I love briolettes! I love them in all shapes, sizes, colors and materials. So what is a briolette? A briolette is a pear or teardrop-shaped bead that is faceted and tip-drilled. Some briolettes are flat and some are round, kind of like a ball that comes to a point on one end. When they are flat, the hole can either be front to back or side to side. No matter the type, briolettes are super versatile and great for making all kinds of beautiful jewelry.
There are several great ways to make jewelry using briolettes. You can use pinch bails and triangle bails to simply string them onto necklaces (big ones make great center pendants). Or you can take it to the next level with wire-wrapping! Wire-wrapping a briolette, or any tip-drilled bead or pendant, really transforms a piece into a one-of-kind creation. And though it’s a little tricky to get the hang of at first, the payoff is well worth it.
The first thing to consider when wire-wrapping is what kind of wire you want to use. If you are new to wire -wrapping I recommend using an inexpensive Artistic Wire to practice. Anything from a 20 gauge to a 24 gauge works well. (20 gauge being the thickest, 24 gauge being the thinnest, and 22 gauge in the middle). Because this technique takes practice, it is good to learn on an affordable wire, since you will inevitably have to re-do your wraps several times to reach perfection.
The next thing to consider is the briolette that you want to wrap. Flat shapes are the easiest to learn on because the edge on the pendant will hold your wire in place better. It is also good to start with a larger briolette, something that is over 15mm in length is ideal.
Now you can take your completed piece and add it your jewelry however you like! Pair it with some sparkly crystals or use a wire wrapped briolette as a large focal pendant on a necklace. The possibilities are endless. Once you get your wire wrapping skills down, you can wrap all different beads and pendants that are tip-drilled.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about wire-wrapping or any of the beads pictured here! Have fun wrapping!