Is that just a wire? Unexpected Uses in Wire Jewelry Making
There’s a lot of potential in wire. 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 and wire jewelry making, 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 that way. 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 making designs for their simplicity, but when I was looking in our wire eBook, Best of Step by Step Wire: 10 5-Minute Wire Jewelry Projects, recently 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.
In both of those earring designs, metal wire becomes metal sheet due to its size and how it is presented.
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.
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. Clever, easy to make, and saves time and materials!
For complete step-by-step instructions to make all five of these super quick, super stylish wire jewelry projects (plus five more!), download your copy of 10 5-Minute Wire Jewelry Projects!
Do you have unique ways of incorporating wire into your jewelry-making projects? Share in the comments below!