Thursday, February 21, 2013

Color Wire Tips

colored copper wire love 1

I <3 Colored Wire! 

I'm guessing you already knew that though! Spend any amount of time looking at my work and it's pretty obvious that I love the stuff. It allows me to add extra layers of color to my work and as a color lover, I don't know how I ever got along without it before I found it. 



two tone lovelies

There are some tricks to using it successfully, though, no matter what brand you choose to use! Here are a few of my tried and true tips:

  • Friction and colored wires don't mix. So, use it as part of a wire link but not as the link itself. For example, you could make a coiled cage for a bead with colored wire, but then use another metal to link together the beads with wrapped loops. 
  • It's durable but not indestructible. Avoid using it for clasps as the friction when it comes in contact with the catch for the clasp can cause the colored surface to wear away.
  • It works GREAT coiled but, I wouldn't use it as a core wire. I like to stick to using it to cover a core wire. For example, I like to make a coil of color, slide it onto a silver core wire, and then bend into shapes. Keep in mind, if using it as part of a bangle, you don't want beads sliding back and forth across the surface of it. 
  • It makes fun headpins and dangles and bail wires for your art beads. You can even hammer it! Keep your hammer strikes straight up and down, don't drag the hammer head when you hit the wire and it will flatten nicely. Be careful not to over flatten it though. 
  • Yes, you can tumble it!! Like other wires, you might find yourself needing to work harden it. You can tumble it in a rotary tumbler with stainless steel shot and cleaning liquid without damaging the surface. 
Keep these few tips and tricks in mind when adding colored wire to your work and it's sure to work great! Pop over to the Art Bead Scene Facebook page and share your colored wire creations with our followers! And if you are wondering what brand of colored wire I use, it's always Parawire for me. 

4 comments:

Lou said...

Thank you SO much for this- I'm very new at making jewellery & love wire. It'll be a big help!

Angi said...

Hi Kerry! Thanks for the info on colored wire. I have a silly question - Can colored wire be balled into headpins with a torch? Thanks!

Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

Beaditi said...

Thanks Kerry - this is a very resourceful post for me !
Kaushambi

freshbakeddesigns said...

Great info, Kerry! Most of it is new to me, so thanks for sharing these tips.