Thursday, November 5, 2015

Wedding Jewellery for the Elegant Bride

The DIY Wedding Collection continues today with jewellery for the bride.

Once again, the Creative Bride's brief was, well..... brief! Keeping in mind the jewellery the Bridesmaids would be wearing, she wanted something elegant, with the feel of Estate jewellery. And of course, it had to be gold.

Whilst most brides are opting for the zing of crystals, Michaela wanted a softer, more romantic and much less modern look. Pearls and clear crystals might be traditional, but our bride wanted subtle colour so we needed to find a substitute. And that colour was Golden Shadow - an elegant, neutral but with all the sparkle of Swarovski.

So, let's get this design underway.

I selected four brass components - two which will be layered to create the focal and two which will be connector components on either side of the focal. These are perfect for adding a little crystal flair to. The two focal components need to be riveted together but in order to do that, I firstly have to increase the size of the hole on one of the pieces. To make light work of this, I'm using one of my Engraving Drill Bitswith my Dremel Rotary Toolto slowly nibble the edge, enlarging the hole's diameter so that the rivet fits snugly. 

Once it's the right size, I've layered the two pieces together with the rivet.

It's quite a long rivet so it needs to be trimmed. The easiest way to work out where is to draw a line using a fine marker. I'm actually doing this on the back, i.e. I've inserted the rivet from the front to make it easier to mark the correct length.

I used my flush cutters to trim it to size because I don't have saw in my studio. If you do this, you will need to round the tube again afterwards.

Now that the rivet is the right length I'm removing it from the components and re-inserting it from the back. Doing this means that the rivet on the back will be perfectly formed and even if you don't get an even rivet on the front, it won't be visible.

Set the rivet using a rivet setting tool and hammer.

As you can see, the rivet didn't split evenly, but this will be hidden in the finished piece.

Now it's time to apply the crystals. I like to use Swarovski's CG500-35 because I know it's safe for use with foil backed crystals and it's super strong. It also has more open time than other epoxies too which means you can mix up a batch and position a number of crystals before the mix goes off.

The inner circle is set with Siam chatons and the outer circle with Golden Shadow.

Now to set the focal crystal. I'm going to create a "cup" for the crystal to sit in using ETI's Envirotex Jewelry Clay . This clay is a really strong adhesive and will give the crystal stability too. I mixed up a small ball of the Jewelry Clay and placed it over the rivet making sure it goes down into the tube.

The crystal is positioned in the centre of the clay. It's important to make sure it's also sitting level on all sides.

A light dusting with Pearl Ex disguises the clay support. And a dusting inside the rivet tube from the back will disguise the clay inside the tube too.

To give the pendant a "V" shape, I dangled a Golden Shadow Briolette from the bottom of the crystal-set focal.

I also attached some crystal bicones to the two brass components that I connected to either side of the central focal.

You can see them here. I've added some flat black crystals to these pieces to tie them in. These are Indian Siam because I couldn't get Siam and even though they are a different colour, they still work in the overall piece.

To complete the necklace, I created a chain of half bicones set in 2 loop connectors which adds a lot of understated sparkle. You can see how to set the bicones in the connectors in the Bridesmaids bracelets.

The Creative Bride was delighted with the finished piece. It definitely has the feel of Estate jewellery and is a piece she could hand down through the generations that come after her. It's understated, romantic, olde worlde - a perfect fit for her personality and suits the look she wanted for her wedding day.

The Creative Bride was calm, happy and relaxed as she dressed for her big day. The last item to be put on was her custom made jewellery. And the honour of putting it on went to me!

There's more wedding jewellery to come in upcoming posts so son't forget to check back for the next instalment of the Wedding Collection.

'Til next time.....

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