Daily Wire Tip July 27: Wrapping a Ring Shank

By on July 27, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
July 27, 2011


Dale, thank you for all the wonderful information you provide. I always see your rings with a wrapped shank. Other than purchasing a video, is there any way I could see how to do it, and what materials are needed?

-Michele in Clinton, Connecticut


Hi Michele, you are welcome! I do enjoy working on the Daily Tips. To wrap the shank of a ring, you can use half round wire in gauges 21, 20, or 18: the choice depends on the style of ring you are making (heavy, lightweight, for a male or female) and what size the ring "turned out" compared to the desired finished size.

I know you imply that you do not wish to purchase a DVD, but I have to tell you that besides learning how to properly size rings and wrap their shanks accordingly, on the Ring Series DVD 1 I teach many, many skills and techniques to help a wire jeweler successfully make and sell a wide variety of wire ring styles! The information I share includes: choosing and using ring mandrels, sizers and mallet; why, when and how to make both full and partial ring shank wraps, as well as how to take custom ring orders, pricing tips and more!

Wire Wrapped Ring with Bead and Wrapped Shank

Another option to learning about how to make wire rings (including the shank wrap) can be found in my book Wirework where the basic details are covered in both written and photographed steps. (No, the DVD that is included with this second edition of my book does not include anything about rings – sorry.)

I wish you all the best Michele, with your progress creating wire jewelry ring designs!

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    July 27, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I find spending money to learn the skills needed is more than worthwhile. When I’m worrying about the investment in yet another video, book, etc,I help myself stop obsessing about it by adding up what I’ve saved, you heard me, you can save money by getting proper training. 1. How many hours of experimentation would I spend trying to figure something out? I’ve been known to spend an entire day. 2. How much wire am I going to waste in the process? Yes, I’ll be using craft wire or copper for the initial experiments, but that adds up too.
    Put a dollar value on your time….you’ve “paid” for that video in very short time AND the product you are turning out is probably better and more polished than what you would have figured out on your own without the expert guidance.

    • avatar


      July 27, 2011 at 9:38 am

      Carolyn, thanks so much for your confirmation with regards to investing a little in the education process of learning to do “anything”! When you think about it, the cost of good education is small in comparison to what we spend for supplies to make jewelry.

  2. avatar


    July 27, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I’ve bought many DVD’s from all kinds of artists and Dale’s are well worth the money! She showed me things that other instructors completely missed and are the most valuable. She’s a wonderful instructor! Wish you luck and blessings!

  3. avatar


    July 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I have the book! It’s wonderful!

  4. avatar


    July 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks, again, Dale for your great lessons. Each time I see a question like today’s from Michele asking how to get jewelry construction instructions without buying a DVD or on-line lesson I get an urge to scream from the housetops that spending money for your DVDs would be the best expenditure one could ever make. Having this information at your fingertips to review any time you embark on a project is the best way to begin your work. Learn how to do the task first; return to the lesson to look at a particular step again and again or try one of the alternative suggestions this time around to add more variety to your work. I have purchased both the complete beginners and intermediate DVD sets and am saving my money to acquire the advanced program. I study each project a few times before beginning it and return for a review a couple of times during construction. I consider “how to” more important than the best tools and finest gems in my work. Nothing says “good work” if you don’t have the basic construction features mastered.

    • avatar


      July 28, 2011 at 9:26 am

      Peggy, thank-you so very much! When I filmed my DVD collections, I taught on camera just like I teach in class! So glad all of my little details help :)

  5. avatar


    July 27, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Hi, I have found many ideas on utube. Some of the instruction is good, others are not. You can spend a lot of time trying to find the good ones. That is money lost. I learned how to wire wrap rings on there and have used the basics to come up with my own designs, but the very intricate ones like Cougar does will not be there. It is best to get instruction from the people who are real artists and not just copiers.