My Favorite New Wire Jewelry-Making Tip, Plus Master Basic Wirework with the Pros
Well-done wrapped-wire loops were my issue a few years ago. I underestimated the skill involved in making them correctly, consistently, with the right size and other characteristics that I wanted. I could make them, of course—you know it isn’t hard to make a wrapped wire loop—but I couldn’t consistently make them in the same size with the same loops, every time. And as you know, for some projects, you need them to be right and the same, every time!
But I couldn’t make them turn out like I wanted them to and I couldn’t identify what I was doing wrong, because I hadn’t mastered the correct technique from the start. I just started making them how I thought they were made, and I ended up with basically the right thing … until precision became a factor and I realized I couldn’t do exactly what I needed to do.
Here’s the tip: When you’ve got the bead or beads on your wire and you’re ready to make the loop, put one last bead on, maybe an 8mm or 10mm bead (depending on how large you want your loops to be), and trim the wire above it. (If you’re making a wrapped loop, just use a bigger “spacer” bead or piece of tubing to allow wire for wrapping, too. The key is to use the same spacer every time.) Then remove that spacer and make your loop. That 8mm bead measures out just the right amount of wire so that your wire loops will come out the same each time, as long as you don’t stray too far up or down your pliers. If that’s an issue for you, mark your spot with a Sharpie and always loop on that mark. Then your loops will be the same size—consistent and professional and perfect!
This book doesn’t have wire jewelry-making projects in it (other than how to make various findings)—instead, it has everything you need to know to perfect your projects. You'll learn about metal types as well as wire types and shapes, plus specific characteristics like wire hardness (or temper), gauge, work-hardening and annealing. You’ll get familiar with wire jewelry-making tools like cutters, pliers, mandrels and coiling tools, hammers, punches, files, and even patinas.
Bonus: Many of the skills you’ll learn will apply to metal as well as wire, too. So if you’re ready get started now: orderThe Wireworker’s Companion—and if you can’t wait for it to arrive, it’s also available as an instant download eBook.