Jewelry Blog: Antler Necklace – From Inspiration to Reality!

I saw lovely necklaces that inspired me recently. The first was this stunner worn by actress Kate Hudson. A beautiful gold horn or claw on a heavy chain.

Wish I knew who to give credit for this glam jewelry to.  Designer unknown.
Wish I knew who to give credit for this glam jewelry to. Designer unknown.

The second was worn by my friend Nancy T; a cool piece of horn, suspended from what I call a “bicycle link” chain.

The process was daunting; first to find the appropriate horn, claw, spike, tooth or… antler to form the centrepiece. Etsy was able to help me out there. In case you’ve never checked out etsy.com, a quick aside; they have beautiful jewelry and handmade crafts but also really cool supplies for your crafting creative needs. (Check out my etsy website for a handy preview)

I found a wonderful supplier (Fireforged )who gathers “found” antler that’s been shed by deer etc. He was able to cut and sand some pieces to size for me, including a nice 10 cm chunk that I thought would be pretty bold.

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Beautiful antler from Fireforged : http://fireforged.org/
Photo: Rodney
antler2
Beautiful antler from Fireforged : http://fireforged.org/
Photo: Rodney

Next– to make a bezel, or the part that grips the antler. I formed a piece of silver around the base, soldered it, then added a cap, and some decorative gallery wire along its side to keep it interesting.

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Then it was on to the chain. The bicycle chain is a pretty simple beast; snip pieces of wire (mine were about 1.5” each), ball just one end with a jeweler’s torch.

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Flatten it with a hammer, then drill a hole in it and insert the link. Slip another piece of balled wire through the loop, then ball its end so it’s linked and locked in. Bend one balled end by about 90 degrees and it will basically curve itself. Keep going until the chain is as long as you need.

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A simple s-hook is keeping it together for now.

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I also had visions of oxidizing the necklace to give it a very vintage feel, like Nancy’s necklace, but it was so pretty and shiny, I left it as is. Might have to make another since I have a couple more pieces of antler… I can give that oxidized look a try.

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