Author’s Note: I have updated my Part 3 blog post with Facebook sources that I follow related to Part 3 subjects addressed.
We have covered a lot of territory in this Series, from choosing your jewelry making tools and materials to experimenting with beading techniques. My fourth and final blog post of this Series will cover wire working. I hope you’ll leave a comment on the Series as a whole and let me know if you are a beginner, you learned something valuable, you were inspired to try it, etc. It’s free to Join my website and leave your comments. Or just contact me through the website if you don't want to publicize your review.
A variety of phrases are used to describe working with wire. Here are my definitions based on some research and my experiences.
Wire wrapping means wrapping wire around something else, like a stone or a bead or maybe even another wire. Here’s a good example of wire wrapping beads to create a bracelet.
Sometimes I wrap a thin wire around a thick wire when I make hoop earrings like these. The wire attaches beads to the wire hoop. Yes, the two wires are attached--or touching-- but no woven pattern is created. The resulting coils add to the finished look and texture of the piece.
When it comes to wire wrapping stones, I get a huge kick out of Matt's YouTube videos. He always keeps it simple. Check out his supplies purchased from The Dollar Store. Buying inexpensive objects to wrap makes good sense for a beginner while practicing wrapping different shapes, figuring out how to solve problems, and getting hands used to handling a wire wrapped piece as it is built.
Wire weaving -- also known as Wrap around weaving -- involves connecting multiple wires into a pattern. The gauges of those wires are significantly different so the strength of one wire supports the delicacy of the smaller gauge wire that is wrapped around it.
I highly recommend learning wire wrapping techniques and simple patterns before trying to wire weave around anything. This video shows a few simple patterns using two base wires. Once learned, these are incorporated into wrapping objects, usually a stone. I enjoyed many hours learning to weave wire from this video, eventually weaving as many as three wires into a pattern from another video in her series. It is my favorite wire video! In addition to building my confidence, these lessons got my hands used to the feel of the wire and to handling the piece as it developed.
There are a number of basic weaves and --thank goodness-- lots of design tutorials to follow so you can create beautiful formations of wire that adorn stones, beads, and anything else you want. Here is the video I followed for my first experience of wrapping a bead!
This trio of photos are pieces I created using wire weaving techniques while integrating beads into the weave.
My website contains many woven wire jewelry examples including my River Stone Collection which I am most proud of. These are all river smoothed stones my husband gathered from Utah riverbeds. There are many examples in my Wire Wrapped Collection as well.
Materials Here is a terrific video on jewelry wire, an explanation of gauges involved, and which sizes to use for particular pieces of jewelry. There are pros and cons and expenses to consider when selecting wire for wire wrapping projects. I tend to stay away from wire that will easily tarnish.
Tools recommended for wire wrapping
You don’t need an arsenal! Here is great advice on three hand tools that you will need.
Additional must-have tools
Ring clamp - This tool has proved invaluable holding a group of wires steady to begin weaving them. I can’t work without one, at least until the piece is large enough for my fingers to grasp firmly.
Wire gauge - super handy when your wire gets separated from its packaging - trust me, you’re going to want this.
Enjoy working with wire
Remember that YouTube is a great resource for learning about making jewelry. I recommend watching at least two videos when you have a specific question about some facet of making jewelry. Watch as many as it takes to gain confidence, and have fun while you’re learning!
You will learn much by watching others, but at some point you will begin to face the wire all by yourself. That’s when the creative flow can take over and you won’t know how your piece is going to look until it is finished. Sounds strange, I know, but every twist and turn will inspire you to take a chance. This also can happen while you are following someone else’s hands on a video. That’s a good sign that your creativity is blooming and you are preparing to stand on your own.
So be prepared to “wing it” -- if you just can’t wait any longer -- trust your instincts and fly!
Will your piece be perfect?
Who can judge that?
Will you need to watch more videos?
It is time to get those hands moving & enjoy your new adventure in whatever creative avenue you decide to follow.
Remember to enjoy whatever day you get
Strive to STAY WELL & WEAR A MASK
Thank you for joining me in this Series. Your comments are encouraged!
I invite you to read other posts related to this series by visiting My Blog Page or link to each from here:
Making Jewelry - Part 3
Facebook groups I follow
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