Friday, 13 December 2013

Working with wire gives you a simple introduction to silversmithing

If you have been working with gemstone beads and want to take things a little further, consider making your own findings which gives you the opportunity to start working with metal.

We made these really simple earrings with some 0.6mm Sterling Silver Wire and two Cultured Freshwater White Pearl Beads:

With a length of 0.6mm Sterling Silver wire start by making the spiral in the end using a pair of Round Nose Pliers. Do the first turn using the pliers and then hold the spiral in between your fingers and wind the wire around another turn. Lay the spiral end down onto a Steel Block and using the flat side of a Ball Pein Hammer or Jewellers Hammer, tap the spiral to flatten it. You might find that you need to polish the spiral after hammering it, so use fine Wet and Dry Sanding Sheets and Polishing Papers to finish. Thread your Pearl Bead onto the wire and use Snipe Nose Pliers to form the shape of your ear wire, bending it around the widest part of the round nose pliers to ensure a uniform shape on both earrings.

You can customise this design by using thicker wire or a gemstone bead but remember that if using a thicker wire then you may need to use a Bead Reamer to make the hole in your bead larger.

If you want to buy everything you need to get started, then consider our Beginners Wire Working Kit. This kit contains the tools you need as well as a copy of The Encyclopedia of Wire Jewellery Techniques which takes you from wire wrapping, making chains and making your own findings right up to the basics of silversmithing towards making your first ring - a super book!

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