Friday, January 9, 2015

Wire Jewelry 101: Basic Tools

Wire Jewlery Tools
Image via Pinterest
Embarking on a new jewelry design technique can be quite daunting. Wire Jewelry-making in particular can take some practice, but once you've mastered it, the end product is indeed worth it. Wire wrapped jewelry is on the rise, and it's no surprise as the pieces usually turn out so beautifully. It's practically a work of art. If you're a novice looking to learn the tricks of the trade, you'll need to know what basic tools to use:

The most basic thing you'll need of course, is wire. Copper wire is best to use for beginners as it is easily pliable. Check out our post about the different types of wire used in wire wrapping, for more in-depth information.

Pliers
You will need pliers for bending and manipulating your wire. For first-timers, round nose pliers and chain nose pliers are best. Round nose pliers are commonly used for making loops, while chain nose pliers serve many purposes. They are usually used as extra fingers for holding jewelry materials or in this case, for bending metal and wire.

Round Flat Nose Looping Pliers
Round Flat Nose Looping Pliers
Cutters
A specific wire cutter is best since you need to cut the metal as flush as possible. A regular pair of scissors or a knife is not recommended.

Hammers/Mallets
Hammers or mallets are necessary for flattening or forming metal. Rawhide mallets are best, to avoid scratching or scaring it. 
12" Rawhide Mallet
12" Rawhide Mallet
Ruler
You will need a measuring tool in wire wrapping. It's necessary so that you can accurately measure how much wire you will need to cut for your piece.

Marker
Use a sharpie or any other marking pen to mark the wire for cutting or bending. 

Mandrels
There are different types of mandrels according to the type of piece that you want to make. Use a ring mandrel if you want to make rings, and use bracelet mandrels if you want to make bracelets-preferably an oval one. 
Ring Mandrel
Ring Mandrel
Sandpaper
You will need sandpaper to file or smoothen the sharp end of a cut wire. 

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