Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Wire Wrapping Jewelry. As you all know, this topic is near and dear to my heart. But, even I don't know all there is to know about wire wrapping. This is a great way for us both to learn more about this subject. Here are some of the topics that we are going to cover. The history of wire wrapping jewelry, the best wire for wire wrapping, some of my favorite places to purchase wire for jewelry making, the best crystals to use, and so much more. Whether you are wire wrap artist, wire wrap enthusiast, just beginning your journey into wire wrapping jewelry or you just enjoy learning more about what I do, you are going to love this blog. Let's start by learning more about where wire wrapping originated.
The History Of Wire Wrapping
Wire wrapping is a technique that dates back thousands of years and has been used for various purposes throughout history. Here is a brief overview of the history of wire wrapping:
Ancient Jewelry Making:
- Wire wrapping has ancient origins, with evidence suggesting its use in jewelry making as far back as 1446–1213 BCE in ancient Egypt. Artisans would use wire to secure gemstones and beads in intricate patterns, creating beautiful and durable jewelry pieces.
- The Celts also adopted wire wrapping techniques in their art and jewelry. Elaborate metalwork, including wire wrapping, was a prominent feature in Celtic design. The intricate knots and patterns created with wire were symbolic and often held spiritual significance.
- During the Renaissance, the art of wire wrapping continued to evolve. Jewelers in Europe utilized this technique to create elaborate and ornate pieces that showcased craftsmanship and attention to detail. Wire wrapping was a popular method for securing gemstones and embellishing metalwork.
- In the Victorian era, wire wrapping gained popularity again, particularly in the creation of mourning jewelry. Intricate designs were used to encapsulate locks of hair or miniature portraits, adding a sentimental and personal touch to the jewelry.
20th Century and Modern Wire Wrapping:
- Wire wrapping experienced a resurgence in the 20th century, with artists and crafters adopting the technique for creating unique and personalized jewelry. This resurgence was fueled by a growing interest in handmade and artisanal crafts.
Contemporary Wire Wrapping:
- Today, wire wrapping is a widely practiced art form, not only in jewelry making but also in various other crafts. Artists use a variety of metals, gemstones, and techniques to create intricate and innovative designs. Wire wrapping workshops and tutorials are also popular, allowing enthusiasts to learn and master the craft.
- Beyond jewelry, wire wrapping is utilized in various functional applications, such as electronics. Wire wrapping techniques are employed to create secure and reliable connections in electronic circuitry.
The history of wire wrapping is rich and diverse, spanning cultures and centuries. Its enduring appeal lies in its versatility, allowing artists and craftsmen to express creativity and skill through this age-old technique.
Different Creations That Can Be Made From Wire
Wire Wrapping has come a long way since it was discovered. Wire can be a versatile material for various creative projects. Here are some different creations that can be made from wire:
- Create three-dimensional sculptures by bending and twisting wire into different shapes and forms. This can include abstract designs or representational figures.
- Design and craft jewelry pieces such as rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings using wire. Incorporate beads, stones, or other materials to enhance the aesthetic.
Wire Wrapped Stones:
- Wrap wire around polished stones or crystals to create unique and decorative pieces. This technique allows you to showcase the natural beauty of the stones.
Wire Wall Art:
- Form wire into intricate patterns or designs to create wall art. This can range from simple geometric shapes to more complex and detailed artwork.
- Craft delicate and realistic-looking flowers by shaping wire into petals and stems. Add color using paint or beads to enhance the floral appearance.
- Create hanging mobiles by suspending various wire shapes and objects from a central point. These can be abstract or themed based on your creative vision.
Wire Bonsai Trees:
- Form miniature bonsai trees using wire for the branches and trunk. Add small beads or stones as leaves or fruit to enhance the realism.
Wire Name or Word Art:
- Bend wire into letters or words to create personalized and custom name or word art. This can be a unique and decorative way to display names or inspirational words.
- Explore different weaving techniques with wire to create patterns and textures. This can be applied to jewelry, sculptures, or other decorative pieces.
Wire Beaded Animals:
- Combine wire with beads to craft small animals or creatures. This can be a fun and creative way to make miniature sculptures.
Remember to experiment with different wire thicknesses, colors, and textures to add variety to your creations. Additionally, safety precautions should be taken when working with wire, such as wearing protective gloves and using appropriate tools.
What Is The Best Wire For Wire Wrapping
When I first started my company and decided I wanted to wire wrap crystal jewelry, I was blown away. I had no idea that there were all kinds of different wire, different sizes, colors, shapes, and techniques. I had to teach myself about all the different factors that went into this incredible art. The choice of wire for wire wrapping depends on the specific application and the desired result. Here are some common types of wire used for wire wrapping:
- Bare Copper Wire: Often used for its malleability and conductivity. It can be left bare or coated with a protective layer.
- Colored Copper Wire: Comes in various colors, offering a decorative element to your wire-wrapped designs.
- Sterling Silver Wire: Provides a more premium look but is also more expensive compared to copper. It's a good choice for high-quality jewelry.
- Gold-Filled Wire: A layer of gold is mechanically bonded to a base metal (usually brass). It gives the appearance of solid gold at a more affordable price.
- Anodized Aluminum Wire: Lightweight and available in various colors. It's a good option for colorful and lightweight jewelry designs.
- Colored Craft Wire: Specifically designed for craft and jewelry making. It comes in a variety of colors and is coated to prevent tarnishing.
- Stainless Steel Wire: Known for its strength and durability. It is resistant to corrosion and tarnish.
When choosing a wire, consider factors such as the gauge (thickness), color, finish, and the type of jewelry or craft project you're working on. Thicker gauges are more suitable for structural elements, while thinner gauges are better for intricate designs. Always check if the wire is suitable for your specific application and if it meets your aesthetic preferences.
If you are just starting out on your wire wrapping journey, I would recommend using copper. It is easy to use, and you can find it pretty cheap. Here are two of my favorite places to get wire from. Riogrande.com and Firemountaingems.com. Both places have great prices, tons of different kinds of wire and other jewelry making supplies for all of your jewelry making needs.
My Personal Preferences For Wire
I have been wire wrapping jewelry since 2018. Or should I say experimenting with wire wrapping jewelry. I have tried and failed many times. But we can never truly learn unless we fail. Even to this day I make mistakes, simply because I am human and far from perfect.
In the beginning of my career, I was broke and couldn't even afford to buy the wire or tools that I needed to start my company. I remember looking all over my property for different kinds of wire, and happened to find a bunch of spools just sitting in my barn. It was perfect. Great copper wire to start experimenting with at the time. I practiced and practiced. Teaching myself how to make things like dreamcatchers, trees of life, and a few other common techniques and designs. I already had a bunch of crystals, because my mother was into them way before I ever was.
As I continued learning about all the different guages and shapes there were available, and working with each one, I found the size and shape that I prefered. For the basic setting, my all time favorite gauge would have to be 20 gauge. It is strong enough to keep it's shape while creating. I also prefer square wire over round, simply because you can do more with square wire. You can spin it to give it a different texture, and it holds together easier than round. When using the smaller wire for weaving, my go to is always 28. I have worked with a bunch of different sizes, but 28 is just right for me. I started out using 30 gauge, but came to realize that it broke way to easily.
Sterling silver has to be my absolute favorite to work with. Personally I have always loved silver way more than gold. But I didn't even start working with sterling silver until much further along in my career. It is way to expensive to be making mistakes with it.
The wire that you choose is really just a preference thing and depends on what you are creating. Try out all the different options that are available to you and find your favorite wire to use for different projects.
Gemstones For Wire Wrapping
When it comes to wire wrapping gemstones, certain stones are popular choices due to their hardness, durability, and aesthetic appeal. Here are some gemstones commonly used in wire wrapping:
Quartz Crystals: Clear quartz is a versatile choice, but other varieties like amethyst, rose quartz, and citrine can also be used.
Labradorite: Known for its stunning play of colors, labradorite adds a mystical touch to wire-wrapped jewelry.
Lapis Lazuli: Deep blue lapis lazuli with golden flecks is a beautiful choice for wire wrapping. If you love lapis lazuli, checkout all of my current inventory of wire wrapped lapis lazuli jewelry.
Turquoise: With its vibrant blue and green hues, turquoise is a classic choice for bohemian-style wire-wrapped jewelry.
Agate: Agates come in various colors and patterns, making them versatile for wire wrapping designs.
Amazonite: This greenish-blue gemstone is popular for its calming energy and is often used in wire-wrapped jewelry.
Aventurine: Aventurine exists in various colors, but the green variety is commonly used. It has a sparkling appearance due to mineral inclusions. I have lots of different colored wire wrapped aventurine jewelry.
Moonstone: Known for its ethereal glow, moonstone can add a touch of magic to wire-wrapped creations.
Jasper: Jasper comes in a variety of colors and patterns, offering a wide range of options for wire wrapping.
Carnelian: This orange to red gemstone adds warmth and vibrancy to wire-wrapped designs. Checkout all of my wire wrapped carnelian pieces.
Remember to consider the hardness of the gemstone, as softer stones may be prone to scratches or damage during the wire-wrapping process. Additionally, personal preferences play a significant role, so choose gemstones that resonate with your style and design vision.
Exciting News For Local Fans And Wire Wrap Enthusiasts Alike
If you happen to live anywhere near Syracuse, NY, you should come and see me in person. My new found friend and soul sister, Andea Maria, is the owner of an alternative and holistic shop located in beautiful Baldwinsville, NY. We found each other on Facebook and she invited me to come host a wire wrapping workshop. I am hoping that this will be the first of many to come. You will get to meet me in person and learn some cool tips and tricks on how to wire wrap jewelry yourself. Our first wire wrapping workshop will be held on January 28th, at 2pm. The cost of this workshop will be $50. I hope to see some of you there.
Whether you want to learn how to start your very own company wire wrapping jewelry, or you just want to learn how to make some cool handmade gifts for your friends and family, This will be a great opportunity and place to start. Bring your favorite crystal, wire, and pliers, and let's get to wrapping. I will also be bringing extra crystals, wire and even pliers for those who are brand new to this and don't have any supplies.
The name of her shop is The Energy Lounge. It is a holistic school for healing and guidance to living your best life. She offers many different holistic classes and workshops. If you want to learn more about what The Energy Lounge has to offer, make sure you click the link above for more information on the exact location and to book any appointments. I will also be posting a different blog as we get closer to the date of the workshop.
I hope that you learned something new about wire wrapping jewelry in this ultimate guide to wire wrapping jewelry. When it comes to the world of wire wrapping, the possibilities are truly endless. As long as you have an active imagination, you can create pretty much anything. I still find it fascinating when I create something new that I have never created before. Don't get discouraged! Practice makes perfect. And this goes for any new skill you are learning about. Just remember to not be so hard on yourself, we are usually our biggest critics. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog The Ultimate Guide To Wire Wrapping Jewelry. Don't forget to checkout all of my other informational blogs before you leave. Have a blessed day.