3 Quick Tips for Dealing with Wire Warts

Today's guest Connie Fox has been making jewelry for over 10 years.  She teaches at major jewelry events including Bead Fest Wire and is a frequent contributor to Jewelry Artist and Step by Step Beads. Connie writes the "Wire Workshop" column in every issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry.  The following is an excerpt from her Spring 2005 column.

Wire Warts

by Connie Fox

If you're going to rate pesky problems in wire work, this one rates pretty high. Yes, wire warts are just what you think: those nasty little marks on the wire made with your pliers. After putting your best creative and technical skills into your design, it is so frustrating to see those unwanted and unintended marks! What can you do about it? Here are three suggestions:

1.  Take a close look at your pliers. Are the inner surfaces of your pliers smooth? Serrated jaws are not what you want for wire work unless you want texture! Do the jaws have any rough edges, marks, or rust? If they do, you can use an old file, abrasive paper, and steel wool to restore the finish.

2.  The quality of your pliers can make a difference. My first set of four pliers barely cost $20, and it showed–literally! It's very difficult to get good results from cheapo pliers. Buy good ones, the investment will pay off.

3.  When you've made those deeper marks in your wire, it's time to bring out the heavy weapons!  A set of flat needle files in coarse, medium, and fine cuts should do the job.  Start with the coarse file and work down to the fine file until the mark is invisible.  Finish with #000 or #0000 steel wool.  If you have a flexible shaft tool, you can accomplish the same job lickety-split with silicone polishers.

Be sure to check out Connie Fox's latest Wire Workshop column in the Spring 2009 issue of Step by Step Wire Jewerly.  Connie discusses how she overcame her fear of using a torch and offers suggestions on how you can move past other obstacles that get in the way of achieving your jewelry dreams.  In the upcoming Summer Preview issue (on newsstands May 12), she's writing about the "7 sins and virtues" of selling your jewelry at craft fairs.  If you sell your jewelry–or are just thinking about it–you won't want to miss this article!  You can learn more about Connie on her website, www.conniefox.com. 


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Michelle M.

About Michelle M.

I was the founding editor of Beading Daily (2007-2009) and my now a freelance designer/writer/editor.  My designs have been published in Stringing, Step by Step Beads, Jewelry Gifts for the Holidays, Creative Jewelry, Beadwork, and other magazines. I enjoy stringing, bead embroidery, wirework, metal work, mixed media, beadweaving—pretty much anything that involves beads or jewelry.  I also enjoy exploring new crafts like pottery and felting.  I write a personal blog if you want to see more of my work. 16+ Free Beading Projects: A list of the free projects I created for Beading Daily. Contact Info If you have a question regarding Beading Daily, please contact customer service at beadingdaily@interweave.com or the current editor, Kristal Wick. If you'd like to contact me, you'll find my info on my website:  www.michellemach.com.  You can also follow me on Twitter at:  http://twitter.com/beadsandbooks Pictured here is a pair of earrings I made for the Spring 2010 issue of Stringing in an attempt to get over my fear of designing with the color orange!

5 thoughts on “3 Quick Tips for Dealing with Wire Warts

  1. Another idea is to take the old cheap plyers and file and smooth them a bit or dip the jaws in plastic dip, I do this with lots of tools to avoid marks like the heavy tools that bent strips of metal into rings, it helps a lot. It’s very inexpensive, you just have to spend a little time on the phone trying to find it, try car parts stores to find it too. It has to be redone after several uses as it tears but it’s still a good product. Lesli

  2. what do you meen by plastic dip? and from a car parts store?..ive heard of a dip you dip pliers in and wait 30 min then use..but what is this that your mentioning…ty carrie

  3. Is model magic the same as the auto plastic dip ?
    The hardware store has a bottle tool dip for $9 which is 4 x the size of model magic.

    I still have marks on my wire. half hard/half soft sterling.
    Do you have any other tips ? I would hate to sand off all that silver !

  4. I like the Lindstom pliers and tool.The best prices I have been abel to find are at Jatayu.com. The owner is Connie Fox and She has been extremely helpful when I have questions.