The Dos and Don’ts of Twisting Wire
Jean Campbell is the senior editor of Beadwork and a contributing editor to Beading Daily.
I was recently going through my old jewelry boxes and found some of those early wireworked pieces. Nothing to write home about, that’s for sure. But what I did feel good about seeing is how the quality of my wirework has improved. It’s from a lot of practice, yes, but also from spending the time to learn from teachers, books, and magazines like Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry.
When I was going through these old pieces, I was struck most by seeing the “bad” version of, say, a wrapped loop next to the “good” version. I realized what a lesson that can be in itself! So today I thought you might like to see a technique—twisting wire—showing the “right” way and the “wrong” way side by side. First we’ll look at the right way so you can do it right the first time:
- Use a round-nose pliers to form a loop in the center of the wire. Splay the wire ends out evenly on each side of the loop.
- Grasp the loop in your dominant hand and the place where the wires cross in your non-dominant hand. Keep the crossed wires pinched tight as you turn the loop.
- Is the twist clean? If so, keep twisting. (If not, untwist and try again.) With clean twists, you’ll end up with even, clean wirework.
Twisting Wire the RIGHT way
- You see how the photo below shows that when I made the loop I didn’t swing the wires evenly out from one another? One is sticking down, the other is out to the side.
- So now, because I didn’t have the wires set up properly, when I twist the wires together, one will end up swirling down the other instead of twisting evenly.
Twisting Wire the WRONG way