Working with wire is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world of jewelry making! It’s also one of the things I receive the most questions about, whether it’s general: “What kind of wire should I get if I’m just starting out making jewelry?” or specific: “What exactly does wire hardness mean, and does it matter for this project?”
And while these questions definitely have answers, it’s pretty hard to sum it all up in a simple, concise explanation that covers all the bases. There are so many factors that go into answering those kind of questions, but choosing the right jewelry wire for a project is essential for successful designs that will stand up to being worn without breaking or becoming misshapen. There is nothing more sad than spending hours working on a beautiful piece for it to be bent out of shape the first time you try it on, and of course it is very frustrating if you don’t understand what went wrong or how to fix it!
Let me help! I’ve put together a very in-depth series of articles that is a wealth of information and will hopefully answer all your questions about where to start or which wire to use for what. If you’re a wire jewelry newbie, I recommend starting at the beginning and working your way through the entire series. And if you still have questions, let me know!
Click here to get a free trial of my >> Wire Wrapping for Beginners << online course!
“Supplementary materials” mentioned in the video are the articles below:
Part 1: Wire Gauge Sizes
Different parts of the world use different gauge measuring systems, and not all materials go by the same measuring systems either. This post will straighten out any potential confusion about wire gauge sizes. Lots of helpful size and conversion charts, too!
Part 2: Wire Hardness
Wire hardness is also known as the wire’s ‘temper’. Choosing the right temper wire will help ensure that your finished projects will maintain their shape!
Part 3: Jewelry Wire Shapes
There are a variety of different wire shapes on the market, including round, half-round, square, and twisted wire. This post covers what those different shapes are generally used for in making jewelry.
Part 4: Jewelry Wire Materials
There are a LOT of options available when it comes to jewelry wire materials. This post covers the most popular materials used in jewelry making and highlights differences between them.
Part 5: Which Gauge Wire for What?
This post outlines the most common uses for various gauge sizes of jewelry wire. Using the right wire gauge is part of what ensures your designs will have structural integrity and not bend or break easily!
Part 6: What is Work Hardening?
Ever have trouble with your wire pieces losing their shape? This will help: learn all about what ‘work hardening’ means and why you may need to do it for certain designs.
Part 7: How to Work Harden Jewelry Wire
This post offers several techniques for how to go about work hardening jewelry wire and some finished wire designs. We’ll cover pulling, hammering, twisting, and tumbling and which techniques are best for which kinds of projects.