Craftsman of the Month
Cover of Rock&Gem V1N1 March-April 1971

Frankie Feirn - March 1999
Dream in Wire

Once again our Craftsman of the Month is a woman: Frankie Feirn of Loves Park, Illinois. Her lovely "Dream in Wire" can be used alone as a dream-catcher pendant or in a pair as terrific earrings.

Here's how she explains the construction: "The tools needed are round- and chain-nose pliers, wire cutters, pin vise, ring mandrel (or other, right-sized round implement for shaping--I used a 35mm film can for the pendant). The necessary materials for the pendant are three tiny beads, one "feather" (of shell, stone or metal), one 8-inch piece of gold-filled or sterling silver 21-gauge square wire, one 20-inch piece of gold-filled or sterling silver 26-gauge round wire. For the earrings, double everything and add two ear wires."

"To make the hoop, first twist the 21-gauge square wire, using the pin vise and chain-nose pliers. The make a 90-degree bend 1 inch from the end of the wire. (That 1 inch will become your bail.) Wrap the remaining wire around your mandrel--or other round implement--and meet the bail wire at the top."

"Using chain-nose pliers, loop the remaining end of the wire around the bail wire one and a half times. Cut it off on the back side of the hoop using wire cutters."

"Use round-nose pliers to make a large loop for a pendant or a small loop for earrings. For a pendant, make the loop from front to back (for the chain to pass through) and, for earrings, make the loop from side to side (to hang from the ear wire)."

"With chain-nose pliers, wrap the rest of the bail wire under the loop and back down to meet the wraps from the other wire. Now attach the 26-gauge wire around the neck of the hoop, where it meets the bail. Make a loop around the bail and hoop wire and wrap it around itself. Make semicircle wraps (I divided the hoop into eight sections), facing the inside of the hoop, until you reach the bail again. The next semicircle wrap (second row) goes into the middle of the first outside semicircle wire."

"This is where I placed my first bead on the wire. Continue around the second row. Start the third row the same way. Place the second bead on the opposite side of the 'web,' towards the bottom. Finish the third row, leaving an open circle in the middle of the web. End the web by wrapping the wire around a semicircle and cut off the remaining piece with wire cutters."

"Using the rest of the 26-gauge wire, on one end make a small loop and attach the feather. Secure the feather by making several wraps above it. Add a bead to the feather. Make another loop above that bead and attach the whole string to one of the loops in the web. You can also hang the feather from the bottom or side of the hoop, if you prefer."

"Any combination of stones or colored beads can be used."

"For the pendant, simply add a chain or cord. For earrings, open the loop of the ear wire with the chain-nose pliers, hang the catcher and reclose the loop. Note I like to use gold-filled wire for the hoop and sterling for the web. It is best to make earrings at the same time, aiming for mirror images, so they will match well."

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