Lesson 1: Tools and Materials
PDF for Lesson 1:
I wanted to give you some suggestions about where to get wire since I get this question quite a bit.
If you already have a favorite store for jewelry supplies, start there.
For this workshop and for my eCourses and eWorkshops I use 20 gauge wire the most for almost everything. For some projects you’ll need a thicker gauge, such as 18 gauge and occasionally you’ll need thinner gauge such as 22 gauge.
For the purposes of this guide, you’ll only need 20 gauge wire.
For most everything I teach you’ll use half hard wire.
As you get more into wire wrapping and learn more, you’ll find out what other gauges you need and add them.
Sterling silver can be expensive and I don’t recommend it if you’re beginning because it can be very disappointing if you mess it up (and most likely you will mess it up when you’re first starting.)
For silver plated wire:
You’ll usually not find a temper (or hardness, i.e. half hard, etc.) on the artist wire, but it typically works like half hard wire.
My favorite wire that I most often use Parawire‘s non tarnish silver plated wire.
Fire Mountain Gems has something similar called Zebra Wire, but I haven’t actually used it. It seems very similar.
I highly recommend Parawire. I use it a lot and I wear my jewelry pieces a lot and it really holds up with no tarnishing.
For copper or brass wire:
These are also nice inexpensive alternatives. You can usually find copper at craft stores and also really anywhere that sells wire (like FireMountainGems.com or FusionBeads.com).
Typically for brass I have just simply searched for “Brass Wire” on Etsy and purchased it.
(Also, I love mixing brass with silver!)
The options above are all great places to start. As I mentioned above, if you’re new to making jewelry I would start with these less expensive versions of wire for a while.
However, when you’re ready to purchase sterling silver, you can find that on the same websites as well. I also recommend Halstead. (Note: they do have a $100.00 minimum order.)