Cheat Sheet for Jewelry Making Wire

Jewelry making wire is one of the jewelry craft supplies you need to learn about in order to be able to use it in jewelry making.  There are different types of wire for making jewelry and each type has its own characteristics.  It’s important to be aware of information on jewelry making wire so your jewelry designs work out as planned.  It keeps you sane when you ensure that the wire does what is supposed to.  This is my Cheat Sheet.  I tape it to the wall in my studio.  I hope you find it helpful when you have questions about wire for making jewelry.

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Common Jewelry Making Wire Materials & Finishes
Sterling Silver-Filled Wire for Making Jewelry Copper Jewelry Making Wire Color-Coated Copper Jewelry Making Wire Jewelry Making Wire - Gold-Filled
Gold-filled, sterling silver, sterling silver-filled, brass, copper, aluminum and color-coated copper (craft wire)
Gold and silver are sold by the foot or ounce and other wire is sold in spools
Brass & copper wire for making jewelry are great to practice your wire skills as they soft & easy to manipulate & less expensive
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Hardness Categories in Jewelry Making Wire  (how easy it is to work with (malleability)
FULL-HARDstiff, holds its shape  (good for clasps)
HALF-HARD – easier to shape, holds its shape (good for ear-wires)
DEAD-SOFT – very soft or malleable, will not hold shape under stress (not for clasps or ear-wires)
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Shapes of Jewelry Making Wire
Round       Half-Round      Square       Triangle 
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Jewelry Making Wire Gauges  (the diameter or thickness of wire)
Jewelry Making Wire Gauge Chart
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*12 & 14 gauge -used for neck wires & bangle bracelets-only DEAD-SOFT *24 & 26 gauge -very fine-use with small pearls and gemstones-use for decorative wire-wrapping & beaded flowers
*16 & 18 gauge -used for clasps & jump rings-medium thickness wires *28 gauge -used for delicate wire work-beaded flowers crochet or beads, pearls or gems with very small holes
*20 & 22 gauge-all purpose wire-loops, jump rings, head pins and ear-wires-HALF-HARD or DEAD-SOFT **THE LARGER THE NUMBER THE THINNER THE WIRE

creativity is ever-evolving. creativity is infinite.

 

PPSsst…print it out if you want.  8)

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