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Copyright 2014  Dottie Hoeschen                 visit www.stonebrashcreative.com                 contact me: Dottie@stonebrashcreative.com

Here's some General Facts andSuggestions for wirework. The suggestions are ones I have found to work best, but if you find a better way to do it, go for it!

*The thickness of wire is measured in "gauges". The higher the number, the smaller the  wire (22g is thinner than 18g).
*Use round nose pliers to bend curves.
*Use chainnose pliers to make sharp angles.
*You can use nylon jaw pliers to straighten bent wires.
*Never use pliers with teeth or have scratches. It will make marks on your wire.
*The more you bend and manipulate wire, the harder (more brittle) it gets, until it will finally break.
*Oil and dirt on your hands can damage or discolor metal.
*Don't let the wire kink. Kinks are hard to get out (if not impossible) and the kink will always be a weak spot.
*Believe it or not, you can use denim to polish metal!
*When you are just learning or trying a new technique, use copper instead of silver or gold. Copper is a softer metal and easier to bend. It is also a lot cheaper! Later you can do it in the precious metals.
*The softer the metal, the easier it is to bend, but the less likely it is to hold its shape.
*The harder the metal, the more difficult it is to bend, but it will hold its shape well.




Make a Simple Loop
Make a Wrapped Loop
Bead with a Wrapped Loop
"S" Hook
Cut several inches of wire. Grasp the end of the wire with the round nose pliers and role your wrist away from yourself to create a loop. It will have a "P" shape.
Take the chainose pliers and grasp the wire just above where the curled end of the wire touches  the straight part.

Now, roll your wrist back toward yourself so that it creates a sharp bend (where the wire end touches).
Bend it far enough so that it looks like a lollipop.

If you bend it too far, carefully roll your wrist back a little.
Viola'!  A simple loop.
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Grasp the wire with the chainnose pliers, about two inches from the end, and make a sharp right angle bend.
1. Switch to the round nose pliers. Grasp the wire along the top part as close to the "stem" as you can.
2. With your fingers push the wire around the top jaw of the pliers until the wire points down.
3. Pull the upper jaw out of the loop and slip the lower jaw into the loop. Push the wire the rest of the way around the jaw, until it once again is at a right angle from the "stem".
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(click on images to enlarge)
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1. Leave the round nosed pliers in the loop (holding it in your nondominant hand), use the chainnose pliers in your other hand, grasp the tip of the wire to be wrapped, and wrap it around the "stem" part of the wire.
2. Then use the wirecutters to trim the tail (watch out for flying bits of wire). Press any wire sticking up to flatten it.
Make a wrapped loop and slide it into the bead.
Make a right angle bend above the bead. leave a little space between bead and bend for the wrap.
Using the technique above bend your loop.
Either leave the round nose plier in the loop (as above), or switch to the chainnose plier and grasp across the loop (see which works best for you).
Grasp the tip of the wire with the other plier and twist it around the wire as it comes out of the bead.
Trim the tail. Make any small adjustments needed to straightn up the loop.
These are polymer clay bead that I made and fire polish beads connected by wire loops. Each bead is connected to the one before it before the second loop is wrapped. You can also make all the wired beads separately and then connect them by using jump rings.
I made this bead, too!
Use round nose pliers to make a spiral.
 Your fingers can gently bend the wire into a curve.
Find an object that has the size curve you want (I like ball point pens) to bend the wire. Or use your fingers (your best tool).
Trim the excess, and curl the tip with round nose pliers.
Use copper (inexpensive and easy to bend) to play with different shaped hooks and get comfortable working with wire.
If you find these tutorials helpful I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in my Guestbook
Tools: Having the right tools can make it so much easier!

wire cutters -
sometimes called "nippers"

chainnose pliers -
rounded on the outside, but flat on the inside where they come together. Good for making right angles.

round nose pliers -
tapered tips are round all the way around. Good for making loops when working with wire.

beads, spacers, wire
(22 gauge is a good size wire to start with)

nylon jaw pliers
(optional)

jewelry files
(optional)

polishing cloth