Wire Wrapping 1


A Christmas (or three) ago, I bought a wire-wrapping handbook: Pop with Pizzazz Jewelry, by Raymond S Ihrig. Finally, I got around to trying it for my first wire-wrapped gemstone project.

I have a piece of green fluorite from the Nature Company store, that I got in a box of mineral/gemstone samples, oh ages ago. Back when there were still Nature Company stores. :/

The book is very good, although its first and primary technique is for wrapping faceted quartz crystals. You can see below that my stone is very rounded.

Wire Wrap 1

Eh, I’m not happy with how it turned out. Especially as it turned out like a bug-eyed, green alien weeble. :X But, not the fault of Ihrig’s technique, just me being a little clunky with it.

I somehow got the wires too tight around the side about mid-way through the work. That made it hard to put the gem in (it can slip in and out during the initial phases), and/or made it too easy for it to fall out. I’m thinking a rounded gem needs a wider ‘cage.’

The bail is wayyyyy too long. But I was following instructions, and it said wrap it all the way up. So I did. Well, at least I didn’t mis-measure the wire and end up with it too short!

My spirals are lacking… I haven’t been able to do good spirals lately; I don’t know why. My pliers won’t grip the wire enough for me to bend it any more… unless I really squeeze and deform the metal. I ended up doing most of these spirals with my bare fingers. (Ow.) I got nylon jaw pliers to not mar the wire, but they won’t grip enough either. I used to be able to do this!

I’m thinking I need a spiralizer for my WigJig.

I had a really hard time with the slipping a blade between the middle wires to rachet them open. I finally got a razor blade in, but I ended up cracking it. Not sure what I can do for that. :/

Now for the parts I did well… first, measuring! Got that right at least. Also, I got the binding wires on really well. Those little coils that hold the frame together at the 4 points. I’m proud of those.


I think I will have to try a different type of wrap next time. I’m thinking of an S-shaped curve going up the front and back. Not sure how I will manage that, but I will doodle.



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