Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish, Contemporary Wire Jewelry. Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design. Keep your wire scrap separated in small clear resealable bags and label by wire size.
Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
by Judy Larson
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Technique(s): Making Findings, Butane Torch Techniques, Design
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
Keep your wire scrap separated in small clear resealable bags and label by wire size. Who knows when you may need a short piece for a jump ring or bail....Or to make a fabulous focal to embellish! Argentium wire scrap is used here.

Because everyone has different scrap wire gauges and lengths, the directions here are general steps for creating the focal pieces.

Fusing: The thicker a wire is, the longer it takes to get to melting temperature. That means that using a 20 gauge with a 16 gauge wire is not a good idea when fusing because the 20 gauge wire will melt and slump before the 16 gauge is at fusing temperature and you could end up with a mess. Try to use wires that are only one gauge in difference- such as 16 and 18, 18 and 20, or 20 and 22. The wires used here are 18 gauge with a few bits of 20 gauge thrown in. When first trying this, it is best to stick with the same gauge wires.

Soldering: When attaching pieces together, it may be easier to solder. Unless you are very good at pick soldering, it will be easier to place paste solder where it is needed as it will stay in place.

Materials

18 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-18H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $4.17
  • Gold Club Price: $3.13
Add to Bag
20 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-20H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $2.89
  • Gold Club Price: $2.17
Add to Bag
16 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-16H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $7.04
  • Gold Club Price: $5.28
Add to Bag
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Tools

C.H.P Milano Italian Flush Cutter, 5 1/2 Inches
PLR-487.00
  • PLR-487.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $14.97
  • Gold Club Price: $11.23
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6 Step Barrel Plier - Pack of 1
G2-503
  • G2-503
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $18.95
  • Gold Club Price: $14.21
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Solderite Soldering Board, Hard, 12 Inch by 12 Inch
SOL-420.30
  • SOL-420.30
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $27.95
  • Gold Club Price: $20.96
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Blazer GB4001 Stingray Torch, Blue
TRCH-4002
  • TRCH-4002
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $49.95
  • Gold Club Price: $37.46
Add to Bag
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Instructions
Step 1
Directions: Read through the directions before starting the project.

Cut wire to various lengths. Ball both ends of each wire. A small butane torch can be used for this step if the wire is 18 gauge or smaller. A butane torch head and a canister of butane (used for camping stoves) should be used if the wire is 16 gauge or larger. Fire scale can be removed from the wires by buffing them with steel wool or pickling them.
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Step 2
Stagger the wires so the balled ends are not right next to each other. Twist the wires together by hand (no tools). This will be the base. Other single wires and twisted wires can be wrapped over this. Shorter wires can be set next to the assembly.
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Step 3
This assembly is made by marrying two mirrored sections together. A chain can be later added to the end loops.

A 6 Step Barrel Plier is very useful for creating loops and curves in the wires. Shown here is how two different wires were formed and then connected together. A mirror image was created and then those two were combined.
Two mirror image looped ends
Second wire to add to the first
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Step 4
Continue to add wires to the assemblies until achieving the desired look.
Step 5
After the wires are assembled to your liking, place them on a soldering surface. Carefully heat them until the wire surface goes from dull to very shiny and slightly molten. Hint: Practice on two small wires so you can see the stages progress. Immediately remove the heat.

Let the assemblies cool, especially if they are made with Argentium wire, 30 seconds or so before quenching. Argentium can become brittle and break if quenched immediately.

A butane torch head and a canister of butane (used for camping stoves) should be used here. A small butane torch will not provide enough heat.
Pro Tip: If not comfortable with the fusing technique, solder the wires together in several places where they connect.
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Step 6
Keep a variety of cast pieces handy in small storage containers so they are ready to use when the creative design bug hits. In the Low Tech Casting class with Kim St. Jean, you will learn how to use scrap metals to make straw, water, and salt cast pieces that make your designs truly one-of-a-kind.
Embellish the assemblies using Low Tech Casting pieces and other embellishments that may be in your stash. Depending upon where the assemblies will be used, they may need to be shaped

How the assemblies will be used will determine how they need to be shaped. Adding jump rings can make them links. They can be soldered to a piece of sheet metal.
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish
Judy Larson's Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Findings, Clasps, Components, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Design, Silver Scrap Wire Focals to Embellish