Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tutorial for Wire Wrapped Charms, Shells, Sea Glass, Rocks with Beads and hanging charms, A DIY Wire Wrapping.

Last year I did a workshop with the Tidewater Artist Group where I taught how to make these easy fab wire charms for the summer, or anytime. See link HERE also you can see other ones I have done at other times...just more pics HERE and again HERE they are really nice big pics.
So before the workshop I created this fabulous tutorial handout for the group. I wanted to share with you finally.....I started off with supplies.
-Wire Cutters, Round nose pliers, flat nose pliers, chain nose pliers (these can be purchase at AC Moore, Michaels, or Any jewelry supply place. I originally bought all mine from
Last year I was lucky enough to get a new set at BeadFest I bought the Tronex from Beaducation they had a booth at BeadFest.
If you have never done this before start off with the least expensive set its all you will need for this.
-20 Gauge wire silver (you can use sterling once you get the hang of it but just start off with the inexpensive 20 g craft can use gold, copper, or even colors if you like. I use Artistic Wire when I use the color wire. The wire can be purchased at the jewelry supply stores, or the chain craft stores.
-Small e-beads glass ones or any kind of beads that fit on your wire, test them first.
-Charms if you like I use several charm shops on Etsy like
-Any kind of small pebbles, rocks, shells, sea glass, corks, cabochons
-file such as a jewelers file or even a fingernail file, or even one you have in the garage
Start with the charm of choice and gather your tools
measure your charm then round up to the next number (so if its 1 1/2 inch charm round it up to 2)
then the number by five to give you you will need approx. 10 inches of wire. Cut two 10 inches of wire from the wire of choice. Using your wire cutters. Then put both pieces of wire in your index finger and bend over it should look like this...see pic below
Now using your other hand twist one side of the wire then using your tip of your finger or the glass, cork etc. as a template twist the other side of the wire.
It should look like this now. If you need to open the space up with your flat nose pliers. Now insert the charm of choice whether it is the cork, glass, shell, etc..
here the charm is sitting nice in the opening
Now take the wire and bring it up, bring one piece of the wire to the front or the charm and the other wire to the back, do this on both sides. Twisting again.
it will begin to look like this, this is where you can add charms, beads, etc.
Continue twisting from front to back until you reach the top of your charm now using your round nose pliers bring the wire up and around the see the pic. Then wrap the rest of the wire around the neck of the charm...or get creative and add circles, etc.

Cut the extra wire off and now file smooth you don't want any rough spots on the wire. If you are using copper cored wire be careful when filing or you will take the silver to copper. Same goes with the colored wires. If you need to flatten some of the wire you can use the flat nose pliers now.
this is where you can make bends and grooves in the wire adding shape and also tightening up the wire. It also adds to the look.
I recommend a lot of books by artist on wire wraps that are very helpful, in fact I own these:
1. Making Wire & Bead Jewelry by Janice Berkebile and Tracey Stanely which I have met both and are wonderful people, I even have had a class with Tracey who I adore!

 4. The Missing Link: From Basic to Beautiful Wirework Jewelry by Cindy Wimmer
now Cindy's book just came out this September which I had her sign at ArtBliss

 I have known Cindy for almost five years now and she is the sweetest most creative person you could ever meet!!! Cindy is the BEST! Her new book is totally awesome!! A must have for any wire work jewelry artist.
Here is Cindy Wimmer and I at ArtBliss
Cindy Wimmer signing my copy of her book
I love this one of Cindy Wimmer signing the books I put this one on Instagram  (see my link on side of blog) that night at ArtBliss.
Also wanted to share a few pics of the grand babies and the boys.....
Abigail and Cooper painting up in our spare room/part of the studio
Skylar edited this on my IPhone
Dusty catching a fish. He loves to fish.
The boys recently had spirit week at school and this day was Rock N' Roll T-shirt day.
Coop is really jamming with his air guitar.
Hope you enjoyed the post today.
Have a great week!  
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