One of my favorite techniques in jewelry design is the wire wrapped briolette. There are various ways to wrap a briolette and if you search the topic on Google or Etsy you are bound to find a multitude of styles. I prefer to wrap the wire down the sides of the briolette and if you take a look at my store, Sunset & Vine on Etsy, you will see some examples. This technique may look intimidating but all you need to complete your own perfect wrapped briolette are your own fingers, round nosed pliers, wire cutters, 26 gauge wire and a beautiful briolette.
The first step is to take your briolette and put the wire (8 inches) through the briolette until about an inch extends on the left side and the rest of your wire is on the right side.
Then you will want to take both sides of your wire and cross them above your briolette to make an X, then continue to form a right angle with the pieces of wire and wrap the bottom piece of wire around the piece of wire that is pointing straight up two or three times.
Now you will want to take your wire cutters and trim the piece of wire that is being wrapped and tuck in any excess wire.
Finally you will take the top piece of wire and your round nose pliers and make a round loop. With the excess wire begin wrapping down and around the wire until you reach the briolette and wrap until you are satisfied. You can push the end of the wire against the briolette or tuck it into the briolette hole. Some people also wrap the wire back up to the top of the round loop and tuck it in there.
- Practice with copper wire and glass briolettes until you get familiar with techniques so you don't waste valuable sterling silver wire.
- You can use thicker gauged wires but typically gemstones don't have thick enough drill holes to allow for anything larger than 26 gauge.
- If you want a thicker look with gemstone briolettes try doubling your 26 or 28 gauge wire to two pieces.
- You can also wrap your briolette and then wrap back to the top for a thicker, messier more rustic look.
Wrapping briolettes is something that can take time to polish but you will be able to accomplish this your first go round. Keep working on your personal style and make it your own. Add clusters to the top or make a swirl at the bottom of your wrap. Whatever you choose to do have a good time!