I like making wands. There’s something relaxing and deeply meditative about choosing/foraging/finding the materials, letting them come together, and seeing how the end product feels. I love selecting just the right stones, salvaging bits of fabric or leather for wrapping, and experimenting with new ways to incorporate techniques like pyrography.
I have been doing a lot of painting lately, but, with the weather as humid as it is, I figured this week would be a good opportunity to revisit my stash of beads, stones, antlers, and wire and see what I could come up with. (Certainly better than trying to varnish or isolation coat canvas that’ll take weeks to dry, at this rate!)
I love using lodolite. I absolutely love looking into it, seeing all of the usual quartzy rainbows coupled with the bizarre, almost mossy inclusions. Lodolite isn’t really a technical term — it’s also often called “shaman quartz,” “scenic quartz,” or “garden quartz,” but it’s actually most accurately “inclusion quartz.” Whatever you call it, it’s known for the strange, alien landscapes inside. The inclusions might look like a rain of moss, suspended in the crystal itself. They might look like a tree-covered hillside, or a coral reef. They’re beautiful stones, but using them can be a challenge.
See, one of the primary concerns with making crystal-tipped wands is security. All of your hard work will be for nothing if the crystal flies out! So, when you use a stone like lodolite, you have to resist the temptation to wrap it within an inch of its life. Too little wrapping, and it won’t be secure. Too much, and you’ll be covering up its most beautiful feature.
A basic “hippie twist” wire wrap is the best compromise, in my opinion. The gaps between the twists allow for the play of light through the stone, but there’s enough there to hold everything firmly in place. (It’s also fairly easy to do.) The only real difficulty lies in producing something that doesn’t look like chicken wire afterward, and figuring out how to balance security with decorative elements.
As an example, here’s one picture of the wand I use. This is a pretty basic twist, and I wasn’t sure how to finish the ends, so I just kind of spiraled them:
Here is that wand redone with green turquoise, malachite, and onyx, and a second wand I finished with amber, carnelian, and jasper:
The basic twist is still the foundation for both, but adding a couple of beads, some extra loops of wire, and some nicer spirals makes a world of difference, in my opinion. I really like how these turned out, and the process itself was a lot of fun. Once antler shedding season is through across the U.S., I’m going to see if I can pick up more to work with.