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by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Wire Jewelry Tip for October 24, 2014

What type of Wire Should I Use?

We’ve been revisiting a few of our older posts, and here’s a great one that might help answer a few questions.

What type of Wire Should I use?

When first starting out in the wire-wrapping business, it may be a bit confusing about what types of wires to use for various projects.  Here are some recommendations in choosing the temper of your wire.

How to pick the hardness of your desired wire

Hardness is the measurement of the malleability or temper of a substance. When purchasing raw materials for wire-work, you will find that wire comes in several different levels of hardness, only a few of which are commonly used by jewelers. The most typical jewelry wire can be categorized into three groups:  Hard, half-hard, or dead soft.

To Find the Jewelry Wire You’re Looking For – Click Here!

Gauge/Thickness:

Keep in mind that the gauge (thickness) of the wire will also have an effect on its hardness. For example, a piece of 12 gauge wire is relatively thick, and even at dead soft hardness will not bend as easily as 18 gauge wire of the same hardness. Large wire is not recommended for the beginner.

Hard Wire is difficult to bend and can be stiff if trying to manipulate with bare hands.  Tools are highly recommended when using hard wire for this reason.  Hard wire is excellent for holding its shape and for making clasps and other findings that will likely be stressed.

Example of Full Hard Wire:

 

Half-Hard Wire is malleable, but most people will need to use tools or jigs to bend it into shape. Half hard will; however, maintain a fairly intricate shape under moderate stress after it has been work hardened. It is very useful for light weight-bearing parts of wire-wrapped jewelry and is terrific for creating angular bends, wire loops, and for wrapping wire around itself.

 

Dead Soft Wire is extremely malleable and can be bent easily into a myriad of shapes by using the hands. It does not hold its shape in stress situations, such as clasps, until it is hardened.  Dead soft wire is great for making loops, swirls, and spirals.

I hope that helps anwer some basic questions about the different types of hardness.

If you’d like to read more about gauge and what to use – click here to read Part 2!

Shop our Wire selection today!

Happy Wrapping!

 

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by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
October 22, 2014

Keeping Wire – “On The Square”

This week I found another great question in our older posts that I think is well worth revisiting – Keeping square wire “on the square” Maybe you’ve had this same question as well.

Question:

I’m fairly new at this and am having difficulty keeping the square wire “on the square” when wrapping around a bundle of wires. How does one keep the wire from twisting or tweaking when wrapping the bundle?

Answer:

When you are wrapping a bundle of square wires, think of it as a plank, which has 4 square corners. Therefore whether wrapping with half-round or square wire, the wire wrapper needs to make a right angle at every corner, which keeps square wire ‘on the square’. Using a good pair of flat nose pliers such as Swanstrom makes a major difference for a lot of folks.

The first DVD in my beginner series features my absolute favorite class for learning how to wrap with square half-hard wire (as well as how to easily straighten any wire, bundle and a great way to tape it all together.) The All Wire Unisex Bangle Bracelet will be able to help you in all of these areas.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

Ultimate Tool List:

If you are just getting started and need some guidance as to what tools to purchase -take a look at our Ultimate Tool List. It will help give you some ideas. Below is a quick reference about pliers with some examples.

First: A pair of crimping pliers, most often used by beaders, can also be used by wire wrappers to tuck the end wire in on a wrapped loop. Chain mail artists often use two pairs of wider tip chain nose pliers. One pair is sufficient for a wire wrapper, who also likes to have a pair of needle nose chain nose pliers to make tiny loops at the very ends of wire.

Second: Folks who do a lot of round wire designs use almost any pair of flat nose pliers, but wire wrappers who work mainly in square wire need a pair that have perfect angles (with no dips or bulges on their sides). Some people like pliers that have extra cushion on their handles; others) think the extra bulk is difficult to hold for long periods of time. Then there is the choice of longer handles. I am a firm believer that all pliers need to have a good spring hinge of some sort, so you don’t have to constantly open pliers while using them.

Wire Working Education

If you are interested in learning more about wire work take a look at the many Instructional DVDS and Wire Jewelry Books that we have available. A few suggestions might be our Jump Start Beginner Series, Intermediate or Advanced Series or even Coiling and Weaving Series.

Happy Wrapping!

 

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by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Product Feature for the Week of October 20, 2014

This week we wanted to feature two products that are used in our new DVD Series called Fun, Fast Fold Forming by Eva Sherman.

If you’ve purchased our latest DVD Series by Eva Sherman - Fun, Fast Fold Forming then you would have received an e-book version of the Charles Lewton-Brain’s book, Foldforming.

We’ve had many ask about purchasing a copy of the book to have on their personal bookshelf, and we are happy to now be able to offer it to all of you.

Foldforming Hard Back Book

by Charles Lewton- Brain

Foldforming eBook - Charles Lewton-Brain

More than 20 years ago Canadian goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain invented a radical way to develop forms in metal sheets. In the ensuing decades he has led hundreds of metalsmiths to explore and expand on his pioneering work. Now for the first time, readers can learn his trade secrets in Foldforming.  Foldforming is a conceptual, physical, and intuitive approach to metalsmithing that is informed by the natural characteristics of metals. Rather than forcing form upon a material, this system exploits the inherent qualities of plasticity, ductility, and elasticity in metals, offering significant new series of procedures that are extremely efficient for generating hundreds of unique, three-dimensional forms.

One of the key tools used in the DVD Series by Eva Sherman is the Oval Steel Bracelet Mandrel. This premium steel Mandrel is the perfect partner in creating these amazing bracelets!

Premium Steel Bracelet Mandrel – Oval

5 X  Eye Loupe - Pack of 1

Smooth steel oval mandrel is designed for bracelets with a taper from 2-1/2″ to 1-3/4″. Length 8-1/2″. Weighs 3 lbs. 4 oz. Also available in round.

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up your copy yet of Fun, Fast Fold Forming by Eva Sherman, here’s a quick description and a link for you to read all about it.

Fun, Fast Fold Forming DVD Series

5 X  Eye Loupe - Pack of 1

Leading Fold Forming Expert Reveals This Little Known Proven Formula To Make Beautiful Cuffs That Cost Less Than $7 To Make – Even If You’ve Never Touched A Piece of Copper Before

Pick up your Fun, Fast Fold Forming tools and DVDS today and start creating!

Happy Wrapping!

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Creating with Chain

by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Wire Jewelry  Inspiration for October 17, 2014

Creating with Chain

Have you ever created jewelry with chain before? There are so many projects you can do with chain. I thought today I’d introduce you to a few of the NEWEST additions to our Jewelry Making Chain family and share a couple of easy projects that you can try!

NEW Lengths – Order by the foot – Made in the USA -
Stunning Quality

Antique Copper Plated Chains

Antique Copper Finish Soldered Brass Cable Chain 2.28X2.69mm Antique Copper Finish Steel Cable Chain 6.52X9.54mm Antique Copper Soldered Brass Cable Chian 10.34X10.34mm
Antique Copper Finish Soldered Brass Cable Chain 2.28X2.69mm Antique Copper Finish Steel Cable Chain 6.52X9.54mm Antique Copper Soldered Brass Cable Chain 10.34X10.34mm

Antique Silver Plated Chains

Antique Silver Finish Steel Cable Chain 10.22X10.5mm Antique Silver Finish Steel Curb Chain 6.34X10.7mm Antique Silver Finish Steel Double Cable Chain 5.28X5.28mm
Antique Silver Finish Steel Cable Chain 10.22X10.5mm Antique Silver Finish Steel Curb Chain 6.34X10.7mm Antique Silver Finish Steel Double Cable Chain 5.28X5.28mm

Gold Plated Chains

Gold Finish Soldered Brass Cable Chain 10.34X10.34mm Gold Finish Soldered Brass Curb Chain 3.66X5.06mm Gold Finish Steel Rope Chain 2.53X3.58mm
Gold Finish Soldered Brass Cable Chain 10.34X10.34mm Gold Finish Soldered Brass Curb Chain 3.66X5.06mm Gold Finish Steel Rope Chain 2.53X3.58mm

Silver Plated Chains

Silver Finish Steel Cable Chain 3.05X4.39mm Silver Finish Steel Bar Chain 1.02X8.6mm Silver Finish Soldered Brass Cable Chain 10.34X10.34mm
Silver Finish Steel Cable Chain 3.05X4.39mm Silver Finish Steel Bar Chain 1.02X8.6mm Silver Finish Soldered Brass Cable Chain 10.34X10.34mm

Creating with Chain

Use your imaginaton with these FREE patterns and you’ll have a great time creating with Chain!

 

Shop our Jewelry Making Chains today!

Happy Wrapping!

 

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All About Soft Wire

by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
October 15, 2014

All About Soft Wire – Revisited

This week I found another great question in our older posts that I think is well worth revisiting – All About Soft Wire. Maybe you’ve had this same question as well.

Question:

I have been working with wire for more than 25 years, and have used many gauges, usually in half hard. However, sometimes I get more soft wire than I want. I remember my old teacher telling me when I complained about soft wire that it will work for a while, but then it’ll get hard. I have found that while shining the wire with a cloth that if I bend it gently and straighten it a few times, it does indeed get harder. Plus, if I twist half hard, it can get too hard to use, but if I twist dead soft (square of course), it gets just about right. What do you think?

Answer:

Yes, twisting dead soft wire will make it close to half-hard temper. The question then would be, how much twisted wire do you want to be in your design?

As far as twisting half-hard wire and it becoming too hard, that would depend on how much of a twist or ‘bead’ you put on the wire. (Sometimes I will individually twist several pieces of 24g sq half-hard and use them to hand-sculpt with, and I often twist 21g or 22g sq half-hard when making a cabochon frame too.)

In my opinion, the amount of twisting done to what gauge and temper of wire is up to the individual artist and comes first from their experience and then from their choice.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

What Gauge to use:

Are you familiar with what gauges of wire to use in differnt kinds of jewelry? Here’s a quick chart for you to refer to in a pinch:

Wire Working Education

If you are interested in learning more about wire work or wire twisting take a look at the many Instructional DVDS and Wire Jewelry Books that we have available. A few suggestions might be our Jump Start Beginner Series, Intermediate or Advanced Series or even Coiling and Weaving Series.

 

Happy Wrapping!

 

Click to Receive Daily Tips by Email

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