, which I hammered flat, to bring it all together, so to speak.

This piece turned out better than I'd hoped, and gave me some ideas for the next piece I am working on for the Etsy Wire Artisans Guild's September Theme Challenge - Pirates. I will be continuing my experimentations with the Egyptian Coil technique in this challenge piece, using ideas from the necklace I just completed.

Stay tuned!:D


zatil said...

wow. the necklace is so pretty! like it;)

Shay Stone said...

Very wonderful Pippi!

A Beaded Affair said...

I'm not usually a huge steampunk fan but I love it when someone creates a piece and it's beautiful. Well done!

Kathleen Krucoff said...

This is awesome Pippi! I just love this style and the work you put into it is incredible. Beautiful.