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Hi, I just happened across your site while getting ideas for my wire wrap gemstones and sea glass.

The fact that you give away information, don’t insist personal information, has bought my business already.

To add to the joy (yes, I’m prone to hyperbole but I’m absolutely enchanted with your business model), you add stone treatment information rather than burying it somewhere.

It’s very important to me to be able to tell my customers the what’s been done to their stones, the quality, source and composition of the gems they buy.

I believe I’m the only vendor to have the FCC and AGIA disclosure booklets available at any festival I’ve attended.

You have a customer now and, if OK, I will use your page on stone treatments, with proper attribution of course, as a handout at my next festival the end of this month.

Brightest blessings,

Liz

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Stone Treatment Codes

(B) block
(D) dyed
(E) enhanced
(H) heated
(I) irradiation
(M) man made - synthetic
(N) natural
(O) oiled
(P) pressed
(S) stabilized

Wire Binding or Wrapping

WIRE BINDING OR WRAPPING

DR KAREN MEADOR

How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.Sometimes a technique that seems so easy takes some time and effort to perfect. Wrapping, aka binding, has been that way for me. First I didn’t know how to hide the ends of my wire at the beginning and end of the wrap. Then I realized that each wrap around should line up right beside the preceding one. There was also that issue of getting the wire wrapped tightly. I definitely needed help. I hope the following will provide that for you whether you are just learning wire work or honing your skills. As for me, I’m still practicing and the examples below are not perfect.

 

I’m wrapping with 22 gauge round copper wire around a heavier scrap piece of wire in the pictures of a practice piece that follow. I usually use 24 gauge wire when I’m creating decorative wraps for earrings and bracelets or adding beads to embellish a wire, however this 22 gauge will show up better in the photos. While being frugal with your wire is admirable, 22 gauge copper wire is not expensive so be sure you begin with a piece that is longer than you expect to use. This will allow you to get a better grip on the wrapping wire. For the practice piece below, I cut approximately 6 inches of 22 gauge wire.

How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

 

NOTE: The photos show my “wire worker’s thumb”. As you can see I sport a broken fingernail and messy polish. Please, just laugh with me.

 

The pictures below show directionality using North, South, East and West. Create a hook in the end of the lighter gauge wire by placing the chainnose pliers about ½ inches from the top of the wire and turning it down.

How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

 

Place the hook over the wire(s) you are wrapping with the short end facing you. Firmly hold the hook and the wire being wrapped between your thumb and forefinger of your nondominant hand. Using your dominant hand pull the wire straight North at a right angle to the heavier wire. How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

 

When the wire is in the N position, again at a right angle to the heavier wire, pull the wrapping wire straight back down to the S position.

 

Again, pull the wire N, but be sure that you lay this wrap right beside the first one. If you think about laying this wrap on the very edge of the last one, it will fall right in to place when you give it a tug after it reaches N.

 

You may want to gently push the wrapping wire against the heavier wire with the chainnose pliers every once in a while to encourage its proper alignment. The frequency required depends partly on the gauge of the wire you are using.

 

Wrap the wire a bit past the position where you intend to cut the end. Then pull it slightly off the heavier wire and flush cut it. Use the chainnose pliers to squeeze the end against the heavier wire. Finish the beginning of the wrap in a similar manner. The hook and likely the first wrap at the beginning will be crooked. If so, remove these and cut them off.

 

                          How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.  How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.  How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

 

Earrings


How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry, earrings.

How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

Cut two 7 inch lengths of 18 gauge wire and two 6 inch lengths of 24 gauge wire (or 22).

 

Measure 2 ¾ inches from one end of one of the 18 gauge wires and mark this place with a permanent marker.

How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

Begin the wrapping at this point according to the technique described in the Wire Wrapping or Binding Tutorial.

 

When you have about 5 good wraps, begin attaching the beads by threading them on the wire one at a time.

 

 

How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

Complete two wraps between each bead and end with another 5 good wraps. Flush cut the ends of the wrapping wire.

                          








How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry. How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.               

 

Gently wrap the side of the 18 gauge wire opposite the beads around a ring mandrel or other round object.

How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

 

Push the beads to the inside of the rounded shape.

How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

 

 

Cross the 18 gauge wires at the top of the earrings. One side will be longer than the other. Position these such that the shorter wire is 1 ½ inches long past the cross point.

Use the chainnose pliers to turn both wires N away from the beads.

 

 

 

How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

 

 

Wrap the shorter wire abound the longer one twice and flush cut it.

How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

 

 

 

 

Make a wrapped loop with the longer wire and flush cut it.

 

 

 

How to use wire to bind or wrap to make jewelry.

 

 

 

I like to carefully hammer the part of the earring that does not have beads. But that is a personal choice.

 

If you want to patina these, this is the time. Just be sure you have used nonporous stones that will not take up the color of the patina. I usually patina with Liver of Sulphur and then the earrings spend a couple of hours in the tumbler.

 

Now just add ear wires and you’re all set. How are your wraps?

 

Karen Meador

**Contributing authors are noted and linked to in the articles they wrote. All articles are copyright. You can reprint these articles as long as the original author is sited and a link to their site and this website is included. The name Magpie Gemstones must be used as the hypertext.

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