Have you ever wanted to create your own unique jewellery, to blend with your dress style and personality? Now is the time to begin: Wire jewellery is fun, therapeutic, affordable, self-satisfying, easy to pick up and can be developed as a skill and hobby, or turned into a profit making business!
What you need to begin
Most craft and jewellery suppliers have all the basic materials and equipment for simple wire work and if you can't find what you need locally, there are plenty of suppliers on the internet.
You will need: Round (for creating coils and circles) and Flat nosed pliers (for holding and bending angles) and Wire cutters (for cutting wire). As you become more proficient, you might want to increase your range of tools to incorporate: Snipe/or/Chain nosed pliers (similar to Flat nosed pliers but with tapered ends which are useful for intricate work), Hammer (for texturing, flattening and hardening) and a Steel Stake (to keep wire smooth and flat when hammered). See: www.cooksongold.com for a wide range of specialist tools.
Wire is obtainable in many types and varying gauges and colours. For most projects and general wire work, I recommend using 0.8mm (20-gauge) wire. Below is a basic guide to help you get started, but generally you can use any wire that suits your creative tastes!
As a beginner I would recommend experimenting with 0.8mm copper or silver-plated SOFT copper wire as it is very flexible and will enable you to get used to the tools and basic techniques - before you use precious metal wires!
|0.4mm||28-gauge||Binding, knitting, crocheting and weaving|
|0.6mm||24-gauge||Threading small delicate beads (i.e. semi-precious chips), binding and twisting|
|0.8mm||20-gauge||General-purpose jewellery work|
|1.2mm||18-gauge||Chunky pieces and ring shanks|
|1.5mm||16-gauge||Bold, chunky jewellery, bangle and tiara frames|
|2.0mm||14-gauge||Very chunky jewellery and accessories|
See: www.wires.co.uk for their online catalogue.
Beads and Findings
There is a plethora of wonderful bead suppliers on the internet, selling all types of beads and jewellery components for every taste and occasion.
Recommended supplier for all materials, tools and wire jewellery needs: