Daily Wire Tip April 26: Wire Wrap Ideas for Beginners

By on April 26, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
April 26, 2010

Question:

Should I always use gold or sterling silver “filled” wire for wrapping or is it possible to use other wires. I have fallen in love with wire wrapping. Help me with what gauges to use because I want to sell my product.

Answer:

Welcome to our ‘twisted’ world! Wire wrapping is addicting, as you begin to see so many possibilities while following patterns, and before long you are determining your own style! Many folks use a variety of jewelry making wires in their work. Sometimes the choice is due to necessity and the price point of their customers and other times we work in what the stone tells us to use. As discussed earlier, copper and silver or argentium work well together, and some people like creating more rustic looking pieces by using brass or bronze. The choice really is yours, as the artist you will determine what you enjoy working in most and what the people in your area are sporting as their ‘latest fashion’.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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4 Comments

  1. avatar

    mary

    April 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Welcome to a world of seemingly endless possibilities when you start combining wire and stones and/or beads. Like Dale said, we are all now mixing metals due to the increases in prices of A.Silver, Sterling as well as Gold-filled.
    If you are wanting to know what gauges to use for various jewelry items I cannot suggest hard enough that you invest in Dale’s book, Wirework, as well as some of her beginner’s dvds which will contain all the information you are seeking to get started with your designs.

  2. avatar

    Lacyblu

    April 26, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Wire wrapping is definitely addicting…and it can be quite profitable. The best wires to use for selling your designs is Gold Filled, Copper, and Non Tarnish Silver filled, or better yet, Argentium Silver. Argentium Silver never tarnishes and gives you piece a high quality appeal. This really helps with designing custom pieces for customers and is great for returning customers who appreciate a good Silver piece. Most Silver Filled wire will seriously dull over time and if you sell from a store or venue, returning customers will NOT want more of your silver looking designs if they dull out. I have tried to wire wrap using colored crafting wires in bold blue, red, greens, etc and have found that you really need to be experienced with wire wrapping to avoid chipping off the paint using colored wires…Plus jewelry with colored wire does not sell well. Brass and Bronze wire is fun to use and can be given a “Patina” look that adds a vintage appearance to your designs…

    If you really enjoy playing with wire wrapping, invest in a “WigJig”…It’s a simple tool that you can use to design your own findings, twists and scrolls and Celtic designs that you can add to a necklace of bracelet…

    On wire gauges, I use several, depending on what I am wire wrapping, be it a stone or swirl wire design…For medium pieces, use a 20 gauge wire for copper and gold filled, and for silver wire use Dead Soft 20 gauge…”Dead Soft” is workable, allowing you to freely play with your design…”Half Hard” wire is sturdier and is preferred for heavier stones and designs using larger beads and embellishments…If you are working with large stones [I love wire wrapping River Rocks] then use a sturdier gauge wire, an 18 gauge…For making strong bails, use a 16 gauge wire. Making jumps rings yourself saves a good deal of money and is easy to do. Use 18 gauge wire for stronger jump rings. There are also different kinds of wire, Round, Half Round, Twisted and Square wire. Half Round wire grips to a stone when your working it, Square is great for wire wrapped rings and some stones, and Twisted gives your piece a high quality artistic appeal.

  3. avatar

    Debbie

    April 26, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    I am Brand-spanking new at this and am in LOVE! So then the copper or brass can also be a viable choice (I particularly love copper) for making jewelry and not for just practice if I am understanding correctly?

  4. avatar

    Debbie

    April 27, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I know I did not start this thread, but I am grateful for the replies as it has helped me to understand a bit more about this wonderful craft. I sure hope I can do it and can be successful with it. I can’t wait to get my beginners supplies and then order some of the better wires and stones and things!!

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