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Date Created: 12/18/15
Turn A Hobby Into A Business Basic History of Wire Wrapping Wire wrapping jewelry has been around for thousands of years. Ancient Romans, Sumerian's and many ancient peoples used wire wrapping to create jewelry. Some of these methods date back to 2000 BC. There are examples of wire wrapped looped jewelry in the British Museum as well as other well known Mediterranean museums. Solder did not exist at that time; wire was the quickest way to make components for jewelry as soldering did not exist. Later, as the technique for soldering developed (about 4000 years ago by the Egyptians and then it spread within the Mediterranean), the wire wrapping approach continued because it was an economical and quick way to make jewelry components out of wire. Due to simple economics wire wrapped jewelry is not mass produced. Machines can cast jewelry components faster than people can make the same types of items. Wire wrapping jewelry by hand means you will be using the techniques developed thousands of years ago by individual craftsmen and jewelry designers specializing in this type of jewelry. The key differences between making jewelry by wire wrapping and other methods are simply due to the fact that wire wrapped jewelry is: 1. Made of different gauges of wire and findings (head-pins, eye pins and so on) 2. Created using connectors between components, without soldering or any other heat to fuse them together. Learn the basic skills to: Wire wrap, make basic jewelry repairs, basic beading, making earring components, making bracelets, making clasps, using a jig, making cages for gems, making wire wrapped rings, making wire wrapped pendants, explore the wire wrapped jewelry business. Medium Here are a few of the types of wire you will be using in wire wrapping as you become more familiar with the skills, techniques and methods. You should experiment with different types of wire, different gauges and learn to use dead soft wire as well as half-hard and hard-wire for your wire wrapped creations. oDead Soft oHalf Hard oHard Common Shapes of Wire: oRound oSquare oHalf Round oAnd so forth There are so many types of "silver" around these days, it can be impossible to tell what is what. Fine silver is both an element and a mineral. On the Mohs scale of hardness, it ranks as a 2 to 3. Silver deposits are all over the world in places such as Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Norway, and United States. Cultures that love to show off their creativity in silver include Burma, India, Middle East, North America and Tibet. You will add dimension to your creations by including of any one of the following in your design: oTwisting oBraiding oUse of different thicknesses and shapes oAntiquing Use of the following in your jewelry will add pizzazz to your jewelry creations: oCoiling wire into beads oMaking springs oWrapping beads with wire oUse of beads oUse of faceted gems for wire wrapping Be creative in your designs, as anything goes in wire wrapping jewelry. Whether you wear the items, design the creations to be given away as gifts or sold as an addition to your line of jewelry do pay a bit of attention to the details (as these creations will last a very long time if a little attention to detail is included). Basic Tools: Wire wrapping requires the use of several tools, below is a listing of basic tools you will need and finally the additional tools you will want to add to your collection • Round nose pliers • Flush cutter • Bent Nose pliers (also called "bent chain nose pliers"/jewelry stone setting pliers) • Flat nose pliers • Chain nose pliers Additional tools: These are not required but they do help in creating wire wrapped jewelry more efficiently. oNylon jaw pliers (straightening) oStep Jaw pliers (use to make coils, rings and jump rings) oChain Nose pliers (also called needle nose smooth pliers) oChasing hammer (hardening wire) oBench Block oAnvil oFiles and/or Cup Bur (removing burs and rounding wires) oWig jig oBent closing pliers (grooved jaws are made for closing wire wrapped loops) oWire 16 ga, 18 ga, 20 ga, 22 ga, 24 ga, 26 ga (in copper, silver and gold filled oHeadpins, clasps, ear wires, jump rings (although you can make your own) oBead assortment oMandrels (ring, bracelet, necklace, and so forth) oVise oJewelry files and sandpaper oBead Mat oFlat nose pliers Cutting Wire: Always cut your wire with one of the following types of cuts to minimize a burr at the end of the wire. oFlush Cut oPinch Cut Bending Wire: Use Bent chain nose pliers to hold wire while you are bending it. You may use Round Nose pliers but you can actually hold the wire more easily if you use Bent Nose pliers. Bend wire with your hands until it is at a 90-degree angle. Bend the short piece facing away from you over the top of round nose pliers. Completely push the wire around until it is in the same position as whence you began (pointing away from you). Then switch to bend nose pliers, gripping the loop and twisting the wire (short end) around the base of the loop, twist it two times. Clip the excess and file the end and tuck it in. Add bead and make an eye loop on the other end following same process to wrap the wire. Basic Loops: These are the basic loops you will use while making wire wrapped jewelry and which can be used to make beaded earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Basic loops: oP Loop (Round Nose pliers) oP Loop (Step Jaw pliers) oEye Loop (Round Nose pliers) oWire wrapped loop oMaking dangle loops (with a bead) oMaking connectors (figure 8) oModified connectors (modified figure 8) Frequently, the connections between wire components will include a bead on the wire connector. Most glass beads (but not all) have a hole that is 1 mm in size. This will accommodate 20-gauge wire, but it will not accommodate 18-gauge wire. Some glass beads, freshwater pearls and some gemstone beads will have smaller holes and will require wire smaller than 20 gauge. (The largest wire that can go through the beads is what will work best with the beads chosen. This is because, beads and gemstones are much harder than the wire and will saw into the wire over time, so thicker wire will last longer as will harder wire.) Larger wire is more difficult to work with, it requires different techniques to learn to manipulate. Wire that is 16 gauge and larger (actually smaller gauge) is harder to work with and to bend for beginners. Start with Copper wire, it is inexpensive and easy to manipulate. It is best to learn your skills with copper wire, as it is very malleable and forgiving then move on toward silver, which can break more easily and can be more brittle. After mastering copper and silver you will move into other metals such as gold filled and so on. Finally, you will move onto the more difficult thicker gauges of wires after you have mastered the basic wire wrapping skills. These skills will not only save you money, which will save you thousands over your lifetime and create jewelry at a fraction of the cost when compared to retail prices. It will also provide an avenue to pay for your own jewelry and gifts to give to friends and family and easily make a profit if you chose to build your own niche type of jewelry business. Click Here to Shop Amazing Designer Handmade Earrings