Daily Wire Tip March 30: Best Practice Wire

By on March 30, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
March 30, 2010


New to wire wrapping, I hesitate to use sterling silver wire to practice.  What is the best wire to use to practice with?


Some folks like to use brass, and others use plated wire, but in my opinion, copper is the best wire to practice with. It can be purchased in about every gauge and temper as sterling silver and although it may be just a bit softer, it will give you very similar results. You can find a variety of copper wire in wire wrappers gauges here: Copper Jewelry Wire I also enjoy occasionally mixing copper and sterling or argentium wire together, for a more casual and rustic look in finished pieces.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    nancy beegle

    March 30, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Having been where you are not so long ago with the same question, I totally agree with Dale’s advice. I had first begun with sterling wire, and soon discovered that it was not the most prudent way to learn. I ended up with a goodly amount of waste which is being used for granulation now.

    After making wire jewelry for a few years now, I still have some copper wire right here, with which I often try out a new design or maybe a new clasp I want to try before going to the sterling and gold filled wire. It doesn’t bother me if I use a bit of copper, and I sure feel a lot better about saving the sterling.

    Best wishes to you in your endeavors!


  2. avatar


    March 30, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Thank you so much for publishing my question.

  3. avatar

    Tracey Knaus

    March 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I went to the hardware store and picked up a few spools of steel wire. It’s cheap, same versatility & most times my practice pieces look better than the good one! And it looks almost as good as silver.

  4. avatar

    Dena Ellison

    March 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Copper is my favorite metal to use with some stones, especially turquoise.

  5. avatar

    Alex Netherton

    April 1, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I use copper and sell it! Copper is getting popular, and many people want copper these days. You can be practicing in copper, and sell the pieces when you get them right. Copper *is* after all a “noble” metal in the Periodic Table of the Elements, in the same series as Silver and Gold, and the three are called the “coin metals”. Plus, you can make pieces for peanuts, you get a warm red glow that is not possible with other metals. Also, there is a big movement, and has been for some years, of people who attach some mystic significance to all three metals together in one piece. I was surprised when I made a “practice piece” in copper, my wife took it to work and sold it, and I got another order the next day for two more pieces!