“Nothing will compare to a handmade product. Handmade takes more time but gives the best result and the happiest customers.”
Today, hand-made art is a quite popular trend. And, indeed, such factory production as jewelry works as can not be comparing with those works of art, which designers mysteriously obtain from the conventional materials. Furthermore, while making some wired pendant, ring or bracelet, you invest a part of your soul in it. And so it can become your talisman. Some interesting fact for you: for the first time wire jewelry appeared in ancient Egypt. At that times rich women used such adornments to design their hairstyles.
Today we will talk about making wire jewelry and adornments. But this will be not an ordinary post. Here you will find something new - an interview with jewelry experts! Click To Tweet Do you feel excited? I hope so, because I do.
While creating wire jewelry, you can use a variety of materials and additional accessories. All depends on style and direction that you are pursuing. Here you can give a free rein to your imagination. Many artists work with silver and silver-plated wire. There are also a lot of art works with a gold-plated wire. In most cases, of course, this business comes with copper or aluminum wire. However, mentioning the basis of such a jewelry, it is worth to heed an opinion of expert.
And our first wire jewelry expert is Mariana Mena. She has been making jewelry for a long time: mainly with semi precious stones and pearls. Wire jewelry was a technique Mariana had to learn 3 years ago when she was selected to participate, and finally awarded as the best design as a part of an artisan program sponsored by private and public entities in Costa Rica in 2012. So what she says about wire jewelry base:
I make jewelry in gold, bronze, sterling silver, precious stones, semi precious stones, natural stones, pearls that I buy in different countries when I travel: Mexico, Brazil, United States, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines.
You can see the fact that you can choose any base. So put your weight on your financial capabilities and visual preferences. However, our second expert, a wire jewelry designer Karolina Spyra has her special preference:
Mainly I use copper, because it’s a material easy and pleasant to work with, also very cheap… Regarding to stones, I mostly use natural stones – polished or raw of any colors and shades. I find that glass beads or even polished crystals like Swarovski doesn’t match well with copper, so I avoid using them.
According to the diameter, wire can be very different. But in order of studying the fundamentals of wire wrapping you will need only two types of diameters. The wire diameter of 0.8, 1 or 1.2 mm to create a basis and diameter of 0.3 or 0.4 millimeters for braiding.
At the initial stage, just in order try to decide whether you want to become a wire jewelry artist, you need only two special tools. And the first one is pliers. While choosing pliers, it is necessary to keep track of the closed position between the jaws. You have to be sure that there is no gap or it is minimal in the lower part of the tool. You will need pliers to twist wire into rings and spirals. The second thing that you will need are side cutters or wire cutters. Nevertheless, you can find more tools in special sets.
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I asked our experts about any special devices to replace a hand-made technique from the wired jewelry art, and here is what they answered.
I don’t know if there are any devices which can replace human hands in wire-wrapping now. All my wired jewelry are entirely handcrafted, though I use a cutter for cutting round shapes out of sheets of copper, and other tools for texturing, stamping and doming metal, but nothing which directly affects the wire-wrapping process.
It is 100% handmade, all the process from making the circles in sterling silver 950 to incorporate 48 Swarovski crystals of each tree, for pendants, bracelets or belts.
I recommend to start with the very basics; learn how to make round loops with round nose pliers, then look for different kinds of waves which you can easily repeat, you can then make photos of those waves and create your own collection of wire-wrapping waves.
But I recommend to make first pieces of jewelry with simple waves, which bound only two wires. Don’t be stressed out if your curls are uneven at first, it will come naturally with time. And one day you’ll find spontaneously that you can make them round without effort, which will be the effect of getting out of experience the knowledge of the properties of the material which you are working with.
Also you can find loads of tutorials online, many good artists share their knowledge completely for free, you can really learn an awful lot from them! You can start with any kind of jewelry you like, but I would choose pendants, because the size it’s completely up to you and you don’t have to make two of them looking the same, which can be frustrating at first. The only rule is to have fun out of it, if you don’t enjoy doing wire wrapping jewelry look for something in which you’ll find the joy of creating, I believe that everyone has some hidden gift which awaits to be found and unwind. And if you know already that the wired jewelry is for you, then just give your whole heart to it and the positive effect will come.
I must say I am proud of every piece of jewelry I have made. They all give me great feedback of how style, techniques and designs have grown since I first started 10 years ago.
By the way, Mariana creates not only wire jewelry. You will find a variety of adornments for every taste. Some of her necklaces I would even call extravagant and extreme. In general, you should have a look at her jewelry items!
I like my latest pendants with labradorite stones, because they’ve cost me the most work: I used different techniques and the waving process was quite long. Also I really like the labradorite and patinated copper set.