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Summer suncatcher

Originally posted: July 2017


Since the beginning of human existence, civilisations have worshipped the sun and it's not hard to understand why!


The sun is the star that dominates our solar system. It produces energy in heat and light and has done so for many millions of years, bringing life to so many living things. It also generates our planet's weather, creating wind and the earth's water cycle. So, with the current summer warmth radiating all around us, I thought a Suncatcher project would be perfect for this month!


I have designed this as a garden decoration, however, you can always scale it down and adapt the design to work as a jewellery pendant.


 

STEP 1

For a large scale piece, I used 2mm aluminium wire and created a spiral to the size required.


STEP 2

Next, cut 4 pieces of the same wire, approximately 2" longer than the spiral diameter.



STEP 3

Cut an arm's length of 0.4mm wire and use this to join and secure 2 of the lengths at the centre, to form a cross. Weave the wire up and around, like a figure of 8 (basket weave).



STEP 4

Add the third wire in, placing it across the midway point and continue the basket weave, round all the wires, securing them in place.


STEP 5

Finally, add the last wire and weave in, to form a 'star' shape, using up all the remaining fine binding wire. If the centre feels a bit raised and bulky, use the nylon mallet head of your Whammer hammer to tap it down and flatten it.



STEP 6

Place the centre of the spiral (from Step 1) at the centre of the 'star' and secure it in place with length of 0.4mm wire.



STEP 7

Attach a long arm's length of 0.4mm wire to the central point, in readiness to secure your chosen beads...



STEP 8

Thread your beads onto the central wire and secure them around the 'star' stems as you follow the spiral curvature framework...



STEP 9

Continue adding more beads and wire, until you have filled the central gap within the spiral.



STEP 10

To keep both frames secured together, use the 0.4mm wire to bind a bead at the outer edge of the spiral frame, onto the radiating stem ...



STEP 11

Repeat (step 10) and secure beads to each of the stems. Use your wire cutters to snip off and even out the ends of the projecting 2mm aluminium wires.



STEP 12

Individually place each of the radiating stem tips on a steel block and using the steel head of your Whammer, flatten and spread until they mushroom out. (This is great Whammer Therapy!)


You can then choose to pierce a hole in the top and base stem, so that you can secure a hanging loop and pendant drop. I attached a sparkling heart-shaped crystal, however, a cascade of faceted beads, a feather, a shard of glass, or anything you've got to hand, would all look equally decorative!


Finally, you can decorate the centre by glueing in a glass nugget, or wiring in a bead.




I am now enjoying my suncatcher in the garden, where I can see it from my kitchen sink.

It definitely adds some positive sparkle to my thoughts, as I'm washing the dishes and filling up the kettle for tea and coffee refreshments ...!


I would love to see your finished suncatchers, please do share your images on my facebook

page.


Learn more about my jewellery making workshops, watch my free video tutorials on jewellery making or get in touch to find out more.

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