Thursday, February 16, 2012

3+1 steps to perfect wire wrapping

Lately I had a lot to think about and, amazingly enough, I've had quite some success in finishing pieces. I fully blame it on the challenges I've entered, nothing like a deadline to put your brain in over-drive and start finding ideas.

Fire - Valentine's Day (sterling silver, red coral) :: All the Pretty Things
On Sunday I succumbed to the organizing moment - I had to clean my work space and organize the craft drawers at the same time. It wasn't perfect, but at least now I know where to find what I'm looking for.

In the process I found beads I completely forgot about, including vintage ones (we talk over 40 years old here, my mom had them for ages... did wear them for ages... she decided it's time for them to have a new life - thanks, mom!). And in finding them - I had to do some (simple and basic) wire wrapping.

Here are my top 3 steps in achieving a pleasant result:

1. Use a length bigger than what you think would be enough. Sure, you will probably end up with small ends you need to cut off - but it's better to have were to cut off from!

Winter Wonderland - Valentine's Day Evening (sterling silver, quartz crystals) :: All the Pretty Things
2. If you don't have a good spacial orientation and visual memory - use a marker on your pliers. In order to achieve same size loops you either need good memory or good props. Whatever works for you :) I just believe it's easier to use props than to buy good memory!

3. Practice with same size / hardness craft wire until you're happy with the result. Only then use good wire. Yes, I know... and what would you do with the objects crafted out of less-expensive wire? Well, in the beginning you'll recycle them through your city recycling program, unless you're an amazing goddess (or god) of wire craft and your pieces turn perfectly first time when you try them (I am not... in order to get the 2 ends of a cord ending to match I had to practice with craft wire... a couple of times...). It's important, though, to have the same gauge of the wire and if possible, same hardness as your most precious one.

And the +1, you'll ask? Always file your cuts! It makes the difference between a perfectly finished and professional looking (and feeling) piece and the rest of the world.
For the gods and goddesses of wire out there - what are your top 3 tips on working with wire? Or on your preferred technique, it doesn't have to be wire :)

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