Little Swirlies….the Good Kind

I know, I know….swirlies are not known as a good thing….particularly if you grew up with brothers.  These little guys, though, are a whole new twist (shameless pun, yup) on swirls.  As I’ve said before, I’m in love with the whole idea of reversible jewelry.  These pendants are for those who don’t want a big, chunky pendant, but are into things that are more delicate…airy…and look good no matter which side you’re seeing.

These really grew out of the necessity of having a backing on a bezel setting.  Usually silver sheet is used, which I find kind of clunky and boring, unless you cut a spiffy design into it.  That’s a little tough when stones are small.  In most jewelry imported from places like Nepal and India, they solder a wire inside the bezel to form a shelf, or step, for the stone to sit on.  Boring.  The other option is to use something called bezel wire, which is wire with a step built-in.  It’s usually yucky-looking and is either too shallow or too deep for the stone you have in your hand.  It’s consigned to the back of the bottom drawer of my bench.  I may pull it out some day and cut it into little chunks to make silver beads.  All I know is I doubt I will ever use it for the purpose it was supposedly manufactured for.

So I needed something for the stones to sit on.  I started with a swirl that became more swirls that became….well….these:

They’re light, they’re delicate, they’re SWIRLY!!!  Making these is a blast.  You bend wire into pretty shapes and if it doesn’t fit, you put it aside and make another one.  That swirl will get used eventually.  It feels sort of like playing with one of those miniature zen gardens where you draw patterns in the sand with a tiny rake.  There are no mistakes…one way or another it’s all part of a pattern, be it this one or one somewhere down the line.  It’s incredibly liberating.  So think about this….these exist because I needed a practical solution to a problem and that solution just happened to turn out to be beautiful.  Sometimes happy accidents are what art is all about.


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