Monday, October 19, 2015

Bridesmaid Jewellery - Baroque Style Bracelet - Part 1

Today, the Wedding Collection takes a look at the jewellery worn by the bridal party.

"Romantic and elegant" was the brief the Creative Bride gave me. She has chosen the mismatched look for her bridal party so each of her attendant's will wear a different shade of burgundy in a different style.

It's a broad brief but armed with information about what the bridesmaid's will wear, I had a starting point. With four different necklines, necklaces were ruled out. We toyed with the idea of a brooch but Michaela wanted to surprise her attendants with a faux fur wrap in case the day was chilly. So instead, we settled on a bracelet and pair of earrings for each bridesmaid. Now it was up to me to create something romantic and elegant. And what could be more elegant than crystals and gold filigree. So today, let's take a look at the bracelet.

There are a lot of steps in this project so I've split it into 2 posts. This first part deals with creating the epoxy resin and crystal focal. Part 2 shows how to put the bracelet together.

Here's what you'll need:
Tools and Equipment
  • Soft paint brush
  • Drill with grinding/abrasive bit and 1mm drill bit
  • Flat nose plier 
  • Round nose plier
  • Flush cutter
  • Button shank remover
  • Embellie Gellie or Krystal Katana to help with placement of small crystals
  • Methylated spirits (denatured alcohol) and a cotton bud
Using the button shank remover, cut away the 4 claws on the marquis setting.
Using the button shank remover to trim off the 4 claws on the brass marquis setting.

Fit a grinding bit to the drill and file the cut edges smooth.
Using the grinding attachment of the Her Embosser Tool to file off the rough edges on the marquis setting

They should be flush with the upper edge of the setting.
The marquis setting, trimmed and filed, is now ready for the next step.

 Trim away the pendant loop on the brass filigree using a button shank remover.....
Trimming off the loop of the oval filigree using the button shank removers.

and then the internal loop.
Removing the inner loop of the brass filigree with the button shank remover.

Trim away all the filigree from the inner oval. This is so the oval crystal will fit.
Trimming off all the scroll tips from the inside of the filigree with button shank removers

File the cut edges smooth.
Grinding and filing away all the edges that were just trimmed with the button shank removers.

Expand the sides of the marquis setting to fit the oval filigree.
Using your hands to make the marquis setting a little wider so that the filigree fits the setting perfectly.

Check it for fit and make any further adjustments if necessary.
Testing the brass stamping for fit.

Insert an eye pin through one side of the setting and out the other. Bend the eye pin at a 90° angle and trim to 8mm (5/16").
Marquis setting with an eye pin inserted through one end. The eye pin is being bent at a 90° angle.

Turn a simple loop.
Turning a simple loop on the end of the first eye pin once it has been inserted into the marquis setting.

Repeat with a second eye pin through the other two holes.
Marquis setting with an eye pin inserted through each end of the setting.

I'm using ETI's EnviroTex Jewelry Clay to fill the marquis setting. Measure out equal parts of A and B.
Two equal sized balls of the EnviroTex Jewelry Clay; one is Part A and the other is Part B.

Put on a pair of gloves and mix the two parts together following the manufacturer's instructions until it's completely mixed.
Mixing the two balls of clay together with gloved hands.

Add some gold PearlEx powder to tint the resin and mix it in well. This step is optional as you can colour the surface of the clay when the piece is finished.
Mixing a small amount of Pearl Ex into the mixed epoxy clay

Shape the Jewelry Clay into a pointed oval and place it into the setting. Make sure the face of the eye pin loops face upwards.
The marquis setting is filled with the epoxy clay so that it slightly domes above the walls of the setting.

Work the resin clay out to the edges and leave it domed in the centre.
The epoxy clay has been worked out to the edges of the setting.

Place the filigree on top of the Jewelry Clay and press it into the surface.
The oval stamping is now placed on to the epoxy clay and pressed in so that it forms little cushions in each of the open spaces of the filigree.

Position the oval crystal in the centre and press it down so that its girdle is level with the clay.
The garnet crystal has been placed onto the clay and pressed lightly into the surface.

Place the small Swarovski crystals in the open areas of the filigree. I prefer to use pointy backs (aka V-backs, diamond backs and chatons) but to get the colour I needed, I had to settle for flatbacks. These will be just as secure because EnviroTex Jewelry Clay is an excellent adhesive.
Placing the crystals into each of the outer cushions of the filigree.

Dust the surface of the resin clay with Pearl Ex. Don't worry if you get it on the crystals as you can brush it off.
Using the soft brush to dust the surface of the epoxy clay with Pearl Ex to fill in any gaps.

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, residue from the clay gets on the surface of the crystals. If this happens, clean it off with a cotton bud dipped in methylated spirits. You need to wipe it off before the clay goes off or it will be permanent.
A cotton bud dipped in alcohol is used to wipe away any stray specs of Pearl Ex or any uncured epoxy clay from the surface of the crystals.

Set the focal aside to cure for 24 hours before putting the bracelet together.
The finished crystal-studded filigree bracelet focal ready to be made into a bracelet.

In my next post, we'll be using the remaining components to create the bracelet.

'Til next time.....

Want to learn how to make jewellery? Click here to find my books and printable pdfs

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