This article is a short introduction to wire-wrapping, including information about wire-wrapping terms and tools, methods, tutorials and a feature of beautiful jewellery.
What is wire-wrapping?
"wire-wrapping" is - like the name implies - a technique where wire is wrapped in whatever way. It can be used to hold gemstones in place, and create intricate jewellery. It has the big plus that soldering isn't neccessary, and therefore all the equipment needed is relatively easy to come by.
Terms and Tools
Wire comes in different different sizes and forms, and you can choose between materials as well - you can use brass, copper, silver and gold wire.
Wire diameter is measured in 'gauge' and ranges from 14 gauge (~1/16 inch) to 26+ gauge (1/64 inch), so the higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire.
You can also choose between square, round or half-round wire.
Pliers are your main tool for wire-wrapping, because you form the wire with them. There are different kinds of pliers:
- diagonal cutters to cut wire
- round nose pliers to create loops
- flat nose pliers to create rectangular shapes and hold wire
- chain nose pliers to open and close all kinds of chain links and the like
You can basically use every (gem-)stone you want for wire-wrapping, but some are better suited than others for certain pojects. Popular stones include cabochons (polished, round-shaped gemstone with flat underside) and stone beads.
Ball peen hammer & anvil
Using a hammer is the best way to flatten wire.
Pen & pencil
Great tools for sketching jewellery designs.
The techniques mentioned here are often combined with each other and other crafting techniques to create special, unique works of art.
Wire can be coiled around another wire (left), or into single coils (right).
Weaving wire together creates a net-like structure.
A special style of weaving wire around single beads.
Thanks for reading!