Working with Memory Wire
by Debbie Blair
Memory wire comes in a variety of thicknesses, just like other wire you may be used to working with. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the wire. The most common sizes for jewelry making are 18- to 22-gauge. Here are some tips for working with this strong, springy wire.
Instructions
To add beads to your memory wire, place the beads on a beading mat (I like to use a piece of velour blanket that I've cut into several placemat-sized beading mats) or other work surface that prevents the beads from rolling around. Then use the end of the memory wire to string the beads onto the wire instead of picking up the beads one-by-one and adding them to the wire.
Instead of pushing your beads down the length of the wire as you add them, hold one end of the wire in each hand and stretch the wire out from top to bottom, allowing the beads to slide down to the end. I find this helpful in determining how many beads I still need to add.
Debbie Blair's Working with Memory Wire - , General Education, Tools, add beads
Debbie Blair's Working with Memory Wire - , General Education, Tools, add beads
The most common way to finish off the end of your memory wire is to form a loop by using round-nose pliers to form one or two loops. I recommend twisting the wire in the opposite direction of the rings to form the end loop. You can also purchase special memory wire end-cap findings to glue onto the ends of your wire using E-6000, GS Hypo Cement, or another strong jewelry adhesive.
Debbie Blair's Working with Memory Wire - , General Education, Tools, make a loop

Materials

22 Gauge Bracelet Memory Wire Silver Finish - Approximatly 20 coils
H14-2
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22 Gauge Necklace Memory Wire Silver Finish - Approximately 10 Coils
H14-1
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  • Price: $2.97
  • Gold Club Price: $2.23
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Tools

5 Inch Circular Concave Bending Plier - Pack of 1
G2-105
  • G2-105
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  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $6.97
  • Gold Club Price: $5.23
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Dual Size Round Nose Plier
G2-719
  • G2-719
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  • Price: $34.95
  • Gold Club Price: $26.21
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Memory Wire Cutters - Pack of 1
G2-36
  • G2-36
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  • Price: $12.97
  • Gold Club Price: $9.73
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  • Category: General Education
  • Technique(s): Tools