by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com
Wire Jewelry Making tip for September 26, 2014
Tips for Wire Wrapping a Cameo
We have so many great tips on our blog that sometimes it hard to choose what to tell you about – but today I ‘d like to answer a question from one of our subscribers.
Question: I would like to make a cameo wrapped in wire. Can you give some instruction on how its done?
Yes, we’d love to help out with that but first, I thought you might like a little history.
A Little Bit about Cameos:
Jewelry Cameos add an unmistakable elegance and mystique to jewelry. Cameos have been a popular jewelry component for thousands of years, with examples discovered from Ancient Greece and Rome.
The Antique Cameo, in the photo above, depicts the subject AURORA, Greek goddess of the Dawn as she leads the sun God Apollo on his chariot at break of day, in bringing daylight into the world.
The metal surrounding the cameo will not be quickly forgotten either, drawing us into the cameo subject itself through an oval window of foliate leaves alternating with pinecones.
Duplicated on the front of the Antique cameo is a famous scene from ancient Greek mythology that can be seen on the ceiling fresco in the “Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi” in Rome, on the Quirinal Hill. This monumental work, by Guido Reni, was completed in 1613-1614. It measures 280 cm (110 inch) x 700 cm (275 inch). The palace was built by the Borghese family.
Cameos have been used as signet rings, jewels of emperors, and ornaments of royalty and clergy through the Renaissance. Although interest in cameos waned in the years after the Renaissance, Queen Victoria re popularized the beautiful jewelry piece, through her use of them in her personal jewelry and gifts to friends and important figures.
Let’s take a look at how to wrap a Cameo:
A very simple pendant frame, to protect the edges and show off the cameo, can be made by using the same methods that you would use to wrap a cabochon. A lot of cameos can be rather thin and care needs to be taken when framing one.
- Make the frame bundle as usual, but do the shaping around an item of the same shape and size (like a cabochon) as well as the main bends for the bail.
- Then tape the top/bail sections together and begin the top wrap.
- Now, make the necessary pulls on the front of the frame that will hold the cameo in, working ‘off the stone’.
- Insert the cameo and then make the necessary pulls on the backside.
- Finish the bail and embellish as desired.
Let’s take a look at a few types of Cameos that we have available.
If you’d like to learn more about wrapping a cameo or any other pendants, take a look at some of our Instructional DVDS.
Antique Cameo Jewelry
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