Flames Necklace

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Project by ABarr posted 01-25-2013 12:47 AM 2884 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

What goes better than wood and flame? How about wooden flames plus pearls? :)

Here’s my entry for the January contest. I made this necklace with 27 pieces of Padouk, Spalted Maple, Curly Maple, Osage Orange, Black Walnut, Tulipwood, Brazilian Rosewood and Ebony. I cut each one on the scroll saw (after making a sample version in poplar – thank you cheap wood from HD!) and burred out recesses so that my baroque pearls can nestle down into the padouk flames. It took awhile, but each one sits down in. Here’s (I hope!) what it looked like at that stage.

and fitting the pearls

Next up I used my flex shaft with a tiny drill-press attachment to drill all the holes for the neck wire to go through. With such thin pieces, I find I have to drill with up to 10 different size bits getting bigger and bigger so I don’t split the woods.

I used ball burrs and a lot of hand sanding to texture each flame and then it was on to finishing. Each piece has two coats of Sealcoat and two coats of spar varnish to help with UV protection. That turned out to make things so sparkly that lots of folks think it’s made of pottery rather than wood! Here are the pieces drying.

Something I learned: after painstakingly shaping each one so that it fit perfectly against it’s neighbors lying flat on the board you see in the photo, I then put a neckwire through it and found I had to reshape each one again so it fit perfectly when draped against the neck! Looks seamless now, but next time I’ll DEFINITELY plan on that beforehand.

With everything fitting nicely, I cut lengths of sterling silver tubing, shaped each one to fit perfectly in the holes (had to make sure they weren’t too wide or they pushed the other flames out of flush) and epoxied them in place.

Finally I drilled into the backside of the pearls and installed 2-3 silver posts in each, like you’d have in pearl earrings. The posts extended out and fit into matching holes I drilled in the recesses in the padouk.

Put everything on my fabricated sterling silver neck wire and done! Took about 50 hours, but well worth it!

Thanks to my co-worker Elise for modeling and Doug Yaple for the awesome full necklace photo. Hope you all like it!


13 comments so far

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

189 posts in 2986 days

#1 posted 01-25-2013 12:56 AM

Great looking necklace arrived after a good design and a lot of follow through. Very colorful! Well executed.

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3681 days

#2 posted 01-25-2013 01:28 AM

Very Nice Great work!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30550 posts in 3105 days

#3 posted 01-25-2013 01:37 AM

Awesome job. Beautiful.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24772 posts in 3873 days

#4 posted 01-25-2013 02:50 AM

Wow, that is really cool!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Ivan's profile


15943 posts in 3635 days

#5 posted 01-25-2013 08:17 AM

Suddenly I feel warm,excellent job!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4186 days

#6 posted 01-25-2013 01:29 PM

Beautiful necklace.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View ABarr's profile


14 posts in 3424 days

#7 posted 01-25-2013 08:05 PM

Thanks everybody! I feel warm, too, Ivan, from all your nice comments! This really was a great project – working on an “over-the-top” piece rather than the more simple pieces I usually do. It’s great to be forced to stretch a bit! Next I’m thinking of creating a necklace inspired by Alice in Wonderland – we’ll see how it goes.

Good luck to everyone in the contest!


View Brad's profile


1141 posts in 3507 days

#8 posted 01-25-2013 08:58 PM

ABarr, excellent work, excellent results and excellent photography. You cover every step to include using an attractive model to showcase your work. Absolutely critical step to selling your work…but then, you know that don’t you :) You should have her wear it to a cocktail party and record the comments she gets. Talk about market research.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2958 days

#9 posted 01-25-2013 09:41 PM

great necklace!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3571 days

#10 posted 01-28-2013 02:52 PM

Very kool. Nice combos of woods. Good luck in the contest

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View maricamp's profile


66 posts in 3435 days

#11 posted 02-02-2013 01:53 AM


View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10923 posts in 4820 days

#12 posted 02-05-2013 07:36 PM

Wonderful project!

HOT job!

Yes, Beautiful…. so is the necklace! <grin>

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View mmh's profile


3680 posts in 4490 days

#13 posted 02-05-2013 10:48 PM

Nicely designed and executed!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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