Can't afford Sterling Silver

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DedeeP wrote
on Feb 22, 2011 3:51 PM

I can't afford Sterling Silver wire and since I am a beginner I am thinking of ordering the Sterling Silver Filled wire from FMG. I was curious if anyone has used it and what they think.  I will be making simple rings and pendants. Very basic stuff that  I don't want to tarnish fast and when it does, clean like silver. I am also curious what gauge would be best to learn with and what strength. I have played around with dead soft aluminum (i think) from Hobby lobby   and a craft type wire  I bought at walmart it is pretty stiff.

I got my 1st SBS Wire Jewelry magazine and love it. There a cute pin I want to try to make a simpler variation of.  It requires hammering/flattening wire.  Can plated or coated wire be flattened or manipulated like precious metal wire?

Also: I really want to work with half round and square wire. Does anyone know of a affordable wire I can get  that are shaped other than round?

I appreciate any advise thanks

Dedee

 

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MysticP wrote
on Feb 22, 2011 4:14 PM

Hi, Dedee!

Personally, when I don't want to splurge on sterling, I like to use German Silver as a cheaper option. I like it because the color goes all the way through the wire, unlike with silver plated copper where the plating tends to rub off. It's soft enough to work with, the color is very white, and it doesn't tarnish quickly. And I've never seen it leave a residue on my skin, where aluminum can leave a dark residue on some people.

I got a sample of the silver filled wire from FMG, I believe it's half-hard - it seems to be OK, but I haven't worked extensively with it. I don't know how it wears over time, for instance, or how it reacts to heat, because I haven't played that extensively with it. I do know that the german silver costs considerably less and I've always gotten good results from it. Beadalon also carries the german silver in the half round, square, and twisted varieties so you can get some practice wire wrapping with it. 

As far as the gauge and hardness factor, that depends largely upon what you're doing with it. For simple wire rings, I like 20g half hard wire - I sometimes use dead soft for rings, but when I do I hammer the shank while the ring is still on the mandrel to make it a bit sturdier. If I'm doing more of a wire weaving design, I like 18g dead soft for the frame (again, i hammer it for sturdiness) and 26-28g dead soft for the wrapping. 

Hope this helps!!

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DedeeP wrote
on Feb 22, 2011 4:50 PM

To, MysticP

  I have never been to the Beadalon website before so I did a quick look,  thank you so much for telling me about them I will definitely be trying the German Wire. The site lists many online retailers.  Where do you purchase yours from?

I have to say I really liked your response to my post. I am learning so I find a lot of things confusing, like what gauges  to use. I will order the ones you use and see how they work out for me.  I really appreciate you taking time to help.

Thanks again Dedee

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MysticP wrote
on Feb 22, 2011 5:12 PM

no problem, Dedee!!!!

Usually when I get Beadalon I go to AC Moore, because there's one close to me. Another good source for that is Amazon.com, believe it or not. If you have the membership and the free supersaver shipping stuff it's actually a pretty good deal!

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DedeeP wrote
on Feb 22, 2011 6:34 PM

I have a Hobby Lobby in town, I'm gonna check them out. There pretty good about having 50% off sales. Maybe with some luck I will catch it on sale and stock up.

I can't wait to try this product

 

 

 

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Claudette48 wrote
on Feb 23, 2011 5:36 PM

To cut down on polishing unused wire or finished products, keep them in sealed, air tight, zip locks with a piece of chalk inside.

Tarnish occurs because of moisture or airborne toxins like sulphur trapped in moisture.  The chalk absorbs the moisture saving the metal.  Kind of like kitty litter!

Claudette

amagnetaday

Claudette

Tip: To stop metal findings from tarnishing store in a ZIP Lock bag with a chunk of chalk.

amagnetaday

 

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jyceL wrote
on Feb 26, 2011 12:37 PM

is german wire nickel  wire?

Is that what people can be allergic to? thanks, Joyce

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JSmaz wrote
on Feb 26, 2011 4:00 PM

Nickel silver is also sometimes called German silver, but in this case it's not the type Moira was referencing.  Beadalon is marketing some wire that's silver plated over copper and happens to be made in Germany.  I have the same thing that I bought in Italy but it has the actual German branding on it (Knorr prandell).  It was insanely cheap over there so I stocked up on it in silver, copper and yellow brass. 

Jeni

Oklahoma City

ArtFire Studio & blog  |  Gallery 

 

 

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jyceL wrote
on Feb 27, 2011 5:46 AM

so that is not the nickel that can cause an allergic reaction?

thanks, Joyce

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JSmaz wrote
on Feb 27, 2011 1:11 PM

Nope, the one Beadalon carries shouldn't, unless someone is allergic to silver or copper.

Nickel is what most people are allergic to.

Jeni

Oklahoma City

ArtFire Studio & blog  |  Gallery 

 

 

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Claudette48 wrote
on Feb 28, 2011 4:07 PM

German Silver is also known as Nickel silver, Argentann, Paktong, New Silver, Nickel Brass, or Alpacca, Alpaca is a copper alloy with NICKEL and often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% NICKEL and 20% zinc. 

German or Nickel Silver is named for its silvery appearance, but contains no element of Sterling Silver unless plated.

Beadalon advertises their wire as being German STYLE made of copper and brass.  When I called them and asked them if anything else was in it  or if Nickel was in it, they could not definitely say no,but that there was.  I talked to two people and they said I could call back to talk to someone else tomorrow that might know more than they did.

If someone is going to be allergic to jewelry it is the Nickel that they are allergic to.  As the years go by, more and more people are saying they are "allergic."  I don't know if this is because of the toxicity of  our food, water, and environment or if people are more delicate today.

However, even Sterling Silver has Nickel in it.

If you are allergic, there is a very easy fix, because Nickel is everywhere even in musical instruments, silverware, pots and pans, money, etc.  Almost anyplace you find metal, you can find Nickle.

Take a Vitamin E capsule - not Vitamin Oil for it has been cut - take the oil out of the capsule and massage the piece of jewelry, ear wire, etc. with the Vitamin E Oil until it has been absorbed by the jewelry - metal is porous - or your skin.  Even the most allergic can wear Nickel this way.  It may have to be repeated about once a year, but I know people that do it once.

Claudette

amagnetaday     


 

Claudette

Tip: To stop metal findings from tarnishing store in a ZIP Lock bag with a chunk of chalk.

amagnetaday

 

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labup wrote
on Mar 30, 2011 9:53 AM

For projects you don't have to use silver wire for I love using Parawire.  It is a coated copper wire and comes in different gauges and beautiful colors.  I tried their square wire and it is pretty good but it doesn't twist well so if you are planning on twisting it, I would not recommend it.    I get silver wire from wire manufacturers sometimes.  You can get a great price on it (well, relavtive to how much it is selling for most places) but you have to buy a big hunk of it.  I bought 100 feet of 20 gauge silver, dead soft, round about 3 years ago for $190.00.   I thought the cost of silver was high then.  ha.  and I never thought I would use 100 feet of silver wire but I am down to about my last 15-20 feet.  It sure has lasted a long time though and was a great investment. 

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on Mar 30, 2011 10:41 AM

Hi

 

I am from Puerto Rico I was wondering where can I order the German wire online or telephone number so I can order.

 

thanks

 

Doris

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on Apr 23, 2011 10:29 AM

Hi Dedee,

  I have to say that I was surprised that not one person here recommended using..........copper wire.  I started with copper as practice wire.  However I am now a copper lover.  It's warmth and beauty is captivating.  Although when making earrings I use surgical steel, and hang copper earrings from surgical steel ear wires.  

  There has been quite a discussion among many wire jewelry artists concerning the price of sterling silver wire.  Many very established and highly skilled wire jewelry artists are producing more and more in copper.  Copper wire is easily obtainable from many sources.  I work at the local dump and my wire that is used is probably 90% reclaimed from bundled electrical wire.  Strip the coating off and there are usually multiple gauges of wire within.  When I need square and half round wire I went to Tumbleweed Glass.  

  Although the price of copper is now rising it is still very affordable, wonderful to work with, and becoming very, very popular with customers.  The folks at Tumbleweed had the best price online for the square and half round wire.  You can usually find coiled packages of 18,20, and 24 gauge wire at the hardware store, and at a better price than you will pay from any jewelry making source.

  Good luck

Bonny

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JSmaz wrote
on Apr 23, 2011 11:14 AM

I love copper (and antiqued brass) wire, but it sounded like she was wanting something silver colored that wasn't sterling so that's how I took it.

You're right though-copper is extremely affordable!  I bought some to practice with and some of my practice pieces turned out so well that I had a Idea moment.

Jeni

Oklahoma City

ArtFire Studio & blog  |  Gallery 

 

 

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