Making your own jewellery with wire can be fun, rewarding and profitable. It is easy and inexpensive to get started. You are only limited by your imagination and artistic aptitude. There are different ways to make wire into jewellery. Remember not to limit your palette to one gauge, type or material. Almost every hardware store has an array of different wire. Wire can also be found at craft stores, which usually carry quite an assortment of wire types intended for crafts. Once experienced, beginners can easily graduate to silver and other precious metals by going to a jewellery supply store. Adding stones, beads, findings or other objects to the wire literally makes the possibilities endless. Making wire jewellery is probably the easiest way for a beginner to get started, but it can also provide a challenge to veteran jewellers.
Plan your jewellery design before you begin. Some jewellers prefer to design their jewellery on paper before starting a new project. This is helpful as you won't expend materials before you have a good idea of whether your design will work. Other jewellers prefer to just start cutting and bending. For beginners, it is best to start by sketching your intended designs.
Cut the necessary lengths of wire. It is best to cut them a little long, as the wire can be cut shorter but it can't be made longer. This is especially true with wire made from non-precious metals because the material is inexpensive.
Use pliers to bend and form wire in desired shapes, remembering to keep your design durable enough for its intended use. There are many different techniques for wire bending: curves, loops, tight bends and kinks can be used to create attractive designs. Techniques are as individual as the artist. Experiment on test pieces.
Add stones and findings where desired, remembering there is no wrong way to make jewellery as long as it is aesthetically pleasing to you and doesn't fall apart. Cyanoacrylate (instant) adhesive should be used any time that stones or findings don't have a hole in them to run the wire through, as wire can loosen and the stone or finding can fall out.
Polish all jewellery pieces with emery cloth and polishing cloth or buffing wheel. If pieces are to be given as a gift or sold, it adds a touch of professionalism to the work if you put them on a jewellery card. Jewellery cards can be made from blank business card stock or purchased at a jewellery supply store.
Things you need
- Paper, pencil and eraser
- Assorted wire
- Stones and jewellery findings
- Wire cutters
- Jewellers or needle nose pliers (the more types the better but at least two pair should be needle nose pliers)
- Cyanoacrylate (instant) adhesive
- Fine emery cloth
- Polishing cloth or buffing wheel & rouge
- Optional but helpful:
- Jeweller's anvil and jeweller's hammer
- Ring mandrel
- Jump ring mandrels
- Jeweller's files