If you’re new to jewelry creation, wire wrapping is a fun and relatively simple way to get started. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to exhibit your originality and uniqueness because no two pieces are ever the same.
In this blog, we’ve listed the steps to follow when it comes to wire wrapping for jewelry making. However, before we get there, let’s start with the basics.
What Is Wire Wrapping?
Wire wrapping is the process of wrapping wire around itself, beads, and other components to make jewelry. Wire wrapping can be used to create a loop for connecting several components, such as when making a wrapped wire loop or wrapping a necklace.
You may also use wire wrapping to bind beads to a form or to connect non-bead objects to a bangle, such as wire wrapping rhinestone cup chains onto a bangle. The wire itself, when coiled, twisted, bent, and manipulated, may form the framework and basis of your creation or function as a design feature. Wire wrapping allows you to construct unique shapes and angles, as well as numerous methods to combine different components.
Wire Wrapping Tools & Supplies
Wire, a cutter, and something to wrap is the very minimal materials need to begin wire wrapping. Briolettes, cabochons, and gemstones are perfect for wire wrapping, but you can wire wrap nearly anything with little preparation and imagination. Pliers, mandrels, files, and jigs are other useful tools that go hand in hand with wrapping.
When first starting out, use affordable craft wire before progressing to higher quality precious metal wires such as sterling silver wire or gold-filled wire. Here are some of the most common types of tools and supplies used commonly for wire wrapping:
- Wire Cutters
- Wire Jigs, Gauges, Draw Plates & Other Wire Tools
When first starting out, use a low-cost plated jewelry wire, which is usually copper with a silver-colored metal covering. If you prefer the hue, copper is also affordable. You may try with higher-grade wires, like silver or gold, after you’re more experienced.
3 Steps To Follow While Making Wire Wrapped Jewelry
In this section, we’ll show you how to construct a wire-wrapped pendant with a huge central stone, but similar techniques may be used to produce various forms of jewelry, such as earrings or pendants with numerous stones.
Step 1: Your Pendant Needs A Base
Begin by making the pendant’s base. Using 18-22 gauge wire, cut four pieces of round wire to approximately the same length, then cut a two-foot length of half-round wire. Don’t be concerned with exact measures; it’s always preferable to cut off more than you need than not enough.
Gather the four shorter wires and wrap the two-foot-long wire around them in the center, as shown. Flatten the wrapped wire against the bundled wire with the pliers. Continue wrapping until you have approximately an inch of wire wrapped (or about the size of your stone).
The goal of this stage is to make a flat coiled segment of wire on which the stone will sit. The wires emerging from the cluster will be bent and twisted around the stone in the designs you’ve chosen.
Step 2: The Protruding Wires Need To Be Wrapped and Twisted
The aim of step one was to make a base with a lot of projecting wires. The next step is to wrap these wires so that they may be twisted and molded around the gemstone when it’s time to set it on the base.
You have a lot of leeways here to wrap the wires as you like. Truax recommends wrapping thinner wire lengths (such as gauge 32) over single and double wires and twisting some of the base wires together. There are no hard and fast rules, so do anything you think looks nice. Wire wrapped jewelry designs are quite versatile.
Step 3: The Stone Needs To Be Wrapped
You should now have a variety of wires with varying textures and thicknesses.
Make the bail with one of the wire strands before beginning to wrap the stone (a loop above the stone that you will thread a chain or leather lace through).
Place the stone in the center of the base next (the part that you formed in step 1). According to Truax, this stage of the process is “basically a free-for-all!” You can wrap, twist, and loop the wires around the stone any way you like; the main aim is to keep the stone in its casing in an appealing manner.
FAQs About Wire Wrapping For Jewelry Making
Excellent all-purpose wire diameter is 24 gauge jewelry wire. 24-gauge wire is fine enough to pass through most gemstone beads while yet being strong enough to produce wire-wrapped loops. An excellent general-purpose wire gauge is a 22 gauge jewelry wire.
Wire wrapping and wire work is a popular jewelry manufacturing method that allows for the creation of a wide range of attractive jewelry designs without the need for several pieces of equipment. These techniques might include everything from gemstone beads and cabochons to charms and pure wirework. To make stunning pieces of jewelry with wire wrapping, follow the techniques outlined above.
All you have to do is lay your item on the steel block and gently pound it with a hammer until it hardens. A rawhide mallet is ideal for usage since it will not harm your work, but a chasing hammer would flatten and harden it significantly.
Wire wrapped jewelry has been around for thousands of years, dating back to 1446 BC, and is still highly popular today. It allows you to produce sculpted metal items without the use of soldering or a variety of other equipment. It’s usual to see wire-wrapped jewels, cabochons, and charms.
Remember that these wire-wrapped jewelry instructions are more of a guide than a rule book. The best part about this art form is that wire-wrapped jewelry ideas are only limited by your imagination. So, let your creativity take the front seat and truly shine!
To read more about various types of jewelry, keep reading Seema.