Sandra Lupo is a gifted jewelry designer and is the inventor of the Conetastic™ Cone Mandrel Tool Set and Accessories. The Conetastic provides a perfect way to make your own cone-shaped components out of sterling silver wire for jewelry. Alone or combined with gold-filled wire, this look is eye-catching and versatile.
Sandra says, “My wire and bead jewelry is inspired by my surroundings and travels and has been influenced by the knowledgeable and experienced jewelers who have been my teachers. My designs are steeped in traditional methods, styled with color and texture and a mix of Old World and New World materials.”
Materials for the Necklace
Chain, cable – finished – Sterling Silver 18” – 21132 (1)
Chain, cable – footage – Sterling Silver – for tassel – 2CO30 (1 foot needed)
Curved tube – Gold-filled – GFCT24 (1)
Round hollow 3mm bead – Gold-filled — GB161 (1)
Round wire – Sterling Silver to assemble all components – 20g – SW20GA (7”)
3mm and 4mm Swarovski Crystal Pearls
12mm freshwater teardrop pearl
Materials for the Cones
Top Cone – SS half-round wire – 12 gauge – SWHR2 – formed on Conetastic Tool medium size mandrel (allow up to 1 foot)
Middle Cone – GF coiled wire 24 gauge – GFW24GA-5 (soft) (allow up to one foot) added to a core round wire of 20g GFW20H-5 (half-hard) (allow up to 2 feet) formed on Conetastic Tool medium size mandrel
Bottom Cone – SS round wire – 18 gauge – SW18GA (allow up to 2 feet) – formed on Conetastic Tool medium size mandrel
Materials for the Earrings
Leverback Earwires – GF25CZ (2)
CZs in channel settings GF86CZ (2)
Round gold-filled wire – for cones on earrings – 24g – GFW24GA-5 (soft) (allow up to 1.5 feet) small cone mandrel used
Round wire pin for assembly – 24g – GFW24GA-5 (soft) (allow up to 6”)
Round wire for wrapping pearl beads – 26g – GFW26GA-5 (soft) (allow up to 1.5 feet)
Round hollow 3mm beads – gold-filled – GB161 (2)
6mm Swarovski crystals or freshwater pearls – (4)
Assembling the Tassel
Drill the tube using a twist drill bit with a manual pin vise or a rotary tool. Use a drill bit size that will accommodate the 24 gauge wire pin you’ve created. Twist drills numbered #72 (.021”) – #75 (.025”) will make a hole that allows for the 24 gauge (.020”) eyepin.
Since the tube is hollow, you won’t be able to make a pilot hole in the metal without damaging it. Instead, make a tiny mark in the middle with a marker or a scribe.
I like to thread a piece of scrap leather cord through the tube (before I drill) to stabilize the drill as it penetrates the metal. Drill the bottom side of the tube first, then mark the top side at the exact same place. Drill into the top with the same pressure and speed as you did for the lower hole. Remove the leather cord.
Cut a 3″ length of 24-gauge wire and make a loop on the end. Cut many 1-1/2″ chain lengths and attach them to the loop to create the tassel. Pass the wire through the round-wire cone, then the gold-filled cone, then the half-round cone. Pass it through beads as shown, the tube and another bead if you wish. Make a basic loop. Keep in mind that the necklace you choose must be small enough to fit through the tube/wire assembly.
Sandra Lupo is a Halstead Preferred Teacher and a Swarovski Authorized Instructor. She has taught jewelry making at venues across the country on topics from wirework to metalsmithing and beading. Sandra has appeared on Beads, Baubles & Jewels and Jewelry Television. Her work can be found in a variety of publications including Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. As she says, “Designing jewelry is a natural part of my day.”