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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Karman's Avatar
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    Default What I've learned about wire wrapping and jewelry making in the last couple weeks

    Ever since I restrung my rope, I got hooked on jewelry making and decided to delve into wire wrapping.
    I have been buying loose pearls on Etsy and craft supplies from Michael's (for practice, I would like to invest in better quality wire and supplies once I've confirmed I'm not disastrous at jewelry making) and yesterday decided to finally do something with what I've gotten.

    So what have I learned so far?
    1) Everything looks bigger on the internet. I ordered 6 mm amethyst rondelles and they were much smaller than expected. Yes they were 6 mm, but that's looking at the rondelle from the face and not the side. I expected them to be comparable to 6 mm pearls but that wasn't the case--oops.

    2) Wire wrapping is much harder than it looks. I watched multiple videos and bought a beading book and thought "how hard can it be?" Well, when those dang loops are so tiny, it's easy to mess them up.

    3) I get serious creative road blocks when it comes to trying to think of pretty creative designs. Everything I want to make resembles some sort of tin cup (but I LOVE tin cups)

    I had intended to wrap some lustrous 15 mm UFO shaped pearls from Wen on Etsy yesterday and assemble it together with a gemstone order also from Etsy to make a mixed/random tin cup rope. But, per #1 the gems I ordered turned out too small so I'll be saving them for other projects.

    I ended up making some bead links with some 6 mm freshwater pearls I had leftover from my restringing project, and made a couple of necklaces. I've always wanted dainty pearl necklaces like these, but could never justify spending the money to buy them when I saw them (especially since they were frequently made with glass pearls)

    You can see two of the little amethyst rondelles in the middle. I was going to use them in between pearls but decided to save them for something else. This is next to 6 mm pearls soooo they would get completely lost if placed with 15 mm pearls.

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    And here it is on the neck. The 5-pearl one is in the mail on its way to a friend

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  2. #2
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    What lovely dainty necklaces. It looks great on you.

    And yes, I'm always surprised how much smaller jewelry findings look. The photos are so big on the computer monitor.

  3. #3
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Great job on your necklace!. Wire wrapping with craft wire is easier (and way less expensive) than using karat gold or sterling. Between different metals, gauges of wires, and sizes of stones/pearls there are a lot of variables to account for in constructing a piece of jewelry. But practice practice practice and then start working with more valuable metals like sterling, gold filled and then move up to gold. Believe me, once you get the hang of it, you will be able to wire wrap with minimal scrap (which btw, keep sorted because even little clips of gold or sterling add up!) You are off to a wonderful start!!
    Etsy shop: OceansCove
    Instagram: OceansCove
    Facebook: Ocean's Cove Jewelry
    Amazon Handmade: Ocean's Cove
    Pinterest: OceansCove

  4. #4
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member trulyviolet's Avatar
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    i think you did wonderfully well.... and just keep working at it....eventually you'll do it in your sleep

  5. #5
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    Great job! Jersey gave a lot of great information there. I agree with her on it all. Practice a lot with each gauge and hardness (not sure if that's the right term, i.e. half-hard v dead soft).

  6. #6
    Member mrsadm's Avatar
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    I have had the same problem with pearls being way smaller in person than what I thought. The photos can be deceiving, even if the seller's description says "the photos have been enlarged"- my mind kinda tricks me. So I've started noting the mm measurements and drawing a rough outline of the pearls on paper, so I can see the actual size. This has helped me stop from buying something that looks great but I know I won't be happy with the teensy-tiny minuscule pearls.

  7. #7
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Sanippy's Avatar
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    You did a great job and the necklace looks wonderful on you. Wire wrapping is so addictive!

  8. #8
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Pearly-Whites's Avatar
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    Karman,

    That is a beautiful necklace and you did a great job! I give you so much credit for your creativity!

  9. #9
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Karman's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your kind words and JP on the tips!

    I made a third necklace yesterday and was MUCH faster at it. It definitely gets easier with practice. I'm pretty sure if I ever work with precious metals wire, that will come MUCH later (if at all) but I can definitely see the need for better tools. I bought a cheapo set which will probably work fine for now, but I'm not getting a super clean cut with my flush cutters even when using the flat flush side.

    This 3rd necklace will be for my sister in law. I hope she loves it!

  10. #10
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Karman, there are double-flush cutters: https://www.riogrande.com/search/go?...+flush+cutters
    And round nose pliers with tiny tips that make smaller loops than the usual one finds at craft stores: https://www.riogrande.com/Product/Li...-Pliers/111293

  11. #11
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Karman's Avatar
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    Thanks PD!

  12. #12
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Well done Karman ! Don't worry about those 6mm rondelles , you will end up using them in a project. I definitely think it's worth getting the fine round nose ..I use them more than the regular ones for wire wrapping. Definitely the flush cutters too. I also think it's worth getting either a fine metal file or one of the little wire end rounders - you don't want sharp ends on the wire.

    The thing I like about tin cups / wire wrapping is that it's so easy to correct a mistake or change a design..unlike knotting , you don't have to start over.

    And don't forget that gold filled wire is a good way to get the look without the ridiculously high expense of gold . It looks good, much better than plate.

    Keep up the good work !

  13. #13
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CathyKeshi's Avatar
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    Karman, your tin cup efforts are lovely ... great job!

    Katbran, what is a "little wire end rounder" ???
    Cathy

    CathyKeshi

  14. #14
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I have one of those wire rounders. Got it at Michaels'.

    It's a cup shaped file. You put your cut-off end of wire into the cup and turn it. It's a bur that makes the end rounder and smoother.

    Here is a close up photo at Artbeads.com:
    http://www.artbeads.com/tool-115.htm...FYSEswodqtsB7g
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 03-04-2017 at 12:57 AM. Reason: corrections in terminology

  15. #15
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert CathyKeshi's Avatar
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    Thanks Pearl Dreams ... that looks like a very handy tool! Had a wire poking the back of my neck last weekend ...
    Cathy

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