Wire wrapping is one of the oldest techniques for making jewelry, dating back many thousands of years. To make jewelry, the wire is made into loops which are then connected together by interlocking them, wrapping the wire around itself to lock it into place. No soldering is involved. The wire is also wrapped around gemstones, again holding the pieces in place by looping and interlocking the wire.
Wire Wrapped Jewelry
Wire wrapping is a special technique used to make jewelry by hand.
Wire wrapping makes unique pieces
Wire wrapped jewelry is always unique, one of a kind, crafted by hand. Using natural stones as the base gives each piece its color and character. Wire is then wrapped around the stone, holding the stone and forming loops for the chain, as well as adding decorative components that are unique to each item.
Different gemstones not only have different physical properties - color, texture, pattern, and so forth - they also have emotional or spiritual impact on people.
For example, Howlite is said to bring balance to the emotions and is known as the “tranquility stone.” The pendant shown here is one my husband made for me, of dyed Howlite. I do enjoy wearing it, makes me feel good even if not completely tranquil!
How to make wire wrapped jewelry
Is it a hobby for everyone?
In some ways making wire wrapped jewelry is pretty simple - the materials are just wire (that you can buy at a craft store) and gemstones (that you can buy pretty easily too). And you just need a few tools, mostly a variety of pliers, to bend the wire. There's no soldering, baking in kilns, painting, or other more expensive techniques or equipment involved. Well, people have been making this kind of jewelry for thousands of years, can't be too hard!
It is true that it's not so hard. But on the other hand, as anyone who isn't artistic knows, all artistic endeavors are pretty much impossible for those of us who are artistically challenged. And that includes me! My husband, on the other hand, is an artist. He studied art, design, and metal craft, so he has no problem creating wire wrapped gemstones that people would actually enjoy wearing (I do!).
But the point is, you need to be able to bend wire, wrap skinny wire around the bent wire, fit it to a gemstone, and finish it off with loops that look attractive. And that's just the beginning! Real experts create some amazingly fancy pieces, not all to my taste of course, but it shows that your imagination is the most significant limiting factor in this craft. So, I'm happy to leave it to the experts - just check out the video below for some fantastic examples!
Beautiful examples of wire wrapped gemstone pendants
With cool music accompaniment!
More wire wrapped jewelry
Do they make you want to try making some yourself?
Wire Wrapped Jewelry
Learn to make wire wrapped jewelry
Books on wire wrapping
|Wire Jewelry Masterclass: Wrapped, Coiled and Woven Pieces Using Fine Materials|
Comprehensive and fabulous, Wire Jewelry Masterclass takes an in-depth look at an intricate and rewarding craft. The 24 projects, which range from simple Dragon's tear briolette...
|Fine Art Wire Weaving: Weaving Techniques for Stunning Jewelry Designs|
Wire jewelry has never been more popular--but you've never seen projects like this before! In Fine Art Wire Weaving, award-winning author Sarah Thompson shares her secrets to cr...
|Timeless Wire Weaving: The Complete Course|
Timeless Wire Weaving focuses on developing wirework skills through 13 projects using three classic wire weaving techniques: coiling, wrapping, and weaving. The projects are bui...