Friday, August 19, 2011

Gift "Sea Bottle" with Beads & Wire

A cousin of mine is always there for me and my family when we need her most.   In times of crisis, she provides food.  In times of sadness, she provides gifts from the heart and a listening ear.  And always, her gifts are thoughtful and bring joy.  
The last couple of weeks have been difficult for my family health-wise, and as usual, my cousin sent prepared meals to our house twice to keep us going during that time.   I wanted to offer her some hand-made gift in return, but she's not really a wearer of jewelry.  So instead of designing her a necklace, bracelet, or earrings (as I often do for gifts), I decided to create what I'll call a "sea bottle" for her--a  bottle decorated with beads and wire for a room in her house that is done in an ocean theme in shades of blue and aqua.    

Photo taken in Hawaii, 
a place that inspires both of us in our design projects.

Below, basic supplies needed for the Sea Bottle:
1) glass bottle/jar, 2) wire, & 3) assorted coordinating beads.

  • First, I started with a light green glass bottle, then went through my collection and gathered up a variety of beads that were blue, green, aqua, or turquoise--with a few white and clear thrown in for contrast.   
  • Next, I mixed the beads in size, color, and shape and strung them on 22 gauge silver-plated Artistic wire.
  • I wrapped wire and beads around the neck of the bottle first, then started going around the bottle.  I could quickly tell how difficult it was going to be to keep the wire from slipping off the bottle and remaining where I wanted it, so I went back and redid the silver wire, adding loops and bends along the way as I wrapped the bottle.
  • Aqua-colored wire running vertically was added to connect the layers of silver wire running horizontally and keep everything in position.   By looping the aqua wire around beads and through the silver hoops, a firmer wrapping was created for the bottle.  
  • While I used one long strip of silver wire, I cut multiple shorter pieces of the aqua wire, which made the bending/wrapping easier and allowed me to add a few spirals and loops for decoration. 
  • Finally, I applied a twist of my pliers to any wires that were too loose.  This is a technique I often use when wrapping stones and crystals.  It adds an interesting curve to the wire that also forces it to tighten against the object wrapped--in this case, the glass bottle.

    The final product...

    'm thinking the bottle might be used to hold a few flowers 
    or scented fragrance sticks with oil.

    Various views of the completed 4-sided "Sea Bottle."
    The bottle is 13.5cm (5 1/4") tall and 
    6.5cm (2 1/2") wide on each side.

    It was fun to use jewelry-making skills for another purpose, and nice to have something to give my cousin that I made just for her.  I hope it will give her a bit of the joy she so freely shares with us and others.   


    For examples of beaded & twisted wire jewelry, please visit Sharyl's Jewelry.

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