Best of Wire Jewelry: 100+ Wire-Jewelry Tips Plus Project Previews

  Viking Knit wire necklace by Kathleen Pierce
Viking Knit by Kathleen Pierce
Tammy Jones editor Jewelry Making Daily  
Tammy Jones is
the editor of Jewelry Making  Daily.

I had a treat waiting on me when I got home from a business trip this week: The Best of Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine. I look forward to hearing how much you love your issue when you get it, but until then, I wanted to tease you with some of my favorite features of the magazine (it's so much bigger than a regular magazine, I feel like I should call it a book!).

Wirework-Jewelry How-Tos for Newbies and Pros
The Best of Step by Step Wire Jewelry has an awesome rundown of wire types and gauges as well as wire-working tools, which makes it a great long-lasting how-to resource for a new or infrequent (like me) wire-jewelry artist. That's just the beginning, though; it's also packed full of expert-level tips and projects for the more advanced metalsmiths and wireworkers among you.

From little things we might forget (like a reminder that you can easily turn dead-soft wire into half-hard wire by work hardening it a little with a hard plastic or rawhide mallet) to expert advice on advanced wireworking techniques such as two-tone Turkish round chain maille (chain mail) and trichinopoly chainwork Viking Knit (whew!), this issue speaks to wire-jewelry artists of all levels.

interchangeable lampwork glass bead ring by Cassie Donlen  
Cassie Donlen's Wonder Rings

Wire-Wrapped and Metal-Stamped Rings
The first wire-jewelry project I ever made was a wire-wrapped ring using sterling silver wire and a big oval turquoise bead. I still wear that ring now, years later. Wire-wrapped rings are ideal wirework-jewelry projects because they are fun, inexpensive, and quick projects that allow you to spotlight a favorite lampworked glass or gemstone bead in a big, sassy cocktail-style ring. They make great gifts, too, and you can make one in minutes. I like this issue's other quick ring projects, too, especially the interchangeable Wonder Rings project that allows you to show off a few favorite lampwork beads.

Money-Saving Wire-Jewelry Tips

  how-to tip to work-harden wire jump rings

Who doesn't love to save a few bucks? Just by flipping through The Best of Step by Step Wire Jewelry, I learned why nylon-jaw pliers are worth the investment (they can straighten and salvage curled or crimped wire that you might otherwise discard), how a cut-up blanket can help increase my beading speed, and how to get the look and feel of sterling silver wire for a little less cash. And those three tips are all from just one page out of over 140!

quick custom shank lampwork glass bead earrings by Denise Peck  
Custom-Shank Earrings by Denise Peck

Quick Five-Minute Wire-Jewelry Projects
The holiday season is almost here, which means it's also gift-giving time. It's my favorite time of year, but if you're like me, once you've given a handmade gift, then every time you give that person a gift in the future, they immediately ask, "Did you make this?" Such pressure for a repeat performance!

Fortunately, The Best of Step by Step Wire Jewelry issue has at least eight quick wire-jewelry projects that can be made in just a few minutes, literally. Each one is easily adaptable with your own choice of beads, wire, and metals, so you can turn one simple project into an unlimited number of holiday gifts. And best of all, the wire-jewelry designs are so elegant, no one could guess they took only five minutes to make.

Wire Tips, Wire Tips, Wire Tips
Have I mentioned all the great wire-jewelry tips in this issue? I counted over 100 wireworking tips: workspace efficiency and organizing tips, precious metal money-saving tips, specific technique and project tips, tips for using household items such as a yard stick to improve your work space. . . .  For example, did you know that memory wire can damage your wire cutters? Steel wire can, too. I ruined my favorite cutters by using them to cut what I didn't realize was steel wire when disassembling a vintage piece to recycle.

Let us know how you like your issue of The Best of Step by Step Wire Jewelry when you get it.  Do you have a smart wireworking tip to share? Which project is your favorite? I'd love to hear it!

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