Suncatchers in the Sun

A few nights ago, as I was soaking in the bath with my iPad goddess as my friend calls her, I looked up some wire wrapping tutorials and came across a really great one on making wire frames for pendants, Tree of Life, and sun catchers. Bad me didn’t bookmark or save it and now I can’t find it!! Darn! However, I decided I really needed to make a Sun Catcher for my garden.

Common sense forced me to put the project off until the next day when I’d had some sleep and wasn’t quite so relaxed, but as soon as I’d cleared out some business on my schedule, I sat down to give it a try.

I started with a 16 gauge copper wire which I wrapped around a small bowl that had straight edges. Basically, I grabbed the first round object within easy reach and of an approximate size I wanted. I wrapped the wire around it and left about 2″ extra on each end to create the bail at the top.

This time I wanted to try a new texture on the surface, but as I only own all of ONE texturing hammer, I got creative and snagged my Little J’s Minecraft pickaxe (IRL: some garden tool we found at the home center). After I formed the frame and had wrapped it close at the top (yes, it was a little tricky working with the 16g wire, but I managed after a few false starts), I laid the frame on my steel block (actually, I laid a corner of the frame on the block since my block is considerably smaller than my frame turned out).

Next step: texturing! And I like how this turned out, sort of mashed/beaten/slashed look on the surface of the frame.

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I had to set the frame aside for a bit after this since the Little J. was yelling for his dinner, but once I got back to it, I went with a beautiful lovely random pattern, actually, there was no pattern involved. I grabbed out stones I wanted to see in the piece, and used some stones from my reject pile, ones with defects or chipped or somehow un-useable in my regular work.

At first I was trying for a neat wrap, but eventually gave it up and went with my favorite ‘messy wrap’ style (sort of a straight sleek hair style vs. a messy hair style), and found the messy wrap gave the piece more personality than the neater wrap.

I put in a bunch of chips and some unknown beads I’d collected over the years, and at the top one of my new hematite quartz tumbled stones. One stone I definitely wanted in it was the crystal shard, which I actually added separately at the end.

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Knowing how quickly copper tarnishes, I decided to oxidize the piece and polish it up to bring out the copper highlights of the metal. Once that was done, that was about it, I attached it to a chain I made last month and put it up in a tree.

Sun Catcher by Off on a Whim

I have no plans to make these for sale, maybe one day in the ‘far far future’, as my Littlest J. likes to say.

Stop by and see Off on a Whim on Facebook if you have a chance! Or visit my Off on a Whim Etsy Shop to see some of my designs!

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