|Material||Brass & Gemstone|
Wire Wrapped JewelryWire wrapping is one of the oldest techniques for making handmade jewelry. This technique is done with jewelry wire and findings
similar to wire (for example, head-pins) to make components. Wire components are then connected to one another using mechanical
techniques with no soldering or heating of the wire. Frequently, in this approach, a wire is bent into a loop or other decorative
shape and then the wire is wrapped around itself to finish the wire component. This makes the loop or decorative shape permanent.
The technique of wrapping wire around itself gives this craft its name of wire wrapping.
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. The wire wrapping approach to making jewelry is primarily employed by individuals.
Wire is available is shapes such as round, square, half-round and patterns, such as flat and pre-twisted. It is also available in
a variety of materials. Copper and brass wire are easy to shape and manipulate. Copper wire can be hammered quite thin. Brass wire
is a little stiffer than copper, but it can be manipulated very easily. Sterling silver is soft enough to manipulate, but holds
its shape well once it has been formed. Gold-filled wire is made by fusing a layer of 12-or 14-karat gold to a supporting
material. Silver-filled wire is made in the same manner. The bond between the two materials is permanent.
Wire is measured by diameter, which is indicated by gauge numbers. The lower the gauge, the thicker the wire. A 12 or 14-gauge
wire is fairly heavy, but ideal for making bangles and chokers. 10-gauge wire is very thick and stiff, while 26-gauge wire is very
fine, almost as thin as hair. This thin wire is well-suited for coiling embellishments. 16-gauge wire is good for making jump
rings and links for necklaces and bracelets, and 18-gauge wire is good to use for adding embellishments and making finer links.
* Memory Wire is a rigid, pre-coiled wire that makes it easy to create finger and toe rings, bracelets and necklaces.
* Beading Wire is a stranded stainless steel wire with a nylon coating. It is good to use with abrasive beads. A thinner wire
will give an appealing drape to lightweight beads such as gemstone heishe, liquid gold, or liquid silver and bugle or seed
beads. A thicker weight wire should be used to accommodate larger, heavier bead strands.
* Super-thin Beading Wire is a 34-gauge wire that can used for forming shapes and weaving around findings. Because it is so fine,
this wire will fit through almost any drill hole. It is to be used with lightweight beads only as it is very thin and doesn't
have much tensile strength.