Wire Wrapped Jewellery – Easier Than It Looks?

June 18, 2013 — 9 Comments

Having made several attempts at wire wrapping in recent times I have to confess that it took me a while to get the hang of it, the events that I write about in this post were in fact my third attempt at this technique.

You might say, ‘Well, you’ve just answered your own question there Johnny boy’.  But, dear reader, please wait for there is more.

Although I’d read various books, researched it online and tried to watch You (out of focus) Tube video tutorials, I hadn’t really gotten the hang of things.  I tried to follow what they said but then, after the second failed attempt, I thought maybe it was my shovel hands and sausage fingers that were the problem as I just couldn’t get the swing of the thing.

Was it my ability to grasp this technique, or was it down to the quality of tuition?

More importantly, what and when was the breakthrough moment?

I think that the question will be quickly answered when you see how these cheeky little booklets from Beadalon transformed my ability to learn this technique.

Wire Wrapping - Beadalon Wire Wrapping Booklets and Wire

Oh yes, you probably noticed that I also got the wire from Beadalon to – in for a penny, in for a pound – if I was going to try this I might as well get the lot, right?

There was the added benefit that the packaging is labelled with the gauge and profile of the wire so that I knew what to reach for when I needed to – TIP: keep the rest of the wire in the packet that it came from – it makes life SO much easier in the future.

Wire Wrapping - Beadalon Wire

Anyway. within minutes of opening the books I was creating exactly what I was being shown.  Ok, well I did have a cup of tea and a scone first, so maybe not within minutes of opening the book, but within minutes of actually starting to work ;)

I think that it also helped that I decided to leave all of my previous knowledge (and inherited bad habits) behind me and followed the booklets page by page and word for word.

This was the first booklet that I worked with …

Wire Wrapping - Beadalon Beginning Wire Wrapping Booklet

This edition covers five different techniques for loops, links and other wire wrapped ways of stringing or hanging beads.

I chose the Wire Wrapped Links to have a go at first. Every step for this technique is covered with both a thoroughly written description and a picture, as you can see here.

Wire Wrapping - Wire Wrapped Link Instructions

I think that this unique step-by-step instructional approach was probably the switch that turned the lightbulb on for me. I consider myself to be quite good at following written instructions and using my noggin to figure things out visually, but given my previous failures at this technique I did worry that I would never get it.

As I hope you will see from the image below, I think that I leapt over that first hurdle and succeeded quite well on this first challenge.

Wire Wrapping - Wire Wrapped Links

Ok, Ok, yes I know, I can here you saying, ‘it’s just a wire wrapped link necklace John. We thought that this was going to be arty wire wrapped cabochons or something – and do you have any of those scones left?’

Well, firstly, I’m afraid that I’ve gone and eaten all of the scones – maybe next time for that, Ok? I think that I can satisfy your other craving though.

Having gained confidence from the initial project I decided to move on and have a go at something from book two.

Wire Wrapping - Beadalon Component and Stone Setting Booklet

Booklet two covers techniques for making wire wrapped components and stone setting and it is presented in exactly the same style as the first booklet.

I’d previously made a glass cabochon in a microwave kiln (more on that excitement in the future) and thought that it would be nice to put that in a wire wrapped setting.

Again, following the written description and copious amount of pictures I gingerly worked my way through.

Wire Wrapping - Wire Wrapped Stone Setting Instructions

I must confess that I did skip a stage or two (in order to simplify things for myself) and there were a couple of moments were I thought I’d got it all wrong but I kept going.

Here is the finished piece (don’t ask me why I thought a bowl of pot pourri was the best place to photograph it…it just seemed to work)

Wire Wrapping - Glass Cabachon Wrapped In Wire

It’s not perfect to any degree (there are scratch marks on the wire from where I was too rough and the mount didn’t quite fit, so I had to bend it a little to keep the cabochon in place) but, all-in-all, I am extremely happy with my first attempt.

There are so many examples on the internet of exciting wire worked pieces, and I know that I have only just scratched the surface of this technique but, thanks to the Beadalon booklets, I now have the confidence to go on and try bigger and more complex designs and I’m sure that you’ll agree – confidence is key in working with any creative technique.

In conclusion, I believe that if you get the right tuition delivered in a way that is easy to understand and work along with then any technique will ultimately appear easier than it initially seems.  So don’t be afraid to try new things, and persevere with them.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.

What do you think?  Would you persevere at something if you had already failed twice at it?  Is quality tuition important to you or are you adept at ‘winging it’?

I’ll hopefully be adding more on wire wrapping to the blog in the future but in the meantime please feel free to leave your thoughts and/or questions below – oh, and feel free to share this post with anyone else you think might be interested.

If you need any more information, tools or tips then please feel free to check out the amazing offers on Amazon – Wire Working books and supplies on Amazon.co.uk

Many thanks for visiting.

John :)

9 responses to Wire Wrapped Jewellery – Easier Than It Looks?

  1. 

    hi John you have done well I’m the sort that can’t let something beat me so i keep going back to it but also if i leave it too long can’t face going back to it how contrary is that so keep it up practice makes perfect. To prevent tools marking the wires you can get a product that you dip your tools into and it coats them so your wire is undamaged beaders companion supply it

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  2. 
    Katie-Louise sweetlove July 29, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Hi John, I think your wire wrapping is great! I’m afraid if I’d failed at it twice before I’d not have tried it again I’m a bit of a defeatist! And I’m no good at ‘winging it’ at anything. I generally need to be shown in person rather than following text although many pictures would help I’m not sure I would manage to follow those books even with the pictures.
    Keep up the good work and keep experimenting with your wire wrapping you are brill at it.

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  3. 

    I think it’s a great first go, I’ve been teaching wire wrapping for over 10 years and it is harder to pick it up from the written word, there are so many tricks of the trade, that just are not shown in books. Also some authors and tutors can be a little precious with their knowledge and so your results are never quite the same. I have even had students bring magazine tutorials to me where the picture is not made from the instructions given. Naughty and very disappointing for any new wire wrapper. Maybe some of my youtube tutorials might help? I do try to get them in focus LOL. Happy Wrapping!

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    • 

      Rachel, why oh why didn’t I find your videos before?! I’ve followed your blog and would encourage anyone else to pop over and have a look if you can – some amazing wire wrapped examples!

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    • 

      the comment on instructions not fitting the picture is quite true i have come across this myself and it’s most frustrating

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  4. 

    Hi John, I’m not into making jewellery but my daughter is so shall show her what you’ve made. I’m sure she’ll want to try it!

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  5. 

    Wow, well done John,you have done so well, ive got all the gear to do wire wrapping, i have made the tree of life which i am very pleased with but havent had ago at wrapping stones, but think i will now, i have some lovely sea glass that would look fab wrapped !!
    Thank you John for a fab blog x

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Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Making Microwave Fused Glass Cabochons « Gentleman Crafter - December 8, 2013

    […] You can find more about this project that I did a while back in this blog post from the archives. […]

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