Your First Wire Jewelry Making Project!

Jan 17, 2012

Wire spirals are easy to make and are one of the oldest symbols known to humans.
I can still remember my first wire jewelry-making project. I had bought a kit that included a complete set of tools (which I still have and love dearly!), a book about making simple wire jewelry, and three spools of heavy gauge craft wire in gold, copper and bronze. I sat with my friends on a rainy Sunday afternoon as we cooked and taught ourselves how to make wire earrings, bracelets and pendants, and I remember being totally fascinated by the ancient techniques used to make wire spirals.

My first wire jewelry-making project was a bracelet of linked wire spirals made with copper colored wire. It was beautiful and light to wear and dramatic - and of course, I gave it away to one of my friends that rainy afternoon! But the more I practiced making my wire spirals, the more I found out about them. It turned out that this wire jewelry-making technique had been discovered in the jewelry of the ancient Egyptians, and that the basic spiral as a symbol dates back to the earliest humans.

If you're a wire jewelry making beginner, you can save yourself time and frustration by using pre-twisted precious metal wire!
So as part of my Earring-a-Day challenge for January, I thought that I would include a couple of wire earring projects, and the first project that I found was this pair of beautiful wire Dancing Spiral Earrings from a past issue of Step By Step Wire Jewelry magazine! They reminded me of that rainy afternoon where I first started to play with wire, and I thought they would make a nice addition to my earring collection.

Of course, I didn't follow my own advice and made my first pair with my expensive sterling silver wire. (Yikes!) They didn't turn out like I had hoped, and I lost a couple of spirals when the wire snapped while I was making the spirals. I decided to make the second pair with my colored craft wire and was very  happy with the results! Lesson learned: save the precious metal wire for when you've made a few "practice" wire jewelry projects!

Since I'm not really skilled at making nice, even twists in my wire, I decided to use some wire that I had with the twists already in it. It saved me a lot of time and frustration, and the twisted wire spirals came out looking just as good as the smooth wire spirals!

If you can make wire spirals, you can make this lovely copper heart necklace by Christine Dunbar!

Are you ready to start exploring the wonderful world of wire jewelry making? Make sure you get a subscription to Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine. Each issue is full of gorgeous wire jewelry making projects in all skill levels. You also get complete step-by-step directions, information on the hottest and newest wire jewelry making products and expert advice from today's top jewelry making artists working with wire. Subscribe to Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine and don't miss a single issue!

Do you remember your first wire jewelry making project? What was it? Leave a comment here on the blog and tell us about it!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


Featured Product

Linked Spirals Bracelet

Availability: In Stock
Was: $4.00
Sale: $2.80

eProject

Intriguing! Textured spiral links with a clasp to match. Inspired by the challenge to attach components without using jump rings.

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Comments

alicia.m wrote
on Jan 18, 2012 9:24 AM

How did you manage to know I am toying with the idea of trying wire? This is such a properly timed article :) Thank you for sharing - and for 'pushing' me to try your beautiful bracelet!

on Jan 18, 2012 11:18 AM

You were very wise to buy a kit. I ended up stringing beads directly onto the (small gauge) wire and forming some kind of crude hook at the end -- and called it a bracelet. (Shudder.)

Since then, I've done lots and lots of wirework and beadwork, but one of my favorite approaches is to combine the two.  For anyone just getting started with wirework, don't be afraid to use your imagination and see how you might combine it with beadweaving. It can get really interesting!

on Jan 18, 2012 4:19 PM

In the spring of 2009, I was browsing various necklace projects on Beadalon's website.  When I saw a piece they called "Picasso Inspired Choker," I knew I had to try to create my own version.  The problem was that it was impossible for me to buy the necessary colored wire locally at either of the two chain stores nearby.  I did purchase a kit that came with a jig to make spiral links.  Also included was a spool of magenta wire!  While I waited for the blue, purple, green and turquoise wire I ordered from an online source to arrive, I practiced with the magenta.  I called my version of the piece "Calder-esque," because it reminded me of Calder's mobiles.  I eventually sold the choker in its own picture frame to keep it from being damaged.  It was not the kind of piece that would have done well being thrown into a jewelry box.

on Jan 19, 2012 9:38 AM

In my comment yesterday, I see that I neglected to describe Beadalon's "Picasso Inspired Choker" or my own version, "Calder-esque."  The project is still on Beadalon's website.  It's located in their Design Workshop, under "Earrings & Misc."  I modified it by using memory wire covered with black rubber tubing for the choker.  The free-formed spirals and abstract shapes - made from a variety of colored wires - dangled from the memory wire.  The shapes were very easy to do, and I didn't have to worry about making my creation look exactly like the original.  I was very satisfied with my first piece of wire jewelry.

Kat Clark wrote
on Jan 23, 2012 3:48 PM

I do remember my first wire design.  You know how they say "necessity is the mother of invention"?  I had to design a project to teach at a store that needed a wire working class.  I sat down with a pile of beads, a couple of spools of wire, my tools, and I went to work.  After 5 hours, I had made a cuff that ended up selling out the class.

Dita Basu wrote
on Jan 26, 2012 1:01 PM

I think my very first wire work project was a wrapped loop earring where I had eight or nine loops before I finished.  I was so happy making more and more loops.  The neater the better.

Then I learned to make those Egyptian coils and I had a phase with that.  Then I learned to make the Herring bone wire wrap technique from Eni Oken's free tutorial and spent awhile with that.  

I am still in the process of perfecting my skill, I don't know which one was my starting point !

Dita from

www.alankarshilpa.blogspot.com

www.alankarshilpa.etsy.com

cafay1 wrote
on Feb 7, 2013 6:59 PM

I made a u shape interlocking component and added beads to it. I  just gave it to my daughter-in-law to wear Valentines Day and she loved it.  This is a beautiful bracelet I would be proud to wear.