Is That Just a Wire?

Tammy Jones is the Online Editor of Jewelry Making Daily

From Jennifer: When it comes to wire jewelry making, I'm definitely not an expert. But Tammy Jones over at Jewelry Making Daily can make wire do things I never thought possible! Check out one of her great wire jewelry blogs from last year, all about the unexpected ways you can find to use wire in your jewelry making projects.

There's a lot of potential in wire for jewelry making. Whether it's sterling wire from your favorite jewelry making source or more utilitarian wire from the local hardware store, wire by itself can be a pretty humble material –but the more I pay attention to wirework, the more I realize that you can make some jewelry magic with simple metal wires.

A few months ago I admitted that I wasn't a wireworker, and then later I realized that wasn't completely true, because there's wire everywhere in jewelry making, I just hadn't thought about it before. Now even later, it's like when you learn a new word and you see it all the time after that — I can't look at a piece of handmade jewelry now without noticing some form of wire. I'm always impressed with what the jewelry-maker has created with "just wire."

I'm drawn to certain wire jewelry designs for their simplicity, but when I was looking through a wire eBook for an idea to make a quick gift, I was also struck by how practical wire can be, and what a time saver, when it does double duty as jewelry finding and design element at the same time. The first three examples are stylish earrings made entirely of wire with only single bead accents.

In Sally Stevens' Pattern Wire Earrings, a short length of 1/4" wide, 16-gauge patterned sterling silver wire becomes a design element when it's dangled from an ear wire and accented with colorful beads. Great use for leftover bits of patterned wire! Textured wire is a design element in Step by Step Wire Jewelry Editor-in-Chief Denise Peck's Unexpected Pearl Earrings too, but Denise added texture herself by hammering 14-gauge sterling wire with a ball-peen hammer and accenting with a keshi pearl. For ultimate simplicity, wire serves as design element, ear wire, and finding in Denise's Bluebell Drops earrings. A hammered-flat wire end holds the bead on while equal wire lengths for the earring back and the front design portion replace traditional ear wires.

Here are two more examples of wire doing double-duty in wirework designs-as purely a design element in one and as finding and ear post at the same time in another.

Step by Step Wire Jewelry Contributing Editor Sara Graham's colored wire coils cross over from function to form and decorate her Coily Colored Jump Ring Chain. Cindy Gimbrone's all-in-one Easy Loop Post Earrings feature pretty wire swirls on the front that are formed directly onto the wire ear posts — all from one piece of wire.

Would you like to see some more neat tricks with the humble wire jewelry making element? Check out Weaving Wire Jewelry with Mary Hettmansperger. Mary takes you through four amazing lessons and shows you how to incorporate beautiful wire weaving techniques into your favorite jewelry making projects. What I loved the most about this new DVD is that you really don't have to be an advanced wire jewelry maker to start learning and using Mary's techniques — by the end of the first lesson, I was confident enough to pick up my fine gauge wire and start weaving!

Of course, if you're anxious to get started, you can always download Weaving Wire Jewelry with Mary Hettmansperger instantly on your desktop or laptop computer and be watching these wire jewelry making lessons in just minutes. Get your copy of Weaving Wire Jewelry with Mary Hettmansperger and see just how easy it is to be innovative with wire!

Do you have a favorite wire jewelry making technique? Share it here on the blog!

Bead Happy,


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