My Favorite New Wire Jewelry-Making Tip, Plus Master Basic Wirework with the Pros

Before you master any jewelry-making technique, I’ve learned that it’s important to get a good foundation in the basics. If you start off with sloppy methods or build on bad habits, the problems can just multiply and get so ingrained in your techniques that they’re like all bad habits—hard to break.

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.
Learn how to do wrapped wire loops in jewelry making the right way with these expert tips.
This same sad little story (ha!) can be applied to many jewelry-making techniques. Think about any technique that has given you grief until you learned a great tip or until someone showed you how to do it another way, allowing you to do it right from then on. Just last week I learned a great tip for making consistently sized wire wrapped loops every time, when you’re making a bunch. (I apologize that I can’t remember who told me this–if it was you, feel free to take your bow in the comments!)

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!
If you’d like to start wire jewelry-making with a good foundation of smart techniques—or if you’re already a wireworker who’d like to step up your game and perfect some of your wire skills with help from a couple of pros, you’re in luck. The publication of our new Wireworker’s Companion, by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson, is a reference guide that will expand and perfect your skills.

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.
Learn how to make a wire clasp the right way in wire jewelry making.
Once you’ve got all that covered, the fun begins. In The Wireworker’s Companion, Denise and Jane help you master all the essential wire jewelry techniques, including texturing, stamping, twisting/coiling, piercing, tumble polishing, and adding patinas. Learn to make links and loops, coils and spirals, head pins, ear wires, and clasps. You’ll never be without wire jewelry findings again, because if you have wire and this book, you’ll have findings. Learn about using a micro torch as well as quenching, annealing, fusing, wire weaving, and creating flame patinas—one of my favorites!—and even my nemesis, chain maille. Ha!<
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.
Wire weaving is easier than you think with these great beading projects that'll teach you the methods step-by-step.

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