Pick a marble for your pendant. I prefer using "fried" (fractured) marbles for my pendants. These are marbles that have been fractured into many facets on the inside, but are still intact on the outside.
If you plan to fracture marbles, pick marbles that are transparent. They can be clear or colored glass, but if light does not pass through them, you won't be able to see the facets after they have been fractured.
To fracture marbles, place them on a tin-foil lined cookie sheet. (The tin foil prevents residue from the heated cookie sheet from transferring to the surface of the marble).
Heat in the oven at 500 degrees fahrenheit (260 degrees celsius) for 20 minutes.
Roll marbles around periodically to heat evenly.
After heating the marbles, immediately drop them into a bowl of ice cubes and water. You will immediately hear the marbles crackle as they fracture on the inside.
Let the marbles cool a few minutes before removing.
All you need to complete this project is:
Round Nose Pliers and Wire Cutters. (Both of these tools are designed specifically for jewelry-making. You can find them in the bead and jewelry-making section of most craft stores.)
A few pieces of 20-gauge, round jewelry wire. I usually cut 2 or 3 wires into approximately 6-7 inch pieces to do the basic wrap, then use shorter pieces of wire to fill in gaps and to help secure the wire cage around the marble.
Using your round nose pliers, bend the 6-7 inch sections of wire back and forth as pictured until you have bent the entire wire. Note: You might want to leave a very short fraction of wire straight on one end to help you weave that end into other wire surrounding the marble later once you start forming a cage.
Vary the length of wire between bends so the pattern is not too uniform. Do not make complete loops (overlapping wires) while working on these central wires. These wires are going to be used to form a cage around the marble. You can pinch the openings together at the bottom of the bends, however, to give the appearance of a closed loop.
After bending the 6-7 inch central wires, use your fingers to manipulate the wire around the marble so it forms a cage. Cut smaller pieces of wire and bend them also to fill in gaps between the main wire sections and to make connections at various places around the marble to secure the cage in place.
Unfortunately, there is no "trick" to build the cage around the marble. You will simply have to fumble with it, finding a couple places to interlock wires and make some end loops with your round nose pliers. The marble may go flying across the room a time or two until you can form the basic wire cage around the marble.
The initial cage may be loose, but you can tighten it up some by rolling the marble around periodically beneath your palm on a firm, but protected surface. I rolled the marble around on a countertop protected by a small towel. This safeguards both the countertop and the wire.
I've made a few of these pendants now. The challenge is using enough wire to create a balanced and secure cage for the marble, but not overlapping wires too many times so the cage becomes bulky and obstructs the view of the marble.
The way the wire is bent around the marble, you can hang it on a chain or ribbon without a jump ring or loop.
I created another version of this pendant (pictured in a separate post) that includes a loop on top for hanging.
Enjoy your beautiful pendant!