I got to go into the city by myself on Monday evening to take a wire wrapping class with Emily Start, one of my favorite jewelry artists. She works primarily with heavy gauge wire and large-ish stones and I think her work is almost alive, it exudes so much energy. Now that I have tried some of her techniques, I know why. Ittakes a LOT of energy to make thick wire do your bidding, even if it is labled "dead soft".
Here are 2 views of the piece I made in class. I started with an amethyst crystal point about 2" long that I got on eBay, (you won't find THESE at Wal-Mart, LOL!) which I wrapped with 16 g wire, then accented with more silver beads on 22 g wire. I absolutely love it, but think I still want to add a dangle from the little curlicue at the bottom. I just need to get a chain for it and it's ready to wear.
Then I have these 3 pieces waiting to be wrapped, now that I have a clue as to what I'm doing. The brown one is smoky quartz, the purple is amethyst (of course), and the green one is zoisite. The red spots are ruby crystals embedded in the matrix. Isn't that one cool??
The photo on the right shows the neck ring that started it all. The ring itself is of 12 g wire (my mind boggles trying to imagine how much strength she has in her hands to shape such heavy stuff) and the stone is kyanite embellished with aqua aura and more silver. A very dramatic piece.
I wish I had a link to include so that I could share more of her wonderful work, but she doesn't have an internet presence. If you want to see Emily's jewelry you have to come to Oregon and tour the galleries and bead shops where her work is displayed. Let me know if you do... I'd love to go shopping with you.