Wire Wrapped Jewelry

by jptanabe

Wire wrapping is a special technique used to make jewelry by hand.

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 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.

Howlite wire wrapped pendant

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!

 

More wire wrapped pendants

Carnelian Wire Wrapped Pendant
Carnelian Wire Wrapped Pendant
Misticmedia
Howlite Wire Wrapped Pendant
Howlite Wire Wrapped Pendant
Misticmedia

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
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...

View on Amazon

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...

View on Amazon

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...

View on Amazon

Wizzley

Updated: 06/01/2016, jptanabe
 
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What do you think of wire wrapped jewelry?


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jptanabe on 10/17/2014

Thank you!

AngelaJohnson on 10/17/2014

The ones you show are so much more elegant than others I've seen.

jptanabe on 09/23/2014

Thanks! We just have the Artfire store, not presently on Etsy.

KaitlynDeMetro on 09/23/2014

Beautiful piece. I've always wanted to make my own wire wrapped jewelry!

MBC on 09/22/2014

I love it! I'd like to learn to do it myself. Do you have an Etsy store?

jptanabe on 12/18/2013

Thanks!

ologsinquito on 12/18/2013

I'm pinning this to My Wizzley Writing Board.

jptanabe on 10/30/2013

Thanks. Me too!

DerdriuMarriner on 10/29/2013

jptanabe, Thank you for sharing your husband's artistry. His creations are gorgeous. I've always loved carnelian, and I now cherish Howlite, the "tranquility stone"!

jptanabe on 09/17/2013

Thanks, Marika! Glad you like the pieces. My husband is the artist, not me, though. Yes, you should make more pendants - I've seen some of your work, gorgeous!


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