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Beginning Wirework for Jewelry Making

Lesson 1 of 7

Twisting Wire

Raissa Bump

Beginning Wirework for Jewelry Making

Raissa Bump

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Lesson Info

1. Twisting Wire

Lesson Info

Twisting Wire

Wonderful to be here creative live this morning and to set the setting the first workshop I'm going to be working with wire twisting wire today and will be able to do some bangles and some hearings and some stacking rings so it's really fun the twisting wire it's one of the things that students once they realize how to do this it's pretty simple technique they are like their eyes get big and they're really excited with what they can do with it so that's what I'll be starting out with? But I thought I'd I'd set the stage a little bit again just with basic jewelry making that I like in the sense of I work so precautions for the studio I were closed toed shoes which is always a good habit to have we're closed that you're not really invested in you feel comfortable in but are not super important to you because it can get dirty and try to avoid polyester or really synthetics especially if you're working with the torch because that those go up in flames like you know real fast so a couple li...

ttle things like that that I'd liketo put in there and set the stage for you we're going to start with twisting wire one of the things that I like to do to his show simple ways to make your own finding so we are going to talk about making their wires here too from scratch which is really simple to d'oh, and I think that the finishing touches of the classics of the year wires you know, bring bring pieces to the next level and give a personal touch so that's going to happen as well going to start out with wire and I'm working with for some rings twenty gauge wire to begin with, and the cool thing about wire is you can get, like tons of it, right? Just in engage um engaged to set the stage for that engages the measurement of the thickness of the material so that can be round or sheet. What a sheet material and the gauge corresponds so eight engages a millimeter thick, twenty gauges a little bit smaller it's point eight millimeters and you'll notice, too, that in jewelry making, we often talk in metric because it's just it's a system that is easier to work with and communicate small, small small measurements so I will be there'll be some inches thrown out there that you can, you know, you know and you understand, but it's really good to get used to working with metric for the jewelry. What do we making stuff too? So we are going to be making some little stacking rings that are really fun you can oxidize, you can keep things shiny, you can mix materials together, so that's first, I'm just gonna begin by showing how to twist wire in general and make the ear wires and then we're gonna go into making the bangle, the hearings and the rings so let's start out by taking this twenty gauge wire here and getting about six inches of it and then taking a snip so when you're working with twisted wire it's really about rough estimates of lengths, you'll have to do some experiments maybe because when you twist it gets shorter and you have the option of twisting it a lot so it's really tight or keeping it a little bit more loose of a twist and so you know it's good to just give yourself a little bit extra than what you might need, so the easiest way to twist wire is to take a length of anywhere that you want silver, copper, brass and fold it in half when you follow the wire in half you know there's the loop here so full the wire in half take some pliers and twist of the end of it together so you're starting the twist by hand how fragile is the watch? You're not very careful does it break easily? It does not break easily you have to really work hard in and been back and forth to get the wire to bake break yeah it's pretty it's pretty user friendly at this point so you want to twist away from you were going to be putting this in the flexible shaft to twist it and so if you do it the wrong way you'll know really fast they will untwist what you just started so twist by pushing away from you just getting the ends to meet together just doing a tiny bit let's see how do you see that they're a little bit of a twist because what we're doing we're going to take the flexible shaft which has it's like a drill or we can use it as a drill it may be you know ahh dremel tool like it's basically like that too so if you don't invest in the flexible shaft to begin with you can get a dremel tool and do most of this stuff with the dremel tool so you're opening up there's these three peace is here in the chuck opening them up enough to get the end of your wire to go inside so the reason you twisted and don't just stick those two ends together is it might not clamp down on both of those pieces at the same time and then when you start to twist one of them will come out that it doesn't actually holding grip onto them so what both of them to twist together a little bit and clamping it in and then see you have this great loop toe hold onto and I usually take let's see over here a little piece like this is a drop it just the end of a drill bit or you could use a small dowell or something to hold on to the end because you have to work with tension if I just got a foot pedal over here start, you know, working with the foot pedal, it won't really do much you'll just twisted around and around and around, but if if you want to move this way now, hold this so there's tension and then start twisting right it's starting to twist the wire. So this has got a really gentle twist at this point. Um, I like to twist a little tighter, and that helps for the twist to not open up when I'm making it round into a ring or into the bangle so you can just press on the pedal and little by little, twist it to your liking. And again, the more you twist, the shorter it gets. So this is just a little piece there's a little tension on it will release the tension and you've got your twisted wire the first one. So there are a lot of options that can happen with the twisted wire, which is super fund, so this is one piece of sterling silver twisted and that will be, you know, we could make this into a ring in a little while if you want to mix materials which is really fun, you can take silver and copper, which is what I'm going to do or silver and brass and have two different colors that mixed together it was a little bit different I've got a piece of copper here in a piece of silver and this is eighteen gauge so it's also going to make going to be making a bangle out of this later so the bangles I'd like to have a little bit thicker it's not super duper chunky but it's a little bit thicker so the eighteen gauge works and so this now you're not bending it over, spending it and making the loop you just have to length so you want to do the same thing in the sense that you twist the ends together that so that these two pieces of wire are connected at the very end just given it a little bit of a twist and I'm using flat nose pliers here a little bit of a twist and then placing this once again opening up enough toe hold this in there you don't have to stick it in too far, you know it's just a little bit in there to get a good grip tightening and then so here you you don't have that nice loop to hold onto you have these two pieces, so I'm going to take those flat nose pliers again I'm gonna pull this so that there's not any kinks in the wire. So you don't want one piece to be looser than the other in any kind of way. You want them to be the same. And if they're different length in the end that's okay. So pulling it so that they're the same and then taking the pliers and getting a good grip on it. And I like to give a little bit of a kink. Give a little kink in the end toe hold on. And then the same thing I am holding this one other thing you want to pay attention to is not tohave. The wire kicked out to the side from the flexible shaft. So you want to really be pulling straight out from the flexible shaft instead of at an angle from the from the centre of here? Have a dremel is a household drill. A good tool to substitute you can the thing about yeah, you absolutely can. You might need someone to help you in the sense of holding. So you can basically do a stretch like a length of wire this long doubled up. To do what? To work on your own in the flexible chef so you can get along. A long piece, but you can't go longer than your arms stretched out because you can't hold it taught unless you have somebody else helping you so if you had somebody pressing that holding the flexible shaft and you hold it taught you could do that and if you're doing the households really it might be that you can do by yourself holding and doing that you might need help but absolutely a household drill will do the same you could do old fashion, you know, drill style to all works all works for all right, so getting a good grip, holding it straight and taught and starting to twist and you know you can stop and you can go do you want to hold them both? All right, so I'm going to stop there so I've got copper and silver now these air two wires of the same thickness you can also do a thicker wire in a thinner wire together you could do a square wire and around wire together you really have a lot of options. The thicker you get, the harder it is to turn in some some machines you know, drill to the flexible shaft, the motors are different, and so the thinking you get it's it's more torque and it could be harder to do, so you're not going to get super duper chunky butt depending on your you know your tool you can you can get it much thicker than this for sure one of these that I have here is a sixteen gauge twisted so it's a bit thicker wrapped around so copper and silver the next one that I'm going to show is twisting so this is twenty four gauge so very it's pretty thin why're that I already twisted just like I did with the silver I just wrapped folded in half and twisted it and then I'm going to take this twisted piece and twist it with a piece of wire we've got a question is that hard wire or software or half so ok so we are okay so metal can come in different basically metal structure comes and if you get it will just be if you don't specify you could get a dead soft which means it's coming to you very, very soft so you're talking about the molecular structure of the metal itself and it work hardens I think that maybe you've heard of that the middle as you you bend it as you twist it this medal is is harder then it was when we began because we're twisting it and working it so I don't specify for this when I get my wire I think that I mean if it was dead soft it would work but I just get the standard standard temper essentially that they send me where works for the twisted wire now if I were to then the thicker wire especially if I were then twist this was something else I might want to soften this a little bit first and then go and twist it so that's called a kneeling and we can get into that but this is work hardened from the twisting itself but it works you know it's pretty unless you're getting really thick really chunky metal wired to be then twisting you it'll work for you in this scale just with you know what you get so you don't have to specify and this thin like I twisted this and I'm not going to kneel it before I go and twisted again not going to make it softer it will work for me um well you play around with that if it seems to not be doing what you want you might need to a deal in which we can get to if you twist it too tight are you able to can you go backwards so you're not going to go backwards so the recommendation is just to do it slowly you can see it as it does it's twisting and you can stop and keep going so there's no reason I mean sometimes the foot pedal just like you know you precedent it goes really fast but but you're not going to be backtracking you can't go in reverse and no and it twists tightly you can't go back you just start over again quaint um to where you know you you can't go any further and you need to stop twisting yeah I mean there is a point if you kept going kept going it would just snap and sometimes it does snap on me but usually if it does it's right at the point where it's connected in here like it'll just break right at the point where it is it goes into the flexible shaft and in that case I just open it up take that little end off that broke off and then we put it in and keep going if I need to but the tight the twist you know in the beginning it has like a longer twist to it it's it's a looser twist and the more you twist it gets more and more horizontal and tight just like tightens up and so there is a point that it's not going to twist anymore because there's nowhere for the wider go it's just tight end up on itself and they look different the twists looks different it's tighter okay so I'm gonna move on I'm going to take this thin wire that I twisted and go with some twenty gauge and it's a really pretty look to have the twisted within the looser so I'm gonna snip so they're about the same length here and then, you know, the same things apply twist the ends together, taking the pyres, twisting a little bit and away from me enough so that the teeth of the the clamping part of the flexible chef can grip down on the piece as one taking it up. Same thing handing it taught I like to bend at the end. You don't have to but I feel like I get a better grip. You want to keep this not close up to close your eye to for some reason it started, it undid and you didn't get a tight grip that could, you know, bounce out a little bit. All right, so the ends just broke a tiny bit that's. Okay, so that's it. So a lot of this is preference. However, to loose of a twist when you're making small circumference is like for a ring will open up on you. I'm not going to be thought a ring the wire together literally. I'm not sending sauder through the whole piece to hold this together so the two pieces are being held together just by the twist. If you wanted a looser twist, the look of that you could flow sauder through the scene and it would stay in place. All right, so that's. How to twist wire that's the very basics and it's pretty fast. Pretty fun. And you have a lot of variations that you can work with, depending on what your style, your aesthetic and what you, what colors you want to do.

Class Description

Learn how to manipulate wire into beautiful, handmade twisted wire jewelry with Raïssa Bump in Beginning Wirework for Jewelry Making.

Raïssa is a lifelong jewelry maker and she’ll bring her experience and love of the craft to this beginner-friendly class. Basic twisted wire stacking rings, bangles, and earrings are a great starting place for aspiring jewelry makers who want to experiment with malleable metals. In this class you’ll learn:

  • Basic wire and plier work rules
  • Techniques for twisting wire varieties
  • Fusing, soldering, shaping, and finishing techniques for twisted wire jewelry

Raïssa will take you through the ring, bangle, and earring making process, from start to finish, and teach techniques you can use for your future jewelry work.

Check the bonus materials below for a complete product list of the tools and supplies you need to finish this project.


Luminary Organics

This is a fantastic class for a beginning jewelry maker. Raissa is a wonderful teacher. She explains what she is doing as she does it and takes her time to make sure the student understands why she is doing each step. I have watched this class twice so far. The first time I made three different twisted wire pieces for bracelets. The second time through, I made two bracelets and three rings! Thank you CreativeLive for bringing Raissa Bump to your platform!

Nadja Meyer

Good starting point if you have never done any Jewelry at all before