Learning Center

Wire Working

Wire working is an essential skill for jewelry making. Learn fundamental wire skills, how to make various findings, and other wire-based techniques.

How to Choose Silver Jewelry Wire

Working with silver jewelry wire is an essential skill for most jewelers. Learn the meaning of terms such as gauge, temper, work hardening, and annealing.

Mary Lee Hu: The Purpose and Persistence of Wire

Mary Lee Mary Lee Hu has worked with wire – looping, wrapping, weaving and most notably twining—for the past 22 years. Yet within these seemingly narrow technical confines, Mary Lee Hu continues to invent new forms. This continuing…

Wire Wrapping Enamel Pieces

Everyone has long seen gems wrapped in small wire cages with hanging devices, and more recently, the Dichroic glass pendants with their caressing wire sculpture made into a bail for hanging on a chain or neck ring. They do provide a light weight…

Platinum Wire Filigree

Platinum wire filigree can be easily added to an article of jewelry providing a unique design element. The filigree can be a simple scroll filling an airline to the predominant design component in the article of jewelry. Whether the platinum…

How to Make Earring Posts by Hand

Yes you can make your own earring posts. It is generally more cost effective to buy them, but making them is not a problem and there are times that it is useful to know how.

Making a Filigree Wire

One of the necessary steps in making filigree is the forming of the wire. It is made by twisting very tightly two pieces of very small silver wire and then flattened. Either sterling or fine grade silver wire may be used. Fine is preferred, even…

Wire Drawing Hints

The trick to drawing wire by hand is to grasp the tapered end that sticks out the front of the drawplate with the pliers in such a way that there are some 5 mm of play; of movement back and forth to the drawplate. Push the draw tongs up to the plate so…

How to Step-Roll Wire

One requires a taper on the end of the wire to grip it with when placed through a drawplate for drawing. One may obtain this taper in several ways.

Michael David Sturlin Crochets with Gold

This crocheted necklace is created by weaving interlocking loops of 18k gold wire into a chain, using a needle. Because the chain is built loop by loop, it is a time consuming process: It can take up to three hours to crochet one inch..

Michael David Sturlin’s Two Strand Crocheted Chain

With the quartz as the central focal point of the ‘Reflecting Pond Necklace,’ Sturlin had to design a chain that could support its weight. He started crocheting 18k red gold wire—75 feet of it to be exact—to create a two-strand chain.…

Soumak on Metal

Soumak is a textile technique which is commonly found in the weaving of rugs in the Middle East. The technique has been around for a couple of thousand years and primarily has been used in cloth. As I learned various techniques of weaving in gold…

Tips for Creating Jump Rings

Jewelers use jump rings extensively as chain components, connectors, and linking devices for multiple construction problems. Here are a few tips and methods for creating jump rings.

Methods of Closing Jump Rings

In high volume production operations, many jump rings need to be closed one after another. For such fast paced operations, pliers simply won’t do. Factory workers need efficient tools for closing jump rings. One such tool consists of a ring…

Cutting Jump Rings

Once you’ve wound jump rings around a mandrel, what’s the best way to cut them apart? Some craftspeople use hand-held side cutters, but there is one problem with this method – it cuts only one side of the wire flush. Therefore, you have to cut the…

Coil Metal Corrugation

While researching ancient design I have been fascinated with basic shapes from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, ancient Celts, pictographs and petroglyphs. Did you know that zigzag or wave pattern was the earliest symbolic motif recorded?…

Metal Rolling and Drawing

Rolling can be thought of as a local, or isolated, deformation process during which thickness is decreased, length increased, and width remains unchanged. Drawing is different from rolling in that the pressure of drawing it not transmitted…

How to Make a Carrick Mat Knot

Step by Step Tutorial – Making Three-lead Four-bight Turks-head. The Turks-Head is a general class of three-dimensional knot that lends itself well to decorative uses. Materials required: 18ga Silver wire…

Introduction to Weaving Metal

Textile techniques are traditionally worked with fibers such as linen, cotton and silk. However, they can also be applied to metal.
I weave high karat gold and platinum sheet and wire by hand. The process of weaving creates fabric. I shape…

Textile Techniques in Jewelry Making

Fabrics and precious metals would seem to be total opposites, like hot and cold or yin and yang. However, despite their obvious differences in hardness, they do possess similar properties-specifically, both are pliable and elastic, and…

6 Basic Wire Skills to Make a Necklace

The links in this 16-in. (40.6cm) necklace are forged so they become flat and work-hardened. The pearl in the featured necklace is held in place merely by the tension between the wire loops in the pendant. Four styles of links define the spare…

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