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Topic: making jewelry with wire : several links to projects,techniques,&-or info  (Read 38073 times)
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« on: February 12, 2005 07:07:44 AM »

>>> various WIRE PROJECTS by TYPE of jewelry...
Each of the about.com links below should take you to a *PROJECTS INDEX* . Please note that for a beginner, many of the projects may be too complicated, or may have have incomplete/too-vague instructions.  Nevertheless there's inspiration as well as 'some' good beginner stuff :::

~~ Wire EARRINGS Projects : http://jewelrymaking.about.com/library/blwear.htm

~~ Wire BRACELET Projects : http://jewelrymaking.about.com/library/blwbrac.htm

~~ Wire NECKLACE Projects : http://jewelrymaking.about.com/library/blwneck.htm

~~ Wire RING Projects :

just wire-no beads; intended as finger ring, could be toe ring

just wire-no beads; intended as toe ring, could be finger ring

wire bead-dangle type ring

wire ring to hold a focal bead or even perhaps a few smaller beads

Please be aware that a "metal ring mandrel" and a "rawhide hammer" might be very handy to have particularly for many wire RING projects. 
The projects above give wire gauge but not a particular wire 'hardness' (also called 'temper').  If possible, you might consider experimenting with both dead-soft and half-hard.

~~ & a couple more WIRE RING projects :
Even if you don't have a jig (such as the WigJig), those 2 nice "bead-holder" type ring tutorials can be helpful because they specify wire gauges/wire hardnesses/wire shapes to use, & also various basic jewelrymaking tools needed. If you're already fairly experienced at wirework without a jig, you could probably make these beadholding rings that way ... if not, well, they may inspire you to try one!

~~ wire TOGGLE CLASP :

~~ wire HOOK-EYE CLASP :

~~ wire S CLASP :
With both ends closed this could also make a useful "connector" loop or maybe even a nice "drop".

~~ wire CORD CLASP :
A type of hook-eye clasp specially intended to use with fabric cord (like rattail for example), leather or suede cord, etc. Clear pix, simple instructions. You create both the hook and the eye at the same time, then cut them apart.

~~ wire SPACER BARS :
Yep these spacer bars (2 styles) are made out of coiled wire; nice & useful.

~~ WIRE WRAPPED BEADS (pretty spirals on top, bottom, & across bead) :
Looks & reads rather long and complicated but once you actually try it step by step you'll get the idea quickly. The tutorial pictures don't show on the main page; to see them, click on the camera icon at the beginning of each step.
With this method you make the wire wrap first 'then' insert the bead.  Some people call this a "bead cage" instead of a bead wrap. If it seems like too much trouble, well, you can actually buy pre-made wire bead cages!

~~ WIRE-STRUNG BEAD BRANCHES (called 'jeweled wreath', for some reason, in the article below) :
The following tutorial is called Making Branched Fringe (apparently aka 'coraling'..?) & doesn't specifically refer to *wire*-strung beads --- however, experimenting with fine-enough wire & large-holed-enough seed beads this should look good too, although I'd guess wire would tend to make stiffer/less swingy-fringe-like 'branches' :

~~ CHAINMAIL (btw, when websearching for chainmail info or items, also try the spelling chainmaille) :
General-overall help with chainmail as well as how to construct a chainmail 'basket' -- just in case you need one!
Includes some general wire info & of course good, general 'making-wire-into-a-circle' info that might be helpful in other wire projects too.

~~ >>> Also...please see this post by our own original-&-inimitable Diane B. (thanks, D!!) :


>>> WHICH GAUGE WIRE TO USE for what? :
Handy useful quick-reference chart. At bottom of that page, check out the links for 'projects' & 'techniques.'  There aren't a whole lot but at least what's there is simple and clear. 

More info on choosing the right wire for what you want to make :
[[The capital G on that page stands for "gauge" as in wire gauge, i.e. wire thickness]]   
Also see, at bottom of that page, the other "Beginner's Jewelry Making" pages (39 & probably growing, lol) and the Jewelry Techniques & Dictionary of Terms section.
As I mentioned before, not every project at WigJig University *requires* a jig -- some can be done reasonably well with one or more jewelrymaking pliers -- so wigjig.com is always a good place to check for projects.
But, if you get heavily into wirework, I'd say a good quality jig would be a handy/hands-saving thing to invest in.

>>> WIRE GAUGE CONVERSIONS (gauge to mm) :
A chart showing  approximate diameter in milllimeters for the most commonly-available gauges (wire thickness) -- also notes some typical jewelrymaking uses for each wire gauge.
Also helpful if you already know or can measure the diameter of a particular bead-hole & need to know what wire gauge will go through it -- for example, in order to do a certain type of beadwrap, or to string your beads onto wire, & so on.

>>> BEAD CALCULATOR -- okay not about wireworking but kinda nifty anyway :
Not for beadweaving or beadstitching but for *stringing* on thread , cord , flexible beading wire with woven-stainless-steel-cable core , etc etc ... 
Type in your bead size in millimeters and your desired necklace or bracelet length  in inches -- then click 'with' or 'without' knots ('with knots' is mainly for pearls) -- then click Calculate ... and you get the total number of that size bead you'll need to make an item that long.

For a pretty close idea of the numbers if you want to use several different bead sizes :
Split up the finished length you want the item to have into 'roughly proportional' lengths per bead size [[ e.g. for a 16" necklace :: 8" of 4mm bds and  8" of 6mm bds --- or  3" of 8mm bds , 10" of 6mm , and  3" of 4mm bds --- and so on & so forth.]].  Beads can be any millimeter size, don't have to be "even" as in the examples above. Whatever their shape, use the millimeter length from bead hole to bead hole.

Of course the calculator doesn't take into account the length of your clasp. Depending on the size of all clasp parts - which could include necessary attachment items such as jumprings/knot cups/etc -- the length of the finished piece might possibly increase a good bit. So don't forget to take clasp+parts into account.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2006 02:30:28 PM by Ayn » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2005 05:21:29 AM »

hi ayn,
thanks for the links...the diy spacer bars and clasp thing is very helpful to me...(i thought those things were not reasonably priced in my craft supply shops!!!)
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2005 06:43:02 AM »

Hi zintaking, and thank you!  I know exactly what you mean about clasps & spacers being high -- you oughta see the prices in actual "bead shops" ... hooooWEE ... ... Also, I have this feeling that if one is going to make something by hand it's more fun and more artistic to make 'as much' of it by hand as possible ('if' possible, of course).  It would be tough for me to make beads so I guess I'll have to keep buying those -- but I think at least I can handle a little wireworking now and then.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2005 06:45:24 AM by Ayn » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2005 09:36:46 PM »

 Cheesy ya i know what u mean...even i would love to make my own beads...but no resources!!!! at least now i know i don't have to run out and buy new clasps if my chain breaks!
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2005 08:18:35 AM »

ayn, thanks for all those great links Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2005 02:11:09 AM »

Great links! Thanks for sharing.  Smiley
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2005 08:15:55 PM »

Awesome!! I reallyyy want to learn how to make earrings... and I'm a total beginner coming to this. But I'm one of those self-teach people lol... thanks so much!!! =D

f18 anyone? PM me. =)
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2005 07:22:57 AM »

Hi chic -- you're very welcome -- and thanks to *you* for bumping this post up a bit -- glad I caught it, because recently I was looking all over for some of those links myself! Forgot I'd posted these  here; and somehow sometime in the past, apparently I accidentally deleted the favorites folder that had these & similar links in it ... dontcha haaate it when stuff like that happens.
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2005 06:46:55 PM »

Count me in as appreciating the links.  Mostly add beads to sewn garments and accessories, but have just tried astand alone  insect with beads and wires -  trying for 3D - to add to some lapel pins, hats, etc.  Am trying to figure out how to do beading with a framework and then attach it to fabric.

Any further tips surely welcome. 

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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2005 06:12:30 AM »

I have one...my favorite.  If you do not have a jig, there are still several that can be done with pliers instead of a jig:
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