Making handmade jewelry requires much skill and patience. Not only do you need the manual dexterity to manipulate small items into beautiful works of art and craftsmanship, you also need to have a good enough imagination to conceptualize a creation and actually execute it. Aside from this, you must be ready to invest a few dollars on tools and materials. Once you have a pattern ready, you can start working on a wire jewelry project.
Materials. Making wire jewelry almost often involves working on a straight piece of wire, usually made of copper or other metallic material. This metal is cut, shaped, and inserted into various adornments, such as gemstones, pearls, beads, and other fancy materials. These are locked into place by looping, twisting, or application of chain mechanisms. Most of these materials are available for purchase at any crafts store, or stores specializing in handmade wire jewelry. Some examples of online stores that let you order project kits are wigjig.com and beadingdaily.com.
Tools. Wire jewelry projects will require a few tools that can help you manipulate wire. These include measuring tools like a ruler, tape measure and even a caliper (for small measurements). You will also need tools for cutting like pliers and knives. These actually come in different shapes and sizes, depending on how you want to manipulate the wire. You would also need vises and tweezers for holding wire in place. Some tools, like pegs and twisting tools would be needed for shaping wire into chains and loops.
Skills. The basic skills needed in wire jewelry involve cutting, straightening, looping and crimping wire. These skills usually involve holding wire using pliers, looping the wire using pegs and jigs, and cutting the wire while in place. Other pieces of wire can be looped within the existing structure, forming a chain. Apart from cutting and looping, one must also be adept at inserting the wire through small holes bored into the adornments, such as pearls and beads.
Some additional skills that you might find useful when making wire jewelry include color coordination and an eye for proportion. While you can often simply follow a pattern for a good handmade jewelry design, you should also be able to decide for yourself if a piece of jewelry will look good on its intended recipient.
The basics. Making wire jewelry basically involves threading wire into the bead or gemstone, and then looping each end to secure the gemstone within. The ends can then be looped within other pieces of wire, to make a chain. This can be extended into more complex patterns and designs until you arrive at a necklace, bracelet, or your intended type of jewelry.
Apart from threading wire into beads, there are also other techniques that can help you achieve more intricate looking wire jewelry. For instance, there is braiding, which is similar to how you would braid hair. There are also coiling, scrolling, spiraling and shaping, among others. These usually involve manipulation of the wire using pliers of different shapes and sizes.
Making wire jewelry can be both a calming and exciting activity. Depending on how patient and skilled you are, you can create projects that you can be proud enough to give as gifts, or even sell for additional income.