How To Wrap A Briolette

When I first started creating my own jewelry I asked every jewelry-maker I knew if they would teach me how to wrap a briolette. I absolutely adore briolette gems and stones, so this technique is something I would use often.  I got the same answer from all of them: “it’s not as easy as it looks”.  They all sort of brushed me off saying that they’d love to teach me when they got the time.  The time never came, so I taught myself [thank you youtube and world-wide-web!].   It’s incredibly useful for all types of stones.  It’s taken some practice–the more I make, the nicer they come out–and I’ve gotten the hang of it.

[Christina earrings]

During a gym sesh last week, a friend who reads my blog [you know who you are!] let me know that she used one of my jewelry photos as a template for her own wire-wrapping (could there be a bigger compliment?).  I’m so glad to be offering a bit of guidance for those who are also learning!  So then I realized that I should share the technique here.  Although I think it’s natural that part of my ego tells me that people will be copying my style, I am a firm believer that knowledge should be shared.  Everyone has their own style, even if we use the same technique :).  Plus, you could just go on youtube if you really wanted to ;).

So, lesson #1: What is a briolette?

Briolette [n] : A pear-shaped or oval gem, especially a diamond, cut in long triangular facets.

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Lesson #2: What you’ll need

  • ~8 in of wire per gem/stone (you’ll want to give yourself more than enough wire to start off with, just in case.  And the gauge of wire will depend on the gem/stone.  If it’s too thick/thin, it won’t stay flush).
  • a briolette (or two, if you’re making a pair of earrings)
  • pair of flat pliers
  • pair of round pliers
  • pair of wire cutters

[+ if you’re making the pair of earrings shown at top]

  • 2 earring hooks
  • 2 rings

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Lesson #3: What to do

  1. Thread at least an inch of wire through briolette puka.
  2. Pull both ends of wire up and across each other [a 90 degree angle is super important here].
  3. use your round pliers to twist the wire around itself at least two times, then cut the short end flush to the twist.

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4. Use your round pliers to create a loop.

5. If you’re making these hoop earrings, now is the time to insert ring into the loop.

6. Wrap wire back over the stem

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7. If you wanted, you could stop at the top of the gem/stone by using your wire-cutters here, but we’ll continue down the top of the gem/stone until the puka are covered.

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8. After reaching the puka,loop the wire back up to the top of the gem/stone, wrapping it at least two times at the stem (right under the loop).

9. Cute the wire and flatten with your flat pliers.

[This is what it will look like at this point from the front and the back, respectively]:

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10. Again, you could stop here and it would be a beautiful piece of art.  But this borderline-OCD girl likes the unique look of twisting the backside wire.  It not only gives it a cool ‘lightning-bolt’ look, but also tightens the wire and cleans it up a bit more.

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Now, either side you choose to be the front, these earrings look great!

I’m still looking forward to learning the “tuck-under” technique, but that will come with practice and patience, just like everything else 😉  I’ve made tons of new stuff in the past few weeks and am working on posting them a.s.a.p.  In the meantime, have you checked out my current jewelry?  I’ll be having a holiday trunk show very soon as well, so keep your eyes open!

Happy creating! For inquiries, leave a comment or email me at haleysrabago@gmail.com.  I’d love to help!

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6 thoughts on “How To Wrap A Briolette

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