Posts Tagged ‘artistic wire’

How To Make A Wire Bird Nest

Monday, February 10th, 2014

It’s February, and snow and ice are covering every surface… which means I’d really like to fly away to someplace warm for the winter.

Wire wrapped bird nest bracelet with freshwater pearl beads and Vintaj bird charms.

Wire wrapped bird nest bracelet with freshwater pearl beads and Vintaj bird charms.

But I don’t have wings, so the next best thing is having Kayla explain how she makes these adorable wire bird’s nests.  She made this sweet bracelet by creating 3 wrapped nests with different shades of freshwater pearls, then added swooping Vintaj bird charms.  (The chain is one of our favorites: antiqued brass ring & connector chain.)

Gather supplies for wire bird nest tutorial.

Gather supplies for the wire bird nests.

These wire nests use only a few supplies:

And a single tool:

Warning: Pearls often have tiny holes, so if you’re following this design using different pearls than the ones we’ve linked, you may need to use 26-gauge wire instead.

Wire Bird Nest Instructions:

Step 1. Feed 3 beads onto the wire. Leave about 3/4" tail.

Step 1.
Feed 3 beads onto the wire. Leave about 3/4″ tail.

Step 2. Begin curving the egg beads into a circle.

Step 2. Begin curving the egg beads into a circle.

Step 3. Take the wire tail and wrap it around the longer end a few times.

Step 3. Take the wire tail and wrap it around the longer end a few times. Use your fingers, not pliers, so you don’t mar the wire or scratch the pearls.

Step 4. Trim excess wire.

Step 4. Trim excess wire. (Remove the short tail.)

Step 5. Wrap the wire 5-6 times around the pearl beads.  (Add more wraps for a thicker nest.) Don't try to be too neat! This style of wire wrapping is supposed to be a bit messy.

Step 5. Wrap the wire 5-6 times around the pearl beads. Don’t try to be too perfect — this style of wire wrapping is supposed to be a bit messy.

For a thicker nest, just wrap a few more times around the beads.

Step 6. Feed the wire all the way down through the nest.

Step 6. Feed the wire all the way down through the nest.

Step 7. Wrap two times around one side of the nest, then go about 1/3 of the way around the nest, feed wire through, wrap two times, go 1/3 of the way around and feed the wire through a final spot.

Step 7. Wrap two times around one side of the nest, then go about 1/3 of the way around the nest, feed wire through, wrap two times, go 1/3 of the way around and feed the wire through a final spot.

Step 8. At the final spot, wrap three times, and trim excess wire.  This is where narrow-tipped flush cutters are nice, because it's best if you can trim the wire toward the inside of the nest so it won't snag.

Step 8. At the final spot, wrap three times, and trim excess wire. This is where narrow-tipped flush cutters are nice, because it’s best if you can trim the wire inside of the nest so it won’t snag.

Finished: perfectly messy springtime wire-wrapped bird's nests!

Finished: Perfectly messy & sweet Springtime wire-wrapped bird’s nests!

The beads in the image above are (clockwise from top):

The wire is 22-gauge gunmetal Artistic Wire.

Want more options? Try these egg-shaped gemstone beads, or other colors of oval freshwater pearl beads. And once you make a few of these in colorful Artistic wire, you might want to branch out into sterling silver wire or gold-filled wire!

Flying the Nest - Bracelet Tutorial (with full parts list for bracelet)

Flying the Nest – Bracelet Tutorial (with full parts list for bracelet)

~ Polly & Kayla

Note: This style of wire-wrapped birds nest “baskets” work great for bracelets, earrings and pendants, because they don’t have a closed-off back — you can see the pretty egg-shaped pearl or gemstone beads from both sides of the charm.

 

How to make Lashed Kidney Wire Earrings – Featuring SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Lashed Earrings with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS set rivoli stones image

“Shining Stars Lashed Earrings” are created with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS; bicone beads and rivoli stones add sparkle.

Learn this simple wire-wrapping technique and how to use pinch-style rivoli settings with this free jewelry-making tutorial from Rings & Things.

 

You will need these supplies to make lashed kidney wire earrings with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS.

Step 1: Gather together the supplies you will need to make lashed kidney wire earrings.

 

You will need these And gather together the necessary tools; we used Glitter Line™ tools from EURO TOOL® tools to make lashed kidney wire earrings with Swarovski Elements.

And gather together the necessary tools; we used Glitter Line™ tools from EURO TOOL®.

 

You will need the following tools and supplies:

 

Jewelry making how to--setting a Swarovski rivoli stone in an antiqued silver bezel setting.

Step 2: Insert a rivoli stone in a setting and use round-nose pliers to pinch the setting closed. Repeat with the second stone and setting. The pinch-style rivoli settings don’t require messy glue or drying time.

 

Jewelry making how to: make lashed kidney wire ear wires with Artistic Wire and Swarovksi bicone beads.

Step 3: Use nylon-jawed flat-nose pliers to straighten the bend in the ear wire tail, this will allow the beads to slide on to the kidney wire.

 

Jewelry making tutorial, how to make lashed kidney wire earrings with Artistic Wire and Swarovski bicone crystals.

Step 4: Cut a 4″ section of 26-gauge wire and make three tight coils on the kidney wire near the loop. Use semi-flush side cutters to cut the beginning wire section off flush with the kidney wire.

 

Jewelry making tutorial, how to make lashed kidney wire earrings with Swarovski Elements and Artistic Wire.

Step 5: Add a crystal bicone bead to the kidney ear wire. Pull the wire across the bead and add three more tight coils.

 

Easy jewelry making technique--how to wire wrap kidney ear wires with Swarovski beads and Artistic wire.

Step 6: Add a second crystal bicone bead to the kidney ear wire. Pull the wire across the bead and add three more tight coils.

 

How to make jewelry--wire lashed kidney wire earrings.

Step 7: Add a third crystal bicone bead to the kidney wire, pull the wire across the bead and add a final three coils.

 

Jewelry making tutorial, how to make lashed kidney wire earrings with Swarovski Elements and Artistic Wire.

Step 8: Use semi-flush side cutters to cut the wire’s tail off flush with the kidney wire.
Repeat Steps 3 through 8 to make the second lashed kidney ear wire.

 

Jewelry making tutorial--how to add a Swarovski rivoli setting to a kidney ear wire.

Step 9: Add the rivoli setting to the kidney wire. Use round-nose pliers to crimp the kidney-wire loop closed; use flat-nose pliers to re-bend the kidney wire tail. Repeat with the second earring.

 

A jewelry making tutorial--handmade wire-wrapped earrings with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS.

Your handmade “lashed” earrings are complete and ready to wear.

 

Your handmade lashed earrings are complete and ready to wear.  To make the “Shining Stars Lashed Earrings” pictured in today’s blog post, visit Rings & Things Design Gallery for a list of the exact stock used. Or change the colors by choosing from the Rings & Things 46 colors of 14mm Swarovski rivoli stones and 46 styles of Rings & Things exclusive Crystal Jams™ Assortments.   A pair of earrings can be made in less than 30 minutes, so why not make a rainbow?

Make things!

Mollie

Make Fashionable Ear Cuff Jewelry

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

If you haven’t yet jumped on the ear cuff bandwagon, now’s your chance! Some ear cuff designs include an earring post to hold the design in place, but many of today’s styles work for both pierced and non-pierced ears, making them as versatile as they are trendy.

Customer service rep Tracy and Gallery guru Amy made the following Five Ear Cuffs to showcase some of the styles popping up.

Spikes Galore Ear Cuff

Handmade ear cuff featuring spike beads and sparkly glass.

Lightweight plastic spike bead assortments give this ear cuff pizzazz and drama!

The dramatic silhouette of this purple punk beauty is currently my fave! To make your own (in the color of your choice), you’ll need:

When creating the cuff base with your 20-gauge wire, start by forming a “hook” from the back of the ear to the top of the ear – this is what will hold the non-pierced jewelry in place!

Forming the hook at the back of a wire ear cuff.

Close-up of the “hook” at the back of your wire base. This one is covered with 1.7mm rubber tubing for a smooth finish.

Curve the wire around to the front top of the ear and work your way down, shaping the base to the curve of your ear. Once you get to the bottom, leave a few extra inches of wire (you will form this into a spiral later).

String on the beads from the bottom. Then, lash the beads with 28-gauge wire to help hold the spikes in place. Once the beads are in their final spot, create a decorative spiral with the extra wire.

Details of a wire ear cuff with spikes.

Once your beads are lashed, create a decorative spiral at the bottom of your base.

With a separate piece of 20-gauge wire, make a figure-8 (infinity) connector to attach a dangling spike to the decorative spiral.

Finally, slip the hollow rubber tubing onto the “hook” at the back of the cuff (illustration above). This covers up any rough wire end, which makes wearing your cuff comfy as well as stylish.

Floral Steampunk Ear Cuff

Wire-wrapped ear cuff made with genuine watch gears.

Genuine watch gears lend a steampunk edge to this otherwise feminine floral design.

To make this style of free-form wire-wrapped ear cuff, all you really need is wire and baubles from your stash! Here’s a list of components used to make the cuff pictured above:

As with the spikes cuff (above), extend your 20-gauge cuff base past the top front of the ear around to the top back of the ear and down. This is what holds this non-pierced jewelry onto your ear!

Option: You can add 1.7mm hollow rubber tubing to the back of this design for a comfy, professional finish.

A dab of Tenax Plus, or other super glue, can help situate larger beads and baubles that are difficult to hold in place with wire alone. In the example above, a dab of super glue holds the back of a flower petal to the wire cuff.

Sweet & Simple Wire Ear Cuff

Simple wire and crystal ear cuff.

This simple wire cuff sparkles with Swarovski crystal bicones and margaritas.

No need to get fancy! The elegant simplicity of this traditional-style ear cuff can become a base for various beads and sparklies. To make this lightweight wrap, all you need is:

Start the wire base by cutting a 2.5-inch length of 20-gauge wire. Divide the wire into thirds, and make a 180-degree bend at the one-third mark (so your wire creates two parallel lines at one end). Make another 180-bend at the opposite end. Curl each end of your wire (now in the middle of the design) into a small loop.

Simple wire ear cuff with crystals.

The ends of your wire are hidden under the crystal embellishments, leaving the cuff ends soft for comfortable wearing.

Now you’ve got your basic form. Use the center loops as a base for wire wrapping on beads and other sparklies. It’s easiest to lash these onto your cuff now while it’s still flat! (Or, for a basic wire cuff, just leave unadorned).

Once you’re done embellishing, use a pen, pencil, or mandrel to bend the cuff into a shape that will fit around your ear.

Classic Ear Cuff – “Ode to Bajor”

Classic ear cuff made with pre-formed cuff blanks.

This classic-style ear cuff uses pre-made blanks.

This ear cuff takes me straight back to the 1980′s, when I first wore cuffs make from easy-to-use pre-made ear cuff components.

To make the rhinestone chain earring cuff above, use the parts list and how-to tips for the “Ode to Bajor” Ear Cuff Project in our Design Gallery.

While this particular example requires pierced ears to wear, it’s even easier to create a cuff that doesn’t require piercings. Just add dangles to the hole in the ear cuff finding and you’re done!

Bollywood Style Chain Ear Cuff

Bollywood style ear cuff made with chain, beads, and baubles.

This East Indian style ear cuff uses 3.3mm chain instead of wire to wrap around the top of the ear.

This sumptuous feast of dangles is inspired by Bollywood jewelry. Instead of a wire frame that wraps around the ear, jewelry chain drapes over the top of the ear and holds the dangles in place. It didn’t take long for us to realize that this style isn’t the best for a night of head-banging on the dance floor. For a candle-lit dinner, however, it’s just the thing!

To make the chain ear cuff pictured above, you’ll need:

Cut the chain to your desired length, add your dangles, and voila! You’re ready for a night on the town.

We’re going to keep watching this fun jewelry making trend. In the meantime, have fun making ear cuffs!

You can buy wire, beads, and components right here at Rings & Things (just click the links in the parts lists above)!

Create with confidence. :) ~ Melissa

How to do a Herringbone Wire Wrap

Friday, September 30th, 2011
Earrings made using a Herringbone Wire-wrapping Technique

Earrings made using a Herringbone Wire-wrapping Technique

Wire-wrapping has become my newest jewelry making addiction! I am always browsing the internet and looking for new inspiration and techniques that I have yet to master. My latest accomplishment was learning how to create the oh so complicated looking herring bone wrap. I have admired this style of wire wrapping for years but was always too intimidated to attempt it. A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time to learn it. And guess what? It was really pretty easy! Now I will pass my knowledge on to you, fellow bloggers and bead addicts, so you too can feel that sweet satisfaction that comes from creating something new and beautiful! (not to mention the compliments you are sure to receive by your coworkers!)

Everything you need to make a Herringbone Wire Wrap

Everything you need to make a Herringbone Wire Wrap

So here it is! You will need some wire, preferably 22 gauge. I like to use Artistic Wire when learning a new technique because it is relatively inexpensive, so if you waste some there is little guilt. Next you will need a large round bead, 10-12mm is a good size. It can be faceted or smooth, either works just fine. For tools, you will need your trusty chain nose pliers, round nose pliers and side cutters. And that’s it!

Step 1: Cut a piece of wire about 2 feet long (always better to have a little too much than to be short)

Step 1 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap: Cut wire, and make a loop at one end.

Make a loop at one end of the wire

Step 2: Make a wrapped loop at one end of the wire. I find about a 1/2 inch or 1 centimeter is a good amount to wrap.

Step 2 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap: Wrap the loop for about 1cm.

It helps to measure the first side.

Step 3: Thread your bead onto the wire.

Step 3 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap: Add your bead.

Add your bead!

Step 4: Create a wrapped loop on the other side to mirror the one you made on the first side. You can measure if you like, to make sure it’s the same or just eyeball it.

Step 4 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap: Create a wrapped loop on the other side. (Try and make both sides equal.)

Try and make both sides equal

Step 5: Now that you have both sides wrapped, the fun begins! This is the tricky part. Take your long piece of remaining wire and and wrap it across the side of the bead in the center. Wrap the wire around the front of the wrapped loop on the opposite side.

Step 5 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap: The tricky part.

Step 6: Now run the wire back down the other side of the bead and wrap it around the front of the wrapped loop where you started. The bead should be wrapped in wire all around now. After you have this first wrap, you can continue this pattern going back and forth, tracing the previous wire.

Step 6 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap: Repeat on other side.

Repeat process on both sides

Step 6 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap: Side View.

Side View

Step 6 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap: Repeat pattern until desired look is achieved.

Repeat pattern until desired look is achieved

Step 7: Once you have your herringbone pattern how you like, you can end by wrapping your wire around the loop at one end and cutting the excess wire with your side cutters. Tuck any excess wire with your chain nose pliers.

Step 7 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap: Do about 6 or 7 wrap on each side.

Do about 6 or 7 wraps on each side

Step 7 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap: Wrap excess wire at one end to secure.

Wrap the excess wire at one end to secure

Step 7 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap:Clip excess wire with side cutters

Clip excess wire with side cutters

Step 7 of How To Make a Herringbone Wirewrap: Completed Herring Bone Wire Wrapped Bead

Completed Herring Bone Wire Wrapped Bead

Step 8: Create your own original designs with your beautiful herringbone wrapped beads!

Herringbone done with several different beads and wire

Herringbone done with several different beads and wire

 

I finished both of these pairs with coordinating clusters. See our blog on how to make cluster earrings!

Hope you enjoyed and learned something new! Happy beading and feel free to ask me any questions! –Tiffany

For all the fantastic items I used to make these earrings, head over to our online store at Rings-things.com

 

 

 

 

 

Wire lashing: an easy way to cover your jewelry with beads or bling!

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Two wire-lashed bracelets
Artistic Wire + bracelet forms = many many options!

I call this easy jewelry-making technique “wire lashing” to distinguish it from “wire wrapping” – but really, it is just wrapping thin wire around and around a component in order to cover it with beads (or chain!).

bracelet plain

A plain hook end bracelet is the perfect candidate for a good lashing!

The keys to wire lashing are simple, but oh so vital:

  1. Always begin with a few wire wraps around your base piece (in this case
    bangle bracelets) before adding beads or chain. Rather than trying to wrap the very end of the wire, leave about a 1″ tail so you have a bit of wiggle room.
  2. Always keep your wire wraps tight around the item. Pull the entire wire all the way through and around before beginning another wrap. If using beads, lay the bead against the base in the position you want it to end up in before wrapping the wire tight.
  3. Always use two or more wraps between beads to keep everything securely in place.
  4. Always stay calm if (ha – when!) the wire gets kinked or tangled. When in starts getting cranky, take a second to smooth it back out or it will grow into a major mess.
  5. When you’re all done, you can adjust the wraps and beads with your fingers to make it more uniform. Likely there will some wraps that are tighter than others. This is perfectly normal and easy to fix.

I’ve used this technique before on small items ( kidney ear wires, links, ear hoops and hair combs) so decided to step up to bracelets today. The only difference is working with longer wire (about 4-5 feet for a typical bangle). You have the option of working with smaller sections of wire and adding new pieces as you go, but I really wanted to use one continuous piece. I did of course kink the wire. Repeatedly.

Looks scary, but this nightmare actually only took a few seconds to correct.

But the nice thing about using one piece of wire is that as you go along, the lashing goes faster and faster until suddenly you realize you are having fun! At the end, you feel so victorious you immediately want to make another. So you do … and realize the wire is too darn long again … but wait, now it is fun again … victory is within reach … This is how addictions start.

I like to use 24 or 26-gauge wire when lashing because it is very easy to manipulate with your fingers. Today I used several colors of Artistic Wire. The beaded bracelet has 6mm purple Miracle beads, 4mm turquoise magnesite and opalite barrels held in place by chartreuse Artistic Wire. It was quick and easy to make. However, I started with waaaay too much wire, so it took a little longer to add each bead than was really necessary. Impatient as always, I decided to do away with stringing beads. My next attempt uses rhinestone chain.

Sparkle mania

Sparkle mania has never been easier to achieve!

It turns out the 14pp size Swarovski Elements crystal rhinestone chain is almost exactly the same width as the bracelet form, so it stays in place nicely. I think this would be a great girl’s night jewelry project – simple, sparkly and easy to customize by adding some charms or changing up the wire color.

For those of you who prefer thread, check out Toni’s rhinestone hair comb – same technique, different materials.

rhinestone hair comb
Cover a comb with ribbon and rhinestones for easy elegance.

What else can we cover in rhinestone chain? Perhaps an easier question would be what can’t we cover! ~ Cindy

 

How to Wire-Wrap a Briolette

Thursday, April 14th, 2011
Wire-wrapped Aurora Borealis Swarovski Crystal Pear Briolette earrings

Wire-wrapped Aurora Borealis Swarovski Crystal Pear Briolette earrings

I love briolettes! I love them in all shapes, sizes, colors and materials. So what is a briolette? A briolette is a pear or teardrop-shaped bead that is faceted and tip-drilled. Some briolettes are flat and some are round, kind of like a ball that comes to a point on one end. When they are flat, the hole can either be front to back or side to side.

There are several great ways to make jewelry using briolettes. You can use briolette bails, simply string them onto necklaces (big ones make great center pendants) or you can take it to the next level with wire-wrapping! Wire-wrapping a briolette, or any tip-drilled bead or pendant, really transforms a piece into a one-of-kind creation. And though it’s a little tricky to get the hang of at first, the payoff is well worth it.

Briolettes and 22-gauge gunmetal Artistic wire

My favorite wire to work with is 22 gauge Artistic Wire in Gunmetal finish. The actual color on this wire is more of an antique brass than gunmetal, and looks great paired with antique brass findings such as those found in the Vintaj line.

The first thing to consider when wire-wrapping is what kind of wire you want to use. If you are new to wire -wrapping I recommend using an inexpensive Artistic Wire to practice. Anything from a 20 gauge to a 24 gauge works well. (20 gauge being the thickest, 24 gauge being the thinnest, and 22 gauge in the middle). Because this technique takes practice, it is good to learn on an affordable wire, since you will inevitably have to re-do your wraps several times to reach perfection.

An assortment of briolettes in crystal and gemstones

An assortment of briolettes in crystal and gemstones

The next thing to consider is the briolette that you want to wrap. Flat shapes are the easiest to learn on because the edge on the pendant will hold your wire in place better. It is also good to start with a larger briolette, something that is over 15mm in length is ideal.

To begin you will need a briolette, wire, round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, and semi-flush cutter.

Cut a piece of wire about 18 inches in length. It is better to have too much wire than too little. On one side of the wire, create a bend of about 45 degrees using your chain nose pliers two inches in.

1. Cut a piece of wire about 18 inches in length. It is better to have too much wire than too little. On one side of the wire, create a bend of about 45 degrees using your chain nose pliers two inches in.

Slide your briolette down the wire until it is snug against the angle you have made in the wire.

2. Slide your briolette down the wire until it is snug against the angle you have made in the wire.

Bring the long side of the wire up and using your chain nose pliers, and pinch the two pieces of wire together snugly against the point of the briolette.

3. Bring the long side of the wire up and using your chain nose pliers, and pinch the two pieces of wire together snugly against the point of the briolette.

(Alternate view of finished step 3 - How to wire-wrap a briolette)

(Alternate view of step 3)

Step 4: How to wire-wrap a briolette

4. Take the longer piece of wire and fold it over so it is horizontal. The short piece of wire should be vertical from the center of the top of the briolette and the long piece of wire should be perpendicular to the short piece. Begin wrapping the long piece of wire around the short piece, using your finger to guide the wire and keep it snug.

Step 5: How to wire-wrap a briolette

5. Slowly work the wire downward. Let the previous wire guide you down the briolette. I like to wrap the wire down until you have covered the hole in the briolette, but it is your preference.

Step 6: how to Wire Wrap a Briolette

6. Once you have wrapped down the pendant as far as you like, you want to bring that wire back up to the top of the pendant to secure it. The easiest way to do this is in one swift movement, using your finger to guide the wire after you come around an edge on the briolette. Wrap the wire around the shorter segment of wire at the top a few times to secure your wrap in place.

Step 7: How to wire wrap a briolette

7. Use your semi-flush cutters to cut the wire short, and use your chain nose pliers to tuck any excess wire.

Step 8: How to wire wrap a briolette

8. You are now left with a wrapped briolette that has a 2 inch piece of wire coming out vertically from the center of the pendant. Simply use your round nose pliers to make a wrapped loop with this piece of wire. Again use your semi-flush cutters to trim the excess wire and use your chain nose pliers to tuck the excess piece of wire.

Finished wire-wrapped briolette!

Finished wire-wrapped briolette!

Now you can take your completed piece and add it your jewelry however you like! Pair it with some sparkly crystals or use a wire wrapped briolette as a large focal pendant on a necklace. The possibilities are endless. Once you get your wire wrapping skills down, you can wrap all different beads and pendants that are tip-drilled.

Completed Wire-wrapped Briolettes

Completed Wire-wrapped Briolettes

Wire-wrapped Briolettes topped off with clusters of Swarovski Crystal Rondelles!

Wire-wrapped Briolettes topped off with clusters of Swarovski Crystal Rondelles!

Wire-wrapped Feather Bone Pendants, Amazonite Briolettes with Bronze wire, and Czech Glass Teardrops with antique bronze buttons from the craft store!

Wire-wrapped Feather Bone Pendants, Amazonite Briolettes with Bronze wire, and Czech Glass Teardrops with antique bronze buttons from the craft store!

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about wire-wrapping or any of the beads pictured here! Have fun wrapping!

Tiffany

New Artistic Wire color variety packs

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
Coiled Artistic Wire bracelet with dichroic glass

Kameron used a Coiling Gizmo to make beads out of 22-gauge Artistic Wire for this bracelet

Whether you already love making jewelry with colored wire or you’d like to start, these
new sampler packs from Artistic Wire are the perfect way to add color – maybe even LOTS of color – to your designs.

Buy the Dozen wire

Buy the Dozen sampler packs of Artistic Wire

Each Buy the Dozen package contains – you guessed it – a dozen 5-yard spools of the same gauge wire, each in a different color. These packs are a great value. Even at the affordable price of $5.40 per spool (for 24-gauge silver plated), buying 12 colors would cost almost $65, vs. just $19 for the sampler.

The silver-plated Artistic Wire is slightly more expensive than standard Artistic Wire, but that little bit of silver really does make the colors significantly lighter and brighter. They also happen to coordinate quite nicely with the Pantone Color Fashion forecast for spring 2011.

Pink Artistic Wire earrings

Kameron’s Pink Sprocket earrings are based on a design featured in Totally Twisted.

Since all Artistic Wire is pure copper underneath, it is super easy to work with. Which gauge to use is partly a matter of personal preference, but in general 20 gauge is good for making links and ear wires, while finer gauges (22, 24 and 26) are nice for making decorative coils. 28 gauge is sometimes used for wire crochet.

We also have dozens of jewelry-making books, but a current staff favorite for working with colored wire is Totally Twisted by Kerry Bogert.

Totally Twisted - table of contents

Let us know what you think of our new wire variety packs. Are there other products you’d like to see packaged in assortments like these?