Home jewelry making: Working with crystal
Crystal is a wonderful material to work with. Not only does it possess timeless beauty, and is fairly inexpensive depending on the type, it is also very durable. There are a number of ways in which you can make use of the crystal, depending on the type.
Raw crystal is crystal that has not been shaped, polished, or altered in any way. One of the most popular uses for raw crystal is to wire wrap it into a pendant. This is a very classy look, whether you intend on using the pendant on gold, silver, hemp, or a leather thong.
Wiring wrapping is also very easy to do. While any type of wire can be used, you are best served to get wire specifically made for this purpose. Any type of craft supplier will have a variety of wire to work with.
You will want to determine whether or not you wish to make the pendant the focal point in your jewelry design. Make sure that the wire matches the composition of the rest of the piece, and doesn’t clash against any other parts of the necklace.
To properly wrap the crystal, you will want to make a base around the top. The base can be made by interweaving the wire around the circumference of the crystal until it is nice and tight. After that, focus on weaving the wire into a loop so that the pendant can be mounted.
Twist the loop around a few times so that it is secure, and viola! You have just made a mounted crystal pendant. If you don’t want to work with wire, or if wire wrapping does not fit into your overall jewelry composition, there are also end caps that you can get from jewelry suppliers.
These caps are glued on to the top of the crystal and have a jumper (a circular piece of metal that allows the jewelry to be mounted on a necklace).
You can also purchase crystals in beaded form. These crystals are either faceted or polished, and will normally cost you a bit more than raw crystal will. The uses of worked crystal are far greater than that of raw crystal, however.
Crystal beads can act as great separators for your focal pieces, and faceted crystal beads and pieces can actually be part of your focal design. Beads can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from minuscule 2 mm beads to enormous 12 mm beads.
Don’t forget that due to the durability of crystal, it is also popular to cut it into designs and charms. Animals and flowers carved from crystal are very nice to use in any jewelry design and can be on any type of size scale.
The only type of material that can compare to crystal in jewelry making is glass, however most glass is much more susceptible to chipping and damage over the rest of time.
Another area that crystals excel in is the coloration. Quartz crystal alone comes in a rainbow of colors the ever-popular crystal quartz, amethyst, rose quartz, smoky quartz, agate, and countless other kinds. If you ever find yourself hard-pressed for ideas when you have crystals to work with, I’d be amazed!