View Full Version : Working with wire
04-10-2004, 12:08 AM
After looking at this forum I started to think I'd like to have a go at doing some things with wire. I don't really know where to start. Although it looks like there's lots of tutorials on here and links to tutorials that show techniques of doing different things which would be a good help. My main concern is with materials. I wouldn't want to start with actual silver wire or whatever wire it is most of you use since that would be expensive and silly for me to do. I don't know what wire I can use to practice on. And to be honest I don't know where to find wire. There's only one art shop near me and the only wire it has is clay aluminium armature wire that comes in sizes of 1/16" 1/8" etc. I don't think that's the stuff to use. I also had a look in Michaels craft shop and the only stuff I could find was in the fake flowers department, some was metallic and some had a green covering over the metal. Could I use that (the metal not the green)? I want to spend as little money as possible since I only just want to experiment with wire and see how I like it. Plus, I'm broke. Ordering online is also out of the question. Is there a wire I can get at hardware places like Canadian Tire or Home Depot? Thanks.
04-10-2004, 12:47 AM
Maybe ask at Michael's if they can order some copper wire for you in the size of 20 gauge. It may be in their jewelry-making department, but if not, I bet they can get it for you. You can get quite a lot for around $2.00.
You can practice some loops and things, and make nice bracelets with that.
Now, if/when you do go to sterling wire, just save your mistakes and scrap and stuff, and when you at some point have a good amount, you can turn this in for credit by mail through Rio Grande and also other places. They pay you a percentage of the current price of silver, and then recycle it.
I started about four years ago now, and I am to the point now where I should probably get mine turned in. I have it in a small box on my beading table.
I did a couple things with the copper wire, and then went to sterling half hard 20 gauge. I found that even though I practiced on copper, there was still a learning curve with the sterling wire, as it is a little different to work with.
If you can get the Rio Grande catalog, they have good prices on their sterling wire, and in the front of the catalog, they describe the procedure to mail back in your scrap.
04-10-2004, 01:21 AM
20 gauge copper wire. Thanks, I'll remember that!
04-10-2004, 01:33 AM
Copper works most like sterling (dead soft) of any wire I know and you can get it at Home Depot and places like that. They usually just have 18g, but that's good for practice. It's in the picture hanging department, oddly enough, and is packaged in spools of (I think) 25 ft for around 2.50 or so. *s*
As Aislyn said, go to Home Depot (or probably any hardware store) and get copper wire. Since you're just starting, I'd stick with 18 -20 ga. wire - it'd be the most managable for your skill level. As for sterling silver, Rio Grande has pretty good prices. Go on-line and order a catalog from them - they have all kinds of goodies! And some of it's cheaper than you think...
04-10-2004, 03:06 AM
I'm glad you started this thread because, after seeing the great work in this forum, I really wanted to start playing with wire too and had no idea how to start. Guess I'll trot down to the hardware store. :p
04-10-2004, 11:15 AM
Everyone in this forum is so helpful. Thank you :clap:
04-10-2004, 11:22 AM
You can also check at www.jsritter.com they have 1lb spools of copper wire in all sorts of gauges! Even big enough to make bangles with ;) I love making the copper bangles ! anyway just thought Id share a source! especially since silver is so dam expensive! its over 8.00 an oz now! and it was only around 4.50 last 2003 jan/feb
04-10-2004, 11:23 AM
www.conniefox.com Fabulous site.
04-10-2004, 12:25 PM
Thanks Karin for this
You can also check at www.jsritter.com they have 1lb spools of copper wire in all sorts of gauges! Even big enough to make bangles with I love making the copper bangles ! anyway just thought Id share a source! especially since silver is so dam expensive! its over 8.00 an oz now! and it was only around 4.50 last 2003 jan/feb
Holy Cow.... $8.00??? *thud* Well the good part is, I will get more for my years of accumulation box of scrap I am turning in, perhaps I will take that money and buy one of those big copper spools and work in copper for the indefinite future! :D
04-10-2004, 02:01 PM
Copper wire is great! The hardware store often has many gauges. When ever I am playing with a new design idea that is my first stop. I try to have 28 (for crocheting, knitting and playing with tiny beads for fringe) all the way to 12 for bangles. It's great to work thru a design that may or may not work.
You can also use some tools you probably already have. a hammer with a nice smooth head (get out the sand paper :) ) a piece of steel for a "block"--the smoother the better!, wire cutters for cutting larger wire. The most important thing to buy is the pliers, and then the small end cutters. You want nice smooth round nose and flat and needlenose.
Brass wire is fun to play with too, not good to wear without sealing it, but pretty :) .
Rio has some nice base metal brass type wires in different shapes that are fun for some projects.
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