Wire Wrapping Tips

This blog is dedicated to wire wrapping, the materials, techniques, reasons, and results.

31 thoughts on “Wire Wrapping Tips”

  1. History of Wire Wrapping

    Creating wire jewelry began in ancient Mesopotamia? The most recognized designs we have today were often made of copper and brass and have been found in Egyptian tombs. What began in Mesopotamia has continued through Greece, England and many other prominent countries. And now we have what is commonly known as wire jewelry! (From WireJewelry.com) The Phoenicians of Greece are credited with the development and use of metal wires for creating wire wrap jewelry. However documented biblical references may date the art form back to 1446 BC, according to the “Wire Wrap Custom Jewelry” website. From 1250 to 500 BC Phoenician jewelry became prized, as the semi-nomadic group spread their art form across the known world. (From WireTwist.com) Examples of wire and beaded jewelry made using wire wrapping techniques date back to thousands of years BC. The British Museum has samples of jewelry from the Sumerian Dynasty, found in the cemetery of Ur that contain spiraled wire components. This jewelry is dated at approximately 2000 BC. Other samples of jewelry from Ancient Rome show wire wrapped loops (one of the important techniques in making wire wrapped jewelry). This Roman jewelry is dated to approximately 2000 years ago. In the manufacture of this early jewelry the techniques for soldering did not exist. Later, as the technique for soldering developed, the wire wrapping approach continued because it was an economical and quick way to make jewelry components out of wire.

    Wire wrapping techniques are not frequently used for mass-produced jewelry because machines can cast (mold) jewelry components faster, more cheaply, and more precisely. At this time, the wire wrapping approach to making jewelry is primarily employed by individual craftspeople. (From Wikipedia)

  2. What is Gold Filled Wire?

    Gold filled wire is a metal core, usually jeweler’s brass, covered in gold which is applied to the core with heat and pressure to bond it to the brass so it will not flake off. It is rated with a fraction such as 12/20 which means that 1/20th of the wire is 12k gold by weight. While similar to gold plate, in comparison it is anywhere from 50 to 10,000 times better a coating as you could wear a pendant for 5 to 10 years daily before you wore through the gold layer.

    Here at Helga’s Sparkles we use 14/20 gold filled usually 21 gauge dead soft square and 14/20 gold filled usually 21 gauge half hard half round for binding. Exceptions are when we use 22 gauge square for bead wire or 16 gauge square for a bracelet, 18 gauge or 16 gauge half round to bind rings or bracelets.

  3. What is Argentium?

    Argentium is a patented, registered trademark, tarnish resistant, hypoallergenic, .935 sterling silver it also comes in a .960 purity. It is nickle free which makes it hypoallergenic and has germanium in the alloy. Germanium tarnishes to a light clear yellow and protects the silver from tarnish and the smaller amount of copper in the alloy from oxidation which would show up as firescale and require either grinding, chemical treatment or silver plating to remove or hide the firescale. Argentium is about 6 times more resistant to tarnish than .925 sterling silver.

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  9. Good post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?
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  10. Okay, this is going to get complicated, but worthwhile. This is a method of speed wrapping square wire with half round wire as is shown at the top of this page. It works better with a smaller gauge half round wire than that shown. I would recommend 22 to 20 gauge. Use the technique that you are used to, to start your wrap. Then things get technical.

    First use soft jaw pliers. (They don’t scratch you wire).

    Second make sure that the loose end of your half round wire is touching NOTHING BUT AIR. (I would recommend standing up away from the table).

    Third keep the stack of wires that you are wrapping horizontal. (Gravity will effect the placement of the wrap if your stack is tilted. More so if you have a long half round wire. Also as you wrap your half round wire gets shorter and gravity has a changing, lessening, effect).

    Fourth OK now we get into it!
    With your half round wire on top of your stack and pointing away from you,
    point your pliers toward your wrap. You are trying to place your half round wire on top of your previous wrap (this takes some practice usually about 1/2 inch). Watch the end of your half round wire as you squeeze your pliers down. It MUST JUMP AWAY FROM YOUR WRAP. This “jump” is the half round wire sliding off the previous wrap and into exactly where you want it to be. Since you saw it jump DON’T LOOK. Just Open the jaws and roll the stack to the other side… Repeat.

    Fifth if it doesn’t jump…
    Open the jaws and look. This means 1 of 3 things. 1. The wire either landed too far toward your wrap and could not slide off your wrap 2. It landed on the other side away from your wrap. In either of these cases manually place the half round wire on the last wrap of the wrap and squeeze your pliers. 3. It landed exactly where you wanted it to end up. IN ALL CASES ADJUST THE ANGLE OF YOUR PLIERS and carry on.

    I hope that this helps you in your wrapping and that I have been clear in my instructions. I know that I had an 80 year old lady in my wire wrapping class and after she completed about 1/2 inch of the shank wrap (the shank had not been bent round yet) she said, “Ernie, just this much is worth the whole class to me. I’ve been fighting wrapping for the past 20 years.”

  11. A pet peeve of mine is instructions that tell you to cut a specific number of 1″ half round wires. If you don’t have your wire on a spool DON’T CUT IT TILL YOU HAVE TO. That’s right wrap your project and cut your long half round wire after you have completed a wrap. You will use less wire, have less scrap and have more usable wire.

  12. How do you tell which side of the half round wire is round and which side is flat? (Especially the smaller gauges and/or the older eyes).

    Look for the width of the wire on both sides. One side will look wider than the other. The wide one is flat, the thin one is round. Also USUALLY the flat side is shiner than the round side, sometimes they are about the same.

    REMEMBER: Always and forever… round side out and give it a squeeze on every half wrap.

  13. What to do during COVID-19 house arrest…
    (This might be a little off topic like the Grand Canyon is a little crack).

    1. Update your website
    2. Play games on your computer
    3. Sunbath in your own back yard.
    4. Read a book
    5. Get Audible, Chirp, or any other book reader and have a book read to you
    6. DON’T take a nap! (It messes with your sleep cycle).
    7. Find a pretty stone on line and buy it.
    8. Wrap your pretty stone.
    9. Buy a tumbler and grit if you don’t already have one.
    10. Put an empty colored bottleExample of green bottle in a paper bag and break it down to 1″ pieces. (Remove label first)!
    11. Tumble glass in coarse grit (maybe 60 grit) You are making “ocean glass”.
    12. Wire wrap your ocean glass. (Did you see that coming?)
    13. Read your junk mail carefully. This may be difficult as I haven’t seen much of that stuff lately. (Just when we need it the most it goes away. I suppose when we don’t need it any more it’ll come back).
    14. (You’re not going to like this one so skip to 15). Reorganize your cupboard. (Told ya you weren’t going to like this one).
    15. Plant a garden
    16. Build a raised garden (order parts on line)
    17. Make face masks (really thick so COVID-19 can’t get through)
    18. I just got a text from some lady I never met that made a web site from what her mother gave her! (I would NOT recommend doing that).
    19. Put a few books in two shopping bags, evenly weighted. Now use them for dumbbells and start working out.
    20. March in place more good exercise. (That coming from a person who believes that ‘exercise’ is the longest 4 letter word.

      Do as I say not as I do

    ).
    21. Get deeply involved in your hobby.
    22. Clean house. (Your maid is probably not coming and definitely should not.)
    23. I’m going to have to write more… they just extended the stay at home to May 15th
    24. Take up sewing and make new clothes so when we finally get out of our homes we will have a whole new wardrobe.
    25. Give your postal worker a preview of your new wardrobe each day. (just the outer wear).
    26. Pay extra attention to your dogs and cats. You won’t be taking them to the dog park any time soon. (Which is a great relief to your cats).
    27. Read the holy book of your religion cover to cover.
    28. Go on line and research origins and current believes of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islamism, Satanism, atheism, Judaism, and Christianity. We might be free by the end of your research but don’t let that stop you.
    29. If we are not free yet compare the believes of these seven major religions.
    30. I should have an on line wire wrap course by the end of #29 so take it.

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