Making Polymer Clay Jewelry with large Focal Beads and Copper Wire

Jupiter Bead Necklace

“Count me in on the “YES, PLEASE” column for anything to do with working with wire with the beads.”~Arlene-H

Today’s photo shows a pendant I made using a large Jupiter bead finished with a handmade brass and copper wire bail.

Since these Jupiter planet beads can be quite large, they make excellent focal beads.

To set off the large round bead, I made a woven wire bail using 20 gauge Brass wire as the structure and 24 gauge copper wire as the weaving material. The bail was designed in such a way that the brass wire continued through the hole in the bead out the bottom, and turned into a spiral.

From the spiral a dangle was created using small glass bicone beads.

It was a fun jewelry project to make with the Giant Jupiter Beads. The copper wire weaving was fun to experiment with as well. A little bit of a departure from my usual hammered copper findings.

What kind of jewelry projects have you been using your Jupiter beads for?

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Elizabeth, 08 August, 2009


    This is AWESOME!!! Please teach us how to do it with a video. Elizabeth

  2. Lisa Whitham, 08 August, 2009

    Count me in, I’m interested in learning more about wire wrapping too..! :)

  3. Melinda, 08 August, 2009

    First of all that is an amazing bail. I love it.

    About your question…. I have made a couple of necklaces using some Jupiter beads of like colors. I have more that I’m thinking of making lanyards with and some more that perhaps I will make focal beads out of.

  4. Catalina, 08 August, 2009

    I bought some stuff to learn how to do wire wrap jewelry and have yet to try it. Maybe a video would motivate me!! Hint, hint!!

  5. Polyanya, 08 August, 2009

    Ooh that looks good – yes please!

  6. sarahwww, 08 August, 2009

    Please do! I was just looking at my Jupiter beads and wondering how to approach using them

  7. Jocelyn, 08 August, 2009

    Another beautiful piece, Cindy. Cannot wait to see the video….

  8. Freda, 08 August, 2009

    Ilike the simple lines of this. Too many tutorials have so much gingerbread on them and that isn’t my style.

  9. Silverleaf, 09 August, 2009

    Looks great Cindy!

    Any chance of bigger pictures though? I’m finding it difficult to actually see what’s going on there – or is that the idea, so people can’t copy?

  10. Jennifer B., 09 August, 2009

    Honestly I love to create things (beads, sculpting) with polymer clay, but once baked I never do anything with it! I guess having two small kids (4 1/2 & a 3 yr old) will do that too ya. Plus, my husband lost his job back in April and luckily found a new one but it is out of state. So, that means we have to move. Between having small kids, having to move, husband not being here because he has to go to NY for his job half of the month, and having a zoo of animals with a new addition of a puppy, there is defiantly not enough time in the day! Plus, that does not include taking care of the housework, which I seem to slack on ;)

    But I have had a high interest in wire wrapping and wire jewelry making in general lately. I have looked at tutorials online, but they are written tutorials and I am a visual person, so I learn best by seeing it being done. With that said I would love to see some tutorial’s on wire wrapping and will find some time to include it in my day ;) Even if I have to wait until 11pm to do it. Which, I seem to do half the time anyway :)

    I just wanted to say Thank You Cindy for all the tutorial Video’s. Before watching your tutorial’s I had some supplies but never really did anything with it. You gave me the confidence to start again and keep going :) I love your teaching style and have learned so much from you. I have learned much more from you than any of the books I have.

    Thanks Again :)

  11. Cindy Lietz, 09 August, 2009

    Thanks everyone for the feedback. Looks like I’ll have to add more videos at the library to do with wire working :)

    @Jennifer – Good luck with your move to NY. What you said in your last paragraph about being able to learn better through video as compared to books or written tutorials… is exactly why I do what I do. So glad to hear that my teachings have given you confidence. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

    @Silverleaf – The size of the pictures is more a function of the blog template I use. Whenever possible I try to “zoom in” with the photos, to show as much detail as the lens will allow. The blog here is mostly for introducing new ideas, sharing tips, answering questions and building community. Where I put more energy into presenting bigger pictures, and adding lots of detailed visuals, is in the video tutorials. And the nice thing about video is that I can show and describe everything in full motion… from all angles.

  12. Jocelyn, 09 August, 2009

    Cindy, certainly up to you, but there seems to be enough interest in this topic for you to do another whole packaged tutorial series. Lots of positive feedback and interest in the comments of each blog and video now, too.

    I love it. Especially the thongs (lol) and the wire weaving. So beautiful, and I cannot wait to get one of those anvils or hammering surfaces.

  13. Cheryl, 09 August, 2009

    Definitely would love more tutorials and ideas on wire jewelry designs. I’d take the video tutorials any day over the written instructions. I’m a visual learner too! And your instructions are step by step and so easy to follow.

  14. aims, 10 August, 2009

    Now this is what I’m talking about! Being able to make a statement with polymer clay!

    I love this Cindy! It is so unusual and it’s something I know I would buy in an instant!

  15. Polyanya, 12 August, 2009

    I have a question regarding boiled egg oxidized copper wire – the wires have tarnished up beautifully so thanks to Jamie (I think) who posted the easy egg version. What I’d like to know is – if I’m making wrapped loops for beads do I polish before I encase the bead or after? If I do it before wouldn’t all the tarnish be removed? Any suggestions would be very welcome and I’m sitting pliers in hand!

  16. Cindy Lietz, 12 August, 2009

    Thanks everyone for the support and interest in more wire working techniques! I’ll be sure to add more of it in the upcoming weekly videos.

    @Polyanya: Polish the bead before you wrap it in wire. As far as when to tarnish the wire, you can do it before or after wiring the bead. Can’t imagine the egg harming the bead at all.

  17. Polyanya, 12 August, 2009

    Whoops sorry Cindy, misunderstanding alert! I meant polish the copper – doh! I’ve polished the beads already and had the tarnished copper wire ready to make wrapped loops. Actually I’ve already made up a faux amber bracelet with tarnished copper wire, looks darn good (smug bighead) and the tarnish seemed to come off when I straightened and wrapped, leaving just enough to look antiquey.

  18. Cindy Lietz, 14 August, 2009

    **PHOTOS ADDED: Some project pictures have just been added to a Spotlight Feature showcasing Kimisen, a member who is very much appreciated here at this supportive polymer clay community. Click on the “Polymer Clay Beads” link by my name above to have a look at her unique version of a flattened Jupiter bead.

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