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Ruby Butterfly

by: Dwyn Tomlinson

This intense ruby butterfly is inspired by vintage Czech-made jewelry from the 50's. It features a wonderful Vintage Swarovski Rhinestone and Vintaj components and findings.

These large vintage stones are stunning - but can be a challenge to figure out how to attach to our jewelry. This is a nifty way to mount and use large stones. The technique is sometimes referred to as "caging" - as the idea is to bend an existing component into a "cage" to trap and securely hold the stone.

The cage holding the stone is then, in this case, wired onto another filigree piece - a butterfly, which is then attached with jumprings to the other components. You can use jumprings, or in this case, as the links in the chain are not soldered, you can just open a chain link and attach that way.

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Start with the component that will form the cage. In this case - it has a curved middle - but the curve goes the wrong way, so flatten it - thumb and fingers will do. These components have a right side and a wrong side. Place the stone on the "wrong" side (underneath, so that the nice, dimensional side, is on the other side) - and bend two of the arms up around the stone. Pliers can help make the bend tighter. When it is snug in one direction, fold up the other arms. 

Flip the caged stone over, and thread 2 short pieces of wire through a convenient loop and back. Now flip the caged stone back over, positioning it on the filigree backing, and thread the wire through whatever holes come up as convenient. Then cross the wires, and bring back through the holes again, back to the top. Twist the ends together close to the base, and wind the ends around close to the stone, trimming off the excess and tucking them in nice and tight and out of the way, into the crevice between the stone and the backing filigree.

The stone moves a little inside the cage. If you want it to be completely motionless - a dab of e6000 will stop it from moving. Try not to have too much glue squish out through the filigree - as it looks messy. (Which is why I elected to leave it off this project.) 

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