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AJE Component of the Month - August - Rebekah Payne

This month's AJE Component of the Month challenge was from Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio.  She makes awesome polymer clay beads, but recently she has been making hand painted leather feathers.  For this month's challenge, we could choose either a single larger feather, or a pair of smaller ones.  I chose the smaller blue pair.

I wanted to make some bicone beads to match these feathers, but as soon as I got back from Bead Fest I started working my other job again, and quite honestly have not wanted to even look at my torch right now.  I had these pretty round swirl beads that matched perfectly, so I went with them!

I knew I was going to make earrings, and wanted to figure out a wire wrap, instead of punching a hole in the feather.  It took me a few tries, but this is what I came up with.  If this is a technique that's already out there, please just bear with me!   Here's what I came up with:

I folded over the tip of the feather, and made a wrapped loop.  Here's how I did it.  First, I took about a 7" piece of 20 gauge copper wire, and bent it in half.

 I formed a loop, and kept both ends of the wire horizontal.
 I then inserted the tip of the feather into the loop, and folded it over.  I held it in place with my chain nose pliers.

 I began wrapping one end of the wire around the front of the feather.  I wrapped it several times.
 When I was comfortable with the number of wraps, I cut the excess wire off in the back and used the chain nose pliers to push the end down so it would lie flat and out of the way.
 Then I took the other end and did the same thing - please excuse the gnarly wire - I had to unwrap at one point, and that's why it looks this way!
 When I was done wrapping, I cut the wire in the back the same way and made sure the wire held tight by gently tugging on it.  After that, I just make my lampwork bead dangle by starting a wrapped loop, inserting the feather segment and finishing the wrapped loop.  Then I added a copper wavy chip bead (don't know what to call these!) my lampwork bead, another chip bead and made a wrapped loop at the top. Add ear wire and you're done!

Please check out what everyone else made with Rebekah's feathers by following these links!

Guest Artists
The AJE Team
Jenny Davies-Reazor -
Francesca Watson -


Niky Sayers said…
Lovely earrings that beads go beautifully!
Karin G said…
Great earrings! I was wondering how to attach them, so thank you for this clever way of doing it. I love them!
Linda Younkman said…
Beautiful Sue. Those Blue beads are just perfect with the feathers and I love your design. Great job!
Caroline said…
They're beautiful and elegant, I love them!
baymoondesign said…
I love how you emphasized the blue in the feather.
Ann Schroeder said…
Gorgeous earrings! It's fun to see the different colors people chose. They are all lovely, but when I see a color I would be least likely to choose, like blue, and it's SO gorgeous, it's fun. I like your wire technique because I hate cutting into things. Beautiful job.
Beautiful! I love the gorgeous blue!
Hi Susan,
The earrings are beautiful I love the blues they are so vibrant.
Thank you for the tutorial on how you wrapped the leather feathers. I may use that one day.
CraftyHope said…
These turned out beautifully. I think the simple addition of the single bead worked out perfectly with Rebekah's amazing feathers. Your wire wrap technique is great. Thanks for going into detail about how you accomplished it.
Carol Briody said…
Sue!!! Thank you So! Much for showing how you made your feather wrap! That was fabulous of you! I love your earrings and the amazing pops of blue! Whoo hoo! Gorgeous!
Barb Fernald said…
Cool earring design, Sue! I like the way you made the top of the leather loop, rather than drilling it. It's nice visually and I'm sure it's a sturdier connection.
Those are sweet earrings! love how you did the wire wrap on those. I have to thank you for making one little girl very, very happy. She saw a package come in the mail and she followed me around the house until I opened it, only to find that it was actually beads from you to her. You should have seen the smile on her face. Thank you for that - so sweet!
Beautiful Sue!! That bright blue bead is gorgeous with the feather!!
Claire Lockwood said…
These are beautiful - your beads are such a perfect match!
These are lovely and I am glad you posted the technique for the wire wrap. It's brilliant!
Sharyl said…
You are so clever to figure out the wirework and to take photos as you went! I never think to do that when I have a work in progress!

Your earrings turned out terrific! Way to go, Sue! --Sharyl
Jenny said…
The blue of your beads and the feather just glow! Simple, lovely design!

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