Karen McGovern’s Bubbles Tutorial

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A while back, former innovation team member, Karen McGovern created this fun piece. From the Nunn Design archives, here is the tutorial from Karen on how she created this fun necklace. This project does require Intermediate – Advanced Metal Working tools and skill.

Learn How!

Materials Needed:

  • 14-gauge brass wire
  • Easy Solder Paste
  • Nunn Design Sealant
  • Nunn Design 2-Part Resin Kit
  • Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments, Blue, White and Yellow

Tools:

  • Files
  • Flush Cutters
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Bowl to quench
  • Cleaning and polishing clothes
  • Packing Tape
  • Scissors
  • Toothpick
  • Q-Tip
  • Paper Towel

Step 1: Cut 7 lengths of 14 gauge wire as follows: (1) 4-inch, (3) 2.5-inch, (1) 2-inch, (2) .75-inch. File the ends of the wire smooth.

Step 2: Create 4 circles with the 4-inch wire, two of the 2.5-inch wires and the 2-inch wire. Make sure the ends are flush and solder them closed using Easy Solder paste. Quench and clean. You will then have one large circle, two medium circles and one small circle.

Step 3: Shape the third 2.5-inch length of wire into a long oval, and bend one of the .75-inch wires almost in half for the bail.

Step 4: On a fire block, assemble the pendant as shown: Place a small circle inside the large circle, position the oval offset to one side, position the two medium circles—one offset and one below, separated from the large circle with one .75-inch length of wire. Position the bent wire centered on top of the large circle. Make sure all wires are touching and flush, then solder all in place using Easy Solder paste. Quench, file, clean, polish and seal with clear acrylic.

Step 5: Back the entire pendant with packing tape, making sure the tape is secured to all edges. You will be filling the circles with resin and you do not want any leaks.

Step 6: Mix three small cups of resin (approximately 2 oz. each). Color the resin as follows: One cup deep blue, one cup sky blue (mixing blue and white colorant into the resin), and one cup yellow.

Step 7: Using a toothpick, drizzle the resin into the appropriate shapes in the pendant. Work from the center out, filling each shape without overflowing. If you overflow, remove the resin using a clean toothpick, Q-tip or paper towel. Allow the resin to cure for 24 hours.

Step 8: Carefully peel the tape off the back of the pendant. Remove any tape residue with WD40 and soft paper towels. File away any leaked resin, polish and shine as needed.

Step 9: Add an ornate jump ring to the top, string on 18 inches of ball chain.


To see more of Karen’s great work, visit her at:

www.beadkeepers.com
www.beadkeepers.blogspot.com
karenamcgovern@gmail.com


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4 thoughts on “Karen McGovern’s Bubbles Tutorial

  1. Michelle Gray says:

    How fun is this!? Love the idea for jewelry as well as sun-catchers (with translucent coloring) and Christmas ornaments with just a little alteration to size and color depending on use and preference.
    I have 1 question though. Which “easy solder paste” did you use. I found a couple via Google, but no clue which to use. Too expensive of initial investment (for certain brands) to get the wrong thing.
    TFS!

        • beckynunn says:

          Here is what Karen suggested: I use Easy Solder paste from Cool Tools. It is sterling silver solder in paste form. I would recommend this for anyone making the design as jewelry. For a craft project like a suncatcher you can use silver bearing solder which is available at any home repair store, like Home Depot, in the plumbing section. This is also available in paste form but requires a little bit more prep to use. You have to flux and clean your metal joins and this requires a few more steps. That’s why I like sterling silver Easy Solder paste which requires no flux.

          Let me know if you have any additional comments.

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