Home - Make Sea Glass Jewelry
Sea Glass is beautiful
unadorned but using it in jewelry is an even better way of showing it off.
Drilling sea glass is probably the most basic way to make sea glass jewelry that can be attached (hung) using a solid piece of sea glass.
Once it's drilled, you can simply string it on a cord or necklace using an attractive wire bail to attach it to the necklace or earring or even a simple jump ring.
Here is a simple and effective video on drilling sea glass using a Dremel drill and a drill press.
Some find it easier or better to drill without a drill press. Here is how to drill with just a Dremel.
Compare this method to wrapping or setting your sea glass:
Follow the video instructions carefully.
We recommend diamond burr drill bits. Why? The price is very reasonable. Don't be discouraged if some of the bits don't drill well - for the inexpensive price, you are going to get a few duds but will be way ahead of buying a few expensive bits.
Bits will break with too much pressure. Again, watch the videos, read the comments, and follow closely.
The following set of bits includes the 3 most popular sizes for drilling sea glass:
Wire wrapping is probably the most commonly-used way to mount sea glass jewelry.
Depending on your taste, it can be very spare or as ornate as one would like.
The result is a very attractive setting that emphasizes rather than detracts from the sea glass.
This video shows steps to make your own wire-wrapped sea glass jewelry.
The standard wire for wrapping elegant sea glass jewelry is 20 gauge sterling silver. Copper wire and gold fill are also excellent choices.
A 18 gauge wire will be much sturdier, while 22 gauge or smaller is used by itself or in conjunction with heavier wire for a more delicate look.
Compare this method to drilling or setting your sea glass:
Bezeling is used in making settings for stones, ceramic, or glass in rings or pendants.
The piece is circled and hugged by a flattened wire rim (usually silver) which itself may be soldered to a backing of a thin sheet of the same metal.
Bezeling requires more training than either drilling or wrapping sea glass but the end result is a very classy look.
The following video is the first in a 5-part series on how to bezel.
Compare this method to drilling or wire-wrapping your sea glass:
Using precious metal clay is not real well known. However, it is growing in popularity as a medium for fine art, including some sea glass jewelry settings.
Metal clay really is a clay - the difference being that the solid particles in it are your choice of silver or gold. These powder-like metal particles are held together with a binder and water.
The end result after firing with a torch or kiln is a very pure precious metal setting for your sea glass jewelry - for example, between 92% - 99.9% pure silver or 22K gold.
The video below will give you an idea of what to expect.
Compare this method to drilling, wire-wrapping, or bezeling:
"Is there a clay you can use with making jewelry pieces that you don't need a torch or a kiln for?"
Hello Lea, yes there is!
Pros: Polymer clay is a versatile clay that can be cured in the oven, usually baked at 270 degrees F for about 30 minutes, depending on the brand of clay.
The clay is sold in 2 oz. blocks at most craft stores. It is sold in a variety of colors, including some that are metallic.
These clays can be mixed together and the possibilities are endless. It is a very popular option for creating beautiful beads for jewelry making.
Cons: Polymer clay can break or crack if you are rough with it - but I haven't experienced many problems with this. You would really have to hit a piece hard for this to happen.
It doesn't always bond well to other pieces - whether they are other polymer clay pieces, metal, wood, plastic, or in your case, a piece of sea glass. Of course this depends on the shape of the clay and how much it is wrapping around the sea glass.
For instance, if you try to bake a small circle of polymer clay that was "pushed" on the surface of a piece of seaglass, and bake the entire piece, it will not be a strong bond. Most likely with a little pressure that circle of polymer clay will push right off the stone. It is best to push the circle against the seaglass to make the proper shape, bake the clay circle on its own, then once it is cooled glue it to the sea glass. I like using E6000 glue or super glue .
For more information on working with polymer clay, please see this article on my website: Working with Polymer Clay
~ Karen from CraftsForAllSeasons.com
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