I'm contemplating placing an order in with our group FMG order, and I am wondering, because I want to get some decent wire..
What is the best that they have? Or, at least the best to practice with and play around with?
I looked thru it all, but I'm still a bit naive when it comes to choosing it out. I am hoping for some bright silver color or even brown.
Any help will help tremendously!!!
From the Oregon Coast to Tacoma.
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Wish I could help you, but I haven't purchased any of their colored wire, only sterling, argentium sterling & gold filled, all of which were fine if a bit overpriced. Rio Grande has much better prices for precious metal wire, though you have to buy more of it at a time.
Most of the colored wire I have is from either Artistic Wire (from HL/Michaels) or Parawire (they make Vintaj's "brass" wire).
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I use the accu-flex wire a lot, it works well with crimps and it great for basic designs. it can also be knotted. The flexability of the wire depends on how many strands in it, the more strands the more flexible. I have worked with the 19 strand one the most. I just got some acculon, I haven't used it much yet but I like it, also seems to be working well with crimps.
If you are in to comparisons of wire, FMG had a Comparison testing in an idependent lab on three brands of coated jewelry wire, accu-flex, beadalon, and soft flex. The wires tested were 49 strand wires.
Here's the link
I assume you are talking about wire for wrapping, etc., not flexible beading wire. Do you want colored wire, or bare metal wire? Here's a bit of info on both.
FMG carries their own brand of colored copper wire, called zebra wire. It is like artistic wire or parawire, but the color choices are more limited. I have always bought colored wire through fusion beads--they have a much bigger selection of colors and the shipping is free with no minimum order. FMG's wire is a bit cheaper, so if you like one of the colors and you were going to order more stuff from them anyway, you may want to go that way.
If you want bright copper wire that does not tarnish, or silver wire that looks like bright silver without the expense of real sterling, go for artistic wire at www.fusionbeads.com, which has a coating on it to keep it from tarnishing. For the silver, be sure to get the silver plated wire, not the tinned silver, which is a very dull ugly color.
If you want to be able to patina (darken or antique) your wire in liver of sulfur, then you DON'T want the coated wire. You want bare wire. FMG carries a line called "wrap it" which has solid copper, brass, or nickel silver in a bunch of different sizes. It comes in a big role at very reasonable prices and is a very good value. I like it and would recommend it. If you are not familiar with nickel siver, it does not contain any real silver, and has a slightly warmer golden undertone than sterling. Some people have allergies to nickel, so keep that in mind. I really like it for a fraction of what real silver costs. The patina is different, though. More of a warmer golden brown tone.
If you are wondering about what gauge to order, 24 gauge is good for pearls or stones with very small holes, but is not substantial enough for larger beads. 26 gauge is good for tiny wraps around stones or larger wire. 22 gauge is the most versatile for small-medium stones. 18 gauge is good for making clasps, etc. anything bigger than 18 gauge is getting pretty tough to work with.
Also, one more thing to keep in mind is the stiffness of all the wires. All the colored wire is copper with a colored coating, so it is very soft. If you get solid brass or nickel wire, it is stiffer than copper to work with. If you are just experimenting and learning, copper is a good way to go.
Sydney I've used the Zebra colored wire with no problems. For copper wire, which I normally practice with, I have the Wrap-It wire.
I haven't used any of the others from there so I couldn't tell you anything on that. I have used the German silver plated wire but that I get from my LBS.
To practice and play with though I would go with the Wrap-It wires.
Erin gave some good info on all of it though.
Gauges I started with were 20,22, 24, 28. When I started doing more frames and wrapping I got 18 and 16 gauges. For practice though I mostly used 20 since it's sturdy but still works into shapes well and it can always be hammered for more strength. You should see my copper scrap tub
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Erin, thank you for the wonderful information! I copied and pasted it in a note on my notebook.
I'm really starting to love this style of pendants:http://www.etsy.com/listing/48573200/pendant-only-seafoam-green-peruvian-opal
What would be the best gauge to do that? 22? or 24?
Sorry about all the questions, I really don't want to order the wrong stuff!
Either one would work fine, really depends on the stone and hole size. Heavier stone use 22 gauge or if you're using it in a necklace I would use 22. Pearl use 24 gauge, though many times I can use 22 gauge in a pearl as well. Earrings should be fine with 24 gauge, well an even some necklaces.
Im going with Cat on this one. After looking at it, I think that I would use the 22 gauge. Also, I can see why you like it...beautiful
oops sorry, I misunderstood what type you ment
In agreement with Cat--use 22 gauge for that type of wrapping, unless the hole in the stone is too small. Then go with 24 gauge. Anything bigger than 22 is going to be a bit cumbersome to wrap that way.