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Any wire wrapping experts?

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  • Any wire wrapping experts?

    Hiya, as per my welcome post - i've just recently started experimenting with wire wrapping.

    To be quite frank, I suck. But I am getting better. I am wrapping stones in the same way you would for a pendant necklace (although at the moment I am making a mobile with them). I would love to make jewellery at some point.

    I have limited time and money to invest in this at the moment (part time job/full time 2 year old!) and am wondering if any of you have tips for a new starter.

    My current equipment consists of a pair of multipurpose wire clipper/pliers, a load of silver plate/enamel wire and some stones I brought off t'internet lol. I also have a small jig, but at the moment I want to throw it at a wall as I don't seem to be very good with it.

    Any essential equipment suggestions and some tips on a good book would be a godsend.

    Also, I am desperatly trying to find a UK web based supplier of silverplate/bronze/copper wire that is Square and Half round - everyone sells round but other than horrible prices for tiny amounts off ebay I can't seem to find a UK supplier



    Any other tips/suggestions in general would be most welcome.



    Thanks for your time!

  • #2
    Practice! When i started i sucked! Now im much better (if i dont say so myself!) Also i tried a jig and its ok for some stuff but i normally do it all with pliers and my hands. Its much easier to work with long lengths of wire so dont cut it unless you really need to. If you need to make a few things that are the same shape you just have to use your judgment. Anyway, handmade things are never 100% the same!

    I use 3 types of pliers mainly, round nosed and flat nosed and cutters, plus i have a good set of files i got from Cooksons. Whats also fun to use is a steel block and a planishing hammer to flatten the wire.

    Try Palmer metals or Kernow crafts. Im on hte hunt for thick copper, brass and sterling wire just now. I cant for the life of me remember where i bought it before!!
    Handmade Embroideries and Tapestries - Greentree Crafts on Facebook Etsy Shop Instagram

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    • #3
      I would agree with the suggestions for pliers I have a pair of cheap £5 ones and they are still going strong after 5 years or more.
      I have a jig but don't use it much either. If you want to make matching parts for earrings etc I usually do the first bend on each piece and then the second and so on laying them against each other each time to make sure they match or bend both in the pliers at the same time but swapping them over 1/2 way through to compensate for the angle of the pliers.
      Have a look at www.wigjig.com they have some great projects that can be adapted easily, and most can be done without a jig if you want. The beginners section is good for learning the basic techniques.

      Melanie

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      • #4
        The oly advice i can give is that if it doesnt look accurate start again, because when you are more experienced at wiring you'll scrap it if its not great! photos help to bring out flaws you dont notice.
        http://www.justgiving.com/renata-harris (1/2 marathons for World Society for the Protection of Animals)
        http://flashsparkle.blogspot.com Vegan cookery

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        • #5
          Thanks for the advice folks, it's all fab


          Anymore suggestions on where to get square and half round would be most appreciated - any uk sites that do it in brass/copper/silver plate are what im really stuck with finding at the moment. Wigjig is a brilliant site btw, got lots of useful info off it thanks! I can't use the store with my card though (i guess I could "borrow" the otherhalfs card lol)



          Handcrafted - I love your website - I was looking at your stonefilled heart pendant - how do you get it to stay firm? I made a sort of square and used stone chips in the middle, but it was all floppy (I'm cringing as I type this paragraph lol). I read a bit about hardening up wire using a hammer or one of those squasher things but how would you do that for a pendant like this? Or should I just use thicker wire?

          Sorry for all my questions lol
          Last edited by Eelis; 07-06-2009, 11:36 AM.

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          • #6
            Iv never seen square or half round copper wire. Would be great to have some so if you find any, let me know lol!

            Do you mean the copper heart and amethyst chips? I just used quite thick wire for the heart shape, 1.2 i think, then used .6 wire for the wrapping with the chips. I just made sure the heart shape was quite secure before i started the wrapping. You can use a steel block and a wooden mallet for hardening the wire, but the thicker the better for making it secure. Not too thick though as you want to be able to bend it. For normal pendants i used 1mm or a mix of 1.2 and .6 to wrap. Iv loads more pics of stuff iv sold here -

            http://s161.photobucket.com/albums/t229/amylowson/
            Handmade Embroideries and Tapestries - Greentree Crafts on Facebook Etsy Shop Instagram

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            • #7
              Defineately invest in a selection of pliers - I couldn't get by with out 2 pairs of snipe nose pliers, a pair of round nose pliers and some side cutters.

              Also really good for inspiration and instruction is the Mark Lareau book All Wired Up, which I really like and is also very popular with our customers.

              Other than that... practise and start with plated or cheap-ish wire that you aren't scared to work with and waste the bits that go wrong! We do have some step by step wire work techniques on our website and we are looking to expand this area... so if there are any techniques you would like to see on there, or think others would find useful - let us know and we'll include them!

              Best wishes

              Hannah
              WWW.KERNOWCRAFT.COM

              Kernowcraft Rocks & Gems Ltd
              Your Destination For Gemstones & Jewellery Making - Since 1967

              For jewellery making advice, call our friendly team on 01872 573888

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