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Waxing poetic

Use linen-wrapped wire components to frame a focal bead
Waxingpoetic

Jiley Romney's moody glass bead was the starting point of my piece. To highlight the bead, I chose to work in black. The curvaceous wirework draws attention down to the focal point. But use any color palette or bead that inspires you to create a similar piece!

SUPPLIES

Necklace 20 in. (51 cm)

  • 65 x 40 mm (approx.) art-glass bead 
  • 5–7 4–8 mm large-hole accent beads
  • 52 1/2 in. (1.3 m) 16-gauge brass or copper wire
  • S-hook clasp
  • 21 yd. (19.2 m) 4-ply waxed linen cord
  • crewel embroidery needle, #2 (or equivalent)
  • dowels, 3⁄8–1⁄2 in. (1–1.3 cm) diameter (optional)
  • G-S Hypo Cement (optional)
  •  macramé board
  • quilting pins
  • bentnose, chainnose, or needlenose plier
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters


INSTRUCTIONS

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Photo A
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Figure 1
Wire components

1. Cut two 19 1/4-in. (48.9 cm) pieces of 16-gauge wire.

2. Using roundnose pliers, make a simple loop (PHOTO A) at each end of both wires. The loops should face each other on each wire, and the loops should be completely closed with no gap where the end of the loop meets the wire (FIGURE 1).
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Figure 2

3. Following the pattern in FIGURE 2, use roundnose pliers and/or dowels to make bends and curves in one wire.

Check against the pattern frequently to make sure your shape is right. When you reach the end, if you have a bit too much wire, snip off the loop and make a new one.

Repeat with the other wire to make a second side component that is the same shape as the first. 

 

 

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Figure 3

4. To make the pendant frame components, cut two 7-in. (18 cm) pieces of wire. Make a simple loop at each end, then follow the pattern in FIGURE 3 to shape each wire. If your art-glass bead is a different shape or size than the one shown here, you may want to adjust the shape to suit.

 
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Figure 4
Wrapping

1. Cut two 10 1/2-ft. (3.2 m) and two 4 1/2-ft. (1.4 m) pieces of waxed linen cord.

2. Thread the end of one of the short pieces of waxed linen through the right-hand loop of one of the pendant frame components so you have 7 in. (18 cm) of cord coming out the front of the component (FIGURE 4).
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Photo b
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Photo c

Wrap the 7-in. (18 cm) tail around the wire at the point where the end of the loop meets the rest of the wire (PHOTO B). Working clockwise around the loop, continue wrapping the linen around the wire, making each wrap tight against the previous one, until the loop is completely covered (PHOTO C). 

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PHOTO D

3. With the short end of the linen exiting the front of the loop, make an overhand knot, centering it in the middle of the loop and making sure it is tight against it (PHOTO D)

 
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PHOTO E
4. Thread the short tail onto an embroidery needle, and sew through the wire loop. Make another overhand knot on the back of the loop, making sure it is centered and very tight. To tighten the knot well, insert the tips of a pair of pliers into the loose knot, and grasp the cord where the knot should be positioned (PHOTO E). Pull the cord to tighten the knot, releasing the pliers when the knot is in place. Trim the end of the short cord close to the second knot.
5. Wrap the long part of the cord around the rest of the wire component until you’ve covered the other loop. Repeat steps 3 and 4.

6. Repeat steps 2–5 with the remaining wire components and pieces of cord, using the long cords to wrap the side components.

For complete project instructions, click here to download & print this PDF. 

Do you need to brush up on your macramé basics? Check out a free video on a mounting hitch and a how-to for the lark's head knot used in this project.

 

FIND MORE: necklaces , knotting , wirework

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