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Learn To Wire Wrap

 Students will learn to do a butterfly bail on a drilled stone, and wire wrap a flat back cabochon as a pendant. Students may choose silver or gold filled wire. Price: $100.00

Tools and stones you will need: Flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, and a by-pass flush cutter or some kind of wire cutter. For best results the pliers should be without grooves.

Class fee includes: 5 ft. of Gold filled or Silver 22 gauge wire, 3 ft of 22 gauge half round wire.

I have been wire wrapping for over a two decades. A tinsmith by trade & the ability to visualize the final product, the transition to wire wrapping was a natural one. It is my credo that the stone is the center of the piece; therefore, the piece is always wrapped to showcase the stone.  

Wire Wrap Syllabus

  • Select the right cab
    • Beginners should choose a cab with a natural apex
  • Select the wire material (silver, gold, copper, rose gold)
  • Determine the length of wire needed
    • Circumference of stone + 3 inches
  • Determine number of wires need to frame stone based on thickness of stone
  • Decide how you’d like to bind your stack of wires together
    • At certain points in the stack secure them together with a section of half round wire
  • Now you will shape your stack/bezel of wire - this is the most time consuming part, because how the wire hugs the stone is very important in setting and appearance.
    • Once the stone is inserted in your frame, you will need to determine your keeper wire.
    • At each half round binding with your round nose pliers, you’re twisting over the stone to secure/tighten the frame of wire around the stone. You will do this on the front and back of the stone. Use the top and bottom wire of your stack for this.
  • Bind the two ends of wire together, so you have one bunch of wire at top of the stone.
    • use the same gauge wire to bind the bunch together as you’ve used in the rest of the wrap (this is because the half round wire doesn’t have the same tinsel strength as the square wire)
    • This is where you’re creativity will shine
  • Move on to the bail
    • Type 1 - Butterfly bail
      • You need to select the back 2 wires of the bundle. The remaining are to do whatever you’d like (rosettes,curly-q’s, zigzags, or water fall across the stone, etc.)
      • If using this bail, you want to use you’re bail pliers to create a large enough loop to fit most chains. When making the loop, you want to roll it from the back to the front. Finishing your loop at the center to complete the full rotation.
      • When finished looping wire around bail pliers, the wire should now be angled towards the back of the stone.
      • There should be a single wire on each side of the center of the bail.
      • Pinch the butterfly between thumb and forefinger you will use the end of the wire to wrap around the center bunch of wires and again for the other side.
    • Type 2 - Trunk bail
      • You need the back 4 wires (2 from each side). The remaining wires are to do whatever you’d like (see above) or cut short and fold over.
      • Those 4 you need to make inline with each other.
      • Now select a piece of half round wire. The ratio is 11:1 (11 inches of half round = 1 inch of wrap)
      • Using the collected wires, make a small fold in the half round wire and secure around the 4 wires you’ve selected.
      • Begin wrapping half round wire around the stock of 4 wires until you’re run out of half round.
      • When at the end of wire, bend one outside wire to a 90 degree angle to the wrapped trunk and clip the remaining 3 wires off flush with the end of the wrapped bunch.
      • Using you’re bail pliers roll the wrapped truck towards the back of the stone.
      • Using the last single wire to wrap around the base of the bail.
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