So what exactly are we referring to when we say, "Wire Wrapped Jewelry"?
Jewelry wrapped with wire ranging from a thick 10 gauge to a super thin 34 gauge. Also findings (clasps, ear wires, jump rings, head-pins and bales ) are used. Some consider settings for the stone as findings also.
There is no soldering or heating the wire. In other words, all connections are of mechanical means such as bending. And we like to differentiate wire wrapped jewelry from handmade wire jewelry. Not to confuse “wire wrapped jewelry” with “handmade wire jewelry” which for our purposes, may be soldered and otherwise sculpted. Checkout our page on handmade wire jewelry here.
History of Wire Wrapped Jewelry
Wire wrapped jewelry has been around a long time, like since 2000 BC. Someone found a twisted peace of wire from the Sumerian dynasty and Archaeologists figured it was jewelry.
Then came the ancient Romans around the time of Christ. British museums have loops dated 2000 years ago. Loops are a very important part of the whole wire wrapped jewelry craft. The ancient jewelers used gold, silver and copper. Superb metals for handmade fashion jewelry. It was hammered very thin and then cut into strips, then hammered and filed into wire, “by hand”! How long do you think that took? This is called filigree. Wire wasn’t drawn until around the 8th century somewhere in France. It wasn’t until around 1270 AD, France also, that the first commercial wire foundry started to operate.
Back in the day solder did not exist. Everything was wrapped in a manner that would suit the intended function. “P” loops and “eye” loops were developed and before you know it one of the oldest art crafts was born. So you might say the development of wire wrapped jewelry started then and has become what it is today. WOW!!! Bye the way, even after solder became available, wire wrapping stayed popular because it was more economical. Soldering is faster though, which is why machines work so well in what should otherwise be a handmade craft, if you get my drift. And that’s why hand wrapped jewelry is truly a fine art form.
Wire is measured by “gauge.” Gauge is the thickness of the wire as stated above. It also comes in three hardness’s, dead soft, half hard and full hard. Dead soft is not very strong and better suited for making shapes and not used for stress bearing areas. Dead soft is extremely malleable, that means you can shape it by hand, in this case no heat required. It’s not good for holding weight, as its strength is very limited. Half hard is malleable also, but not as much. It has good strength and more stress capable properties then dead soft and will hold shapes better too. Full hard is the strongest and the hardest and will hold the most weight. Full hard also is the best choice for clasps, as it will not bend as easy.
The wire used in wire wrapped jewelry comes in a variety of shapes. There is round of course but also square, twisted, half round and flat. The metals are the same as history provided. Gold and gold fill, silver and silver fill, copper, brass, and sterling silver. Did you know that sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% alloy metal, usually copper. 100% Silver, like gold, is very soft and could fail in stress applications.
There are four basic tools for this art. They are the round nose pliers; the chain nose pliers, the bent chain nose pliers and the ever-important flush cut pliers. Use round nose pliers for making loops in wire as they have a conical jaw and you would twist the wire around the jaw at different points to make different sizes of loops. The chain nose and the bent chain nose pliers are used when bending or holding with one hand and bending with the other hand. There jaws are flat and do not have teeth on the jaws. They grip well and you will find many uses for this handy little tool. The flush cutter is the tool that must operate perfectly as one sign of poor quality work is sharp or jagged edges. This tool will help you turn out a cleaner piece of work. Also the correct size tool is important. In the wire wrapped jewelry business bigger is definitely not always better.
Some other tools and equipment that will make your day go easier are; a chasing hammer, hammers of steel or brass with a large face. This helps keep the edge of the hammer from marking the wire, a nylon hammer, this doesn’t flatten the wire itself, an anvil, not too big, a cup bur, this tool puts the finishing touches on the wire and your work. They also make nylon jaw pliers, step jaw pliers and loop closing pliers. The step jaw pliers allow you to make loops in different sizes quicker. If you were making a lot of them this would be a very handy tool for sure. And don’t forget a steel ruler. A ruler will come in handy more times then you might think.
Now, for the artists to be. Basically to make your affordable handmade jewelry, or perhaps handmade gifts, you only need the first four tools. The round nose pliers the chain nose pliers the bent chain nose pliers and a good flush cutter to try out this art and they won’t break the bank either. Start out small and see if you like it and who knows? Some day you may be customizing your tools like the professionals’ do. A little grind here a little grind there and before you know it your tool is perfect. And it does what you tell it to do every time.
They also make various jigs you can use. These are handy if your making wire wrapped jewelry that has a lot of coils or S designs. Actually, jigs would have many uses in forming wire and would not put marks on the wire itself. There again making for a cleaner piece of work. Now, we’re not getting paid to tell you this but there is a web site called wigjig/jewelry-making and they have a large selection of tools and equipment, prices range from starter tools $15 to professional grade where a bent chain nose pliers could be $50 or so. Nice site.
So what are you going to wrap? The possibilities are endless. Polished stones are high on the list and make for some awesome handmade gemstone jewelry. Gem stones, precious and semi precious, agate and jasper, gold nuggets, old coins, lockets, heirlooms, meteorites the list goes on and on.
Lets go with polished stones. The selection is huge, and the work, when finished, is incredibly satisfying and makes for beautiful handmade jewelry designs. At the art shows the wire wrappers attract quite a crowd. Some of them will wrap right there at the show. That can be very educational to the new comer or the hobbyist to this art.
You should check out a “Lapidary” first. A lapidary is a stone collector basically. They have the knowledge about the stones and can guide you on your way. When going through the stones you like, don’t be afraid to choose ones that have small faults in them as you can high light these faults and end up with a more exciting piece.How to watch euphoria for free? What does a positive igg mean? How to start intermittent fasting? What does heed mean? How to cook a lobster tail? What is the meaning of angela? 17 easy tricks for anyone who cooks vegetarian food? What does pink mean on a mood ring? What does being straight mean? How to train for a marathon? How to lower your water bill tips? What are ideals? What is the meaning of unpretentious? How long to bake asparagus at 400? How to catch tapu koko tricks? How to fix a hole in a door? What band does kenny manage? What is blw? what resutls from the release of cytokines by helper t xells what is a kitchen helper furniture How to beat radahn? What does tangible mean? How to get bigger breasts? What does head mean? What side does the sun rise? How to build a murphy bed? What is uberx? What is copper used for in minecraft? How many tricks can a griffon learn 3.5? Why are finger tips oily? How to unlock akimbo sykov pistol? What does evalute mean? How to do easy tricks on a tech deck? How to play racquetball? How to get rid of oil stains on clothes? How to make girlfriend tips? What is soaking mormon meaning? What time does raising canes close? What does cocain do to you? What is a habitat? How to tell if egg is bad? How to find domain? What does distillate mean? How to get good grades? Tips on how to retain information when studying? What does pts mean? What to do when the tips of succulents turn brown? What does it mean to advocate? What does coherence mean? What is cap rate mean? What is the meaning of cyber? How to fix flat feet? how much is one serving of a box of spaghetti hamburger helper which spring helper is best under or over What does cancer mean? What dies [as] mean? What does it mean when a tree is said to be dormant? What does imk mean in text? What is the meaning of ursula? How to prevent mastitis? How to program rca universal remote? How to help nausea during pregnancy? what is meta4 clickonce helper uninstall How to pronounce aesthetic? What are some tricks you can use for getting rid of roaches? How many tricks can your animal companion learn at lvl 1 3.5? What are motorcycle fairings? What does digital mean at amc? What does material gworl meaning? Why dont central chemoreceptor dendrite tips touch? how to use savefrom.net helper Foolio when i see you meaning? How much have you made in tips at perry's steakhouse? What makes ydo they make tips at starbucks?ou wamt to be part of starbucks? how to make tuna helper non dairy What does ups stand for? How to find a movie that i can t remember? Movie where man abandons woman to die tricks a man? “the helper seeks to help because he knows what it is to be helpless” What day does march madness start? What does cyst mean? How much for yellow roses with orenge tips? What is poly? How long to cook chicken legs in oven? What is the meaning of the term statistical inference? How to open a door? How to diy french tips? What does it mean when your right eye keeps twitching? How long does it take a tesla to charge? What does decline push ups work? How much tips do bartenders make? How to propose? How long to bake lasagna at 350? What does hrt stand for? How to get security tag off? What does dharma mean? How to ease stomach pain? How to do a ponytail? Tips on how to make senseo pod brew stronger coffee? What is tpg products sbtpg llc? What are the meaning of proverbs? What does it mean to die in a dream?