Wire wrapped jewelry

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Wire wrapped jewelry Wire wrapped jewelry.JPG
Wire wrapped jewelry

Wire wrapping is one of the oldest techniques for making handmade jewelry. This technique is done with jewelry wire and findings similar to wire (for example, head-pins) to make components. Wire components are then connected to one another using mechanical techniques with no soldering or heating of the wire. Frequently, in this approach, a wire is bent into a loop or other decorative shape and then the wire is wrapped around itself to finish the wire component. This makes the loop or decorative shape permanent. The technique of wrapping wire around itself gives this craft its name of wire wrapping.

Handmade jewelry

Handmade jewelry is jewelry which has been assembled and formed by hand rather than through the use of machines.

Wire single, usually cylindrical, flexible strand or rod of metal

A wire is a single, usually cylindrical, flexible strand or rod of metal. Wires are used to bear mechanical loads or electricity and telecommunications signals. Wire is commonly formed by drawing the metal through a hole in a die or draw plate. Wire gauges come in various standard sizes, as expressed in terms of a gauge number. The term wire is also used more loosely to refer to a bundle of such strands, as in "multistranded wire", which is more correctly termed a wire rope in mechanics, or a cable in electricity.

Finding (jewelcrafting)

Jewellery findings are the parts used to join jewellery components together to form a completed article.

Contents

History

Examples of wire and beaded jewelry made using wire wrapping techniques date back to thousands of years BC. The British Museum has samples of jewelry from the Sumerian Dynasty, found in the cemetery of Ur that contain spiraled wire components. This jewelry is dated at approximately 2000 BC. Other samples of jewelry from Ancient Rome show wire wrapped loops (one of the important techniques in making wire wrapped jewelry). This Roman jewelry is dated to approximately 2000 years ago. In the manufacture of this early jewelry the techniques for soldering did not exist. Later, as the technique for soldering developed, the wire wrapping approach continued because it was an economical and quick way to make jewelry components out of wire.

British Museum National museum in the Bloomsbury area of London

The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.

Royal Cemetery at Ur archaeological place in the current province of Dhi Qar, in southern Iraq

The Royal Cemetery at Ur is an archaeological site in modern-day Dhi Qar Governorate in southern Iraq. The initial excavations at Ur took place between 1922 and 1934 under the direction of Leonard Woolley in association with the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ancient Rome History of Rome from the 8th-century BC to the 5th-century

In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants ) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.

Wire wrapping techniques are not frequently used for mass-produced jewelry because machines can cast (mold) jewelry components faster, more cheaply, and more precisely. The wire wrapping approach to making jewelry is primarily employed by individuals.

Bracelet close up, showing eight wrapped loops Bracelet close up showing wrapped loops 25Nov2015 arp.jpg
Bracelet close up, showing eight wrapped loops

Characteristics

Wire wrapped jewelry is jewelry made of wire with mechanical connections instead of soldered connections. The key differences between making jewelry by wire wrapping and other approaches to making jewelry are two-fold;

  1. Wire wrapped jewelry is made of wire and sometimes findings similar to wire (head-pins, jump rings, etc.)
  2. Wire wrapped jewelry is made using mechanical connections between components and without soldering or other heat treatments. A mechanical connection is connecting a loop to another loop by interlocking them.

A key element in wire wrapped jewelry is a loop made in wire. Loops are connected to one another to make the mechanical connections between components. A “P” loop is made by bending the wire until it touches the wire again (but this is too crude looking for serious jewelry use). The best-looking loop is the eye loop, with a full circle of wire centered over the stem of wire (like a lollipop).

P loops and eye loops are “open” loops. This means that the loop can be opened mechanically to allow it to connect to another component, which allows it to open too easily when strained. A stronger (and better looking) loop is the closed loop, where the end of the wire is wrapped around the stem of the loop three or four times, so that the loop is permanent and can't be opened, this is called a "wrapped loop". A connection between two wrapped loops must be performed BEFORE the second loop is wrapped closed.

In the simplest example of hand made wire wrapped jewelry, a bead is threaded onto a jewelry making finding called a head–pin. The bead is held in place by the “head” on the head pin. The portion of the head pin coming out of the opposite side of the bead is essentially wire. This wire is bent into a loop using hand tools and the excess wire is cut off. The resulting bead hanging from a loop is called a “bead dangle”. To complete a simple earring, the loop in the bead dangle is connected to the loop at the end of an ear wire finding leaving a completed earring.

Tools

Four tools are essential and several other tools are useful in the construction of wire wrapped jewelry. The basic tools are a flush cutter, round nose pliers, flat nose pliers and chain nose or bent chain nose pliers. A flush cutter is a special type of cutter that leaves one end of the cut wire flush or flat, while the opposite end of the cut wire is sharp or pointed. Round nose pliers are pliers with conical jaws and are used for making loops in wire. Chain nose or bent chain nose pliers have flat smooth jaws and are used for gripping and holding wire and for bending wire. Flat nose pliers are just what the name implies...they are flat on both inside surfaces and are used to keep areas flat or to make 90-degree bends in your wire.

Round-nose pliers

Round nose pliers, rosary pliers, snub-nose pliers or chain nose piers, are a specialized pair of pliers characterized by their rounded, tapering jaws.

Other useful tools used in making wire wrapped jewelry are nylon jaw pliers, a ruler, step jaw pliers, a pin vise to twist the wire, a chasing hammer, an anvil or bench block, a cup bur, loop closing or bent closing pliers and a jewelry making jig.

Anvil metalworking tool

An anvil is a metalworking tool consisting of a large block of metal, with a flattened top surface, upon which another object is struck.

Wire

Wire is available is shapes such as round, square, half-round and patterns, such as flat and pre-twisted. It is also available in a variety of materials. Copper and brass wire are easy to shape and manipulate. Copper wire can be hammered quite thin. Brass wire is a little stiffer than copper, but it can be manipulated very easily. Sterling silver is soft enough to manipulate, but holds its shape well once it has been formed. Gold-filled wire is made by fusing a layer of 12-or 14-karat gold to a supporting material. Silver-filled wire is made in the same manner. The bond between the two materials is permanent.

Wire is measured by diameter, which is indicated by gauge numbers. The lower the gauge, the thicker the wire. A 12 or 14-gauge wire is fairly heavy, but ideal for making bangles and chokers. 10-gauge wire is very thick and stiff, while 26-gauge wire is very fine, almost as thin as hair. This thin wire is well-suited for coiling embellishments. 16-gauge wire is good for making jump rings and links for necklaces and bracelets, and 18-gauge wire is good to use for adding embellishments and making finer links.

Heishe or heishi are small disc- or tube-shaped beads made of organic shells or ground and polished stones. They come from the Kewa Pueblo people of New Mexico, before the use of metals in jewelry by that people. The name is the word for shell bead in the Eastern Keresan language of the Santo Domingo Indians.

Precious Metal Wire also comes in three hardnesses:

Supplies

A craftsperson can purchase pre-made components instead of making them. Pre-made components come under the generic name findings. The most important findings used in making jewelry are ear wires, clasps, head pins, and jump rings.

See also

Related Research Articles

Wire wrap

Wire wrap was invented to wire telephone crossbar switches, and later adapted to construct electronic circuit boards. Electronic components mounted on an insulating board are interconnected by lengths of insulated wire run between their terminals, with the connections made by wrapping several turns of uninsulated sections of the wire around a component lead or a socket pin.

Printed circuit board Board to support and connect electronic components

A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components or electrical components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate. Components are generally soldered onto the PCB to both electrically connect and mechanically fasten them to it.

Point-to-point construction Method for assembling electrical components

Point-to-point construction is a non-automated method of construction of electronics circuits widely used before the use of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and automated assembly gradually became widespread following their introduction in the 1950s. Circuits using thermionic valves were relatively large, relatively simple, and used large sockets, all of which made the PCB less obviously advantageous than with later complex semiconductor circuits. Point-to-point construction is still widespread in power electronics where components are bulky and serviceability is a consideration, and to construct prototype equipment with few or heavy electronic components. A common practice, especially in older point-to-point construction is to use the leads of components such as resistors and capacitors to bridge as much of the distance between connections as possible, often removing the need to add additional wire between the components.

Electrical connector electro-mechanical device used to connect electrical parts

An electrical connector is an electromechanical device used to join electrical terminations and create an electrical circuit. Most electrical connectors have a gender – i.e. the male component, called a plug, connects to the female component, or socket. The connection may be removable, require a tool for assembly and removal, or serve as a permanent electrical joint between two points. An adapter can be used to join dissimilar connectors.

Surface-mount technology method for producing electronic circuits

Surface-mount technology (SMT) is a method for producing electronic circuits in which the components are mounted or placed directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs). An electronic device so made is called a surface-mount device (SMD). In industry, it has largely replaced the through-hole technology construction method of fitting components with wire leads into holes in the circuit board. Both technologies can be used on the same board, with the through-hole technology used for components not suitable for surface mounting such as large transformers and heat-sinked power semiconductors.

Pliers tool with two legs, can fix or modify a workpiece

Pliers are a hand tool used to hold objects firmly, possibly developed from tongs used to handle hot metal in Bronze Age Europe. They are also useful for bending and compressing a wide range of materials. Generally, pliers consist of a pair of metal first-class levers joined at a fulcrum positioned closer to one end of the levers, creating short jaws on one side of the fulcrum, and longer handles on the other side. This arrangement creates a mechanical advantage, allowing the force of the hand's grip to be amplified and focused on an object with precision. The jaws can also be used to manipulate objects too small or unwieldy to be manipulated with the fingers.

Tweezers tools used for picking up objects too small to be easily handled with the human hands

Tweezers originally were designed as a nose picking device in order to pick both nostrils at once. Currently they are small tools used for picking up objects too small to be easily handled with the human fingers. The word is most likely derived from tongs, pincers, or scissors-like pliers used to grab or hold hot objects since the dawn of recorded history. In a scientific or medical context they are normally referred to as forceps.

Safety wire wire to secure bolted joint

Safety wire or locking-wire is a type of positive locking device that prevents fasteners from loosening or falling out due to vibration and other forces. The presence of safety wiring may also serve to indicate that the fasteners have been properly tightened.

Diagonal pliers are pliers intended for the cutting of wire. The plane defined by the cutting edges of the jaws intersects the joint rivet at an angle or "on a diagonal", hence the name.

Linemans pliers

Lineman's pliers, Kleins, linesman pliers and combination pliers, or simply pliers are a type of pliers used by linemen, electrical contractors and other tradesmen primarily for gripping, twisting, bending and cutting wire, cable and small metalwork components. They owe their effectiveness to their plier design, which multiplies force through leverage

Perfboard

Perfboard is a material for prototyping electronic circuits. It is a thin, rigid sheet with holes pre-drilled at standard intervals across a grid, usually a square grid of 0.1 inches (2.54 mm) spacing. These holes are ringed by round or square copper pads, though bare boards are also available. Inexpensive perfboard may have pads on only one side of the board, while better quality perfboard can have pads on both sides. Since each pad is electrically isolated, the builder makes all connections with either wire wrap or miniature point to point wiring techniques. Discrete components are soldered to the prototype board such as resistors, capacitors, and integrated circuits. The substrate is typically made of paper laminated with phenolic resin or a fiberglass-reinforced epoxy laminate (FR-4).

A jewelry wire is wire, usually copper, brass, nickel, aluminium, silver, or gold, used in jewelry making.

Stonesetting is the art of securely setting or attaching gemstones into jewelry.

Bead probe technology

Bead probe technology (BPT) is technique used to provide electrical access to printed circuit board (PCB) circuitry for performing in-circuit testing (ICT). It makes use of small beads of solder placed onto the board's traces to allow measuring and controlling of the signals using a test probe. This permits test access to boards on which standard ICT test pads are not feasible due to space constraints.

Soldering process of joining metal pieces with heated filler metal

Soldering is a process in which two or more items are joined together by melting and putting a filler metal (solder) into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal. Unlike welding, soldering does not involve melting the work pieces. In brazing, the work piece metal also does not melt, but the filler metal is one that melts at a higher temperature than in soldering. In the past, nearly all solders contained lead, but environmental and health concerns have increasingly dictated use of lead-free alloys for electronics and plumbing purposes.

Crimp (electrical)

An electrical crimp is a type of solderless electrical connection.

Yemenite silversmithing Silvercraft made by the Jews of Yemen

Yemenite silversmithing refers to the work of Jewish silversmiths from Yemen. They were highly acclaimed craftsmen who dominated craft production in precious metals in the southern Arabian peninsula from the 18th through the mid-20th century, a period and region during which Muslims did not engage in this work. These Yemenite silversmiths were noted for their use of fine granulation and filigree, producing such ornaments as women's bracelets, necklaces, finials, etc.

A line splice is a special type of connection of electrical cables or optical fibers in telecommunication technology.

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