Here's a wire wrapping technique that will serve you well for all sorts of jewelry making projects~!
Step 1. Stack your bead(s) onto a headpin.
Step 2. Use chain nose pliers
to grab your wire just above your bead and bend the wire at a right
angle over the top of the pliers. Leave a small upright length before
bending, as shown.
Step 3. Grab the wire with round nose pliers
above the bend. Use your fingers to bend the wire up and over the the top of your round nose about 180 degrees.
Step 4. Continue the loop around the round nose pliers until it is a full loop. The tail of the wire should be sticking out at right angles to the upright section of wire, as shown.
Step 5. Grasp the loop at the top with your chain nose pliers in one
hand. Use the other hand, with or without pliers, to grip the end of
the wire and coil it tightly from top to bottom around the upright
wire. Keep going until you reach the bead, but do not force that last
loop, or you will force the bead off the headpin, either by snapping
the wire or bending the head of the pin out of shape.
Step 6. Trim the wire as close as possible to the coil with wire nippers
, or flush cutters
. Tuck in the end of the wire with your chain nose pliers.
If you are doing a project using more than one wrapped loop, you will probably want to approximately match the size of all the loops, and the lengths of the coils. It takes practice, but it can be important. For instance, you wouldn't want matching earrings to end up two different lengths. Also, the more uniform your loops and coils are, the more professional your piece will look, and the more impressed your friends and customers will be with your jewelry.
If you are wondering which size (gauge) wire to use, keep in mind the type and size of beads you are using. 24 gauge is an excellent all-purpose size that will fit through any Swarovski bead, czech bead, and almost any other man-made bead. It will fit through many gemstone beads, too. If you are using very finely drilled gemstones, or small pearls, you may want to use the slender 26 gauge. It is not as strong, obviously, but it has a more delicate look. If you are making an item that needs a lot of strength, such as a bracelet, and you are using beads of man-made materials, it is highly probable that the thicker 22 gauge will fit through your beads, and give you the sturdiness you need. The look will be thicker, higher impact, and the strength of the wire will support somewhat larger loops, should you desire them.
And finally, remember -- nobody
makes a perfect wrapped loop the first time! Practice with less expensive copper or Artistic Craft Wire
before you start using sterling wire or gold-filled wire. I would probably avoid using brass wire to practice with, as it is harder and more brittle than copper or silver, which could prove very discouraging when you are at the beginning of your learning curve.
For more on wire wrapping see THE WIRE BENDING BOOK
Hope that helps!
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