Saturday, January 17, 2015

Learn Filigree Jewelry with a Twist

Floral Filigree Cabochon Pendant by Melody MacDuffee

There’s nothing quite like attending a class to learn a new skill or technique, where you can follow along with an instructor as you work. If there are no classes in your area, the next best thing is to get instruction from a video. You can see every step of the design process, and pause or rewind any time you need to refresh or start over.

Recently I had the opportunity to try out video tutorials on Craftsy, and it was a revelation. Unlike YouTube, which offers only basic interaction with instructors, Craftsy lessons are built for maximum learning. The video productions are excellent quality, with great lighting and sound, multiple angles from which to view a work in progress, and of course the ability to re-watch any section as needed. In fact, videos are already divided into sections for you, so it’s easy to review a particular portion of your favorite lessons. Once you’ve purchased a lesson, you can interact with the instructor and other students by posting questions, answering polls, or sharing images of the pieces you created.

Melody MacDufffee, founder of Soul of Somanya and author of Lacy Wire Jewelry, invited me to check out her latest class on creating gorgeous twisted wire filigree jewelry. The class includes 7 video lessons for 7 wirework jewelry projects, all featuring a pretty floral filigree technique. Each project builds on elements learned in the previous lesson, allowing students to continuously develop skill with the techniques. It all begins with adorable filigree earrings with a simple design using just wire, beads, and a flair for organic shapes. From there the filigree technique expands into a gorgeous statement necklace, framed hoop earrings, a stunning cuff bracelet, a freeform brooch, cocktail rings, and a cabochon pendant with a beautiful heirloom quality.

Filigree Jewelry with a Twist Virtual Beading Class with Melody MacDuffee

The fantasy geek in me – the part that loves fairies, dryads, and vine-covered castles – is head over heels for the look of Melody’s floral filigrees. The delicate wirework is deceptively simple, and works with a variety of beads and jewelry designs to create life-like flower and leaf motifs that look as if they took hours and hours to make. Because the wire can be twisted and shaped nearly any way you wish, and bead options aren’t limited, the design possibilities are endless. I was picturing the pretty flowers transformed by dark gem tones, black crystals, and patinas into elegant gothic jewelry.

Framed Filigree Earrings by Melody MacDuffee

Melody is a natural teacher and you really get the feeling of sitting down in a one-on-one class as she guides you through each step. The lessons are very thorough, with plenty of trouble-shooting tips and variation ideas included. The Crafty virtual classroom allows you to re-play the last 30 seconds with a single click, so you can easily get an in-depth look at any steps you need to, and you can add your own notes at any point for future reference.

If you’ve been looking for a new technique to try, or want to get a great introduction to wireworking techniques, Filigree Jewelry with a Twist is an excellent place to get started.

Want to give it a try? Leave a comment on this post letting us know how you would use floral filigrees in your designs, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win the complete class! Be sure to include a contact method with your comment if you do not have a profile with email enabled. One winner will be drawn on Saturday, January 24th.

For a limited time, you can also get the complete Filigree Jewelry with a Twist class for 33% off – visit for details.

I would like to thank Melody MacDuffee and Craftsy for allowing me to preview the Filigree Jewelry with a Twist class. Inspirational Beading has not received compensation for including products or content in this post.

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading
Melody MacDuffee and Craftsy
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  1. I'm not sure I'd be able to do the entire class -- I've never worked with fine wire before -- but I'm willing to give it a go! ... as for uses in my designs -- lets say I'll try to reproduce the class projects ... beyond that I have no idea, but I'm sure there is a whole new world of beading waiting for me to explore :)
    crafty dot lady at sympatico dot ca

  2. I love the look of filigree wire working. I am new to wire working and I have tried a little wire wrapping and this is the look that I have been wanting. My father has tumbled semiprecious stones and this filigree wire working would set some of these stones off!! I am really excited about finding this filigree and want to learn this.

  3. Hi. What a brilliant giveaway, I have had posts from Crafty but believed the video's would be similar to youtube which are good in their own way, but how you have explained them, I am seriously considering it now. I crochet with wire so I would love to have a go at filigree work
    I have an aventurine cabachon which would look beautiful if it had filigree work on it, like your picture. I also love making wirework cuffs. English Nelly xx

  4. Greta Marullo gdmar@comcast.netJanuary 19, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    I would use the floral filigree in a pendant. I absolutely love Victorian style jewelry and have always thought this type of filigree fits this style perfectly.

  5. I've never worked with filigree before but it would be interesting to learn how to do it and incorporate it in bracelets with flowers, earrings, and even into picture to hang on walls.

  6. I have heard raves about this class. I love the look and would like to give it a try. I would try to make some earrings using this technique.

  7. This looks like fun - I do wire crochet and wire wrapping already, so it would fit well with my designs! I would like to make a wide bracelet. amykattm at gmail dot com

  8. With spring still months away, making my own flowers is a must. I can see using the wire filigree technique with bright colors for earrings and a matching bracelet. You're right about the Craftsy classes - very well done.

  9. Craftsy sounds like a great tool to learn different techniques. Is it just jewelry or does it have more subjects to learn?

  10. With May not many months away I would use it to make a floral twist tiara for my daughter and her three bridesmaids for her wedding.


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