Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wire-Wrap Connector Tutorial

Hello friends!

I have another quick little tutorial for you! I always learn so much while I am working on things. I found this method to work so well I wanted to share it with you! 

round nose plyers
cutting plyers
bent chain nose plyers
6" 22 gauge dark annealed steel wire
Renaissance wax
clean cloth(use a scrap of a rag)
Patinated Ring in black- Karen Totten


Begin by coating your 6" piece of wire in renaissance wax. You can do this by taking a piece of cloth, rubbing a small bit of wax on the cloth and placing your wire in the waxed cloth. Pinch your cloth around the wire and run it through a few times. Allow a few minutes to "dry" (you can't really see if it's dry, but a few minutes will do). Then run it through a clean area of cloth. 

Grab your wire in the middleand fold it over your round nosed plyers to form a loop in the center(think like a bobby pin).
Next  with your round nosed plyers grab flat across the wire with just a little bit of the loop sticking out of the end of your plyers(use a little less than what you see in the photo). This loop only needs to be big enough to fit a small wire wrap dangle. 
Now curve the wire right until it just about folds on top of itself.
Now take the wire and slip your folded over "bobby pin" and slide it over the ring. This bend should "hug" over the patinated ring.
Now  pick up your bend chain nosed plyers and gently squeeze the bent over "bobby pin" to give it a more snug fit to the ring. 
Grab your round nosed plyers and grab across the patinated ring and the "U" shaped loop for stability.  This hold will give you some nice stability as you do your wire wraps. Dark annealed steel wire is MUCH stiffer than copper, brass or silver wire. 

Take the wire "tail" on your right and wrap a few times around the the patinated hoop.
This is how your wrap should look. See the nice tight coils to the right?

Now take your round nosed plyers and grab the patinated ring and "U" loop and wrap your other wire "tail" to the left side. You only need to do 2-3 wraps on each side, but you can do as many as you like. 

**Designers Note** You can also do some fancy wire wraps with the remainder of your wire "tail" after making your securing wire-wraps! Play around as you feel more comfortable with this technique and see where the design takes you ;) **
Next take your cutters and gently snip the wire "tail". 
You can now pick up your bent chain nosed plyers and gently "tuck" the snipped "tail". Repeat on the opposite side.
Here you can see how the wrap looks finished. See how you have a "U" shaped  dangle loop that hangs on the inside of the ring? This is where your wire-wrapped dangle will hang. 

**Designers Note** You can do a wire wrapped dangle that will hang in the bottom of the "U" shaped loop, but you can also add a jump ring around the patinated ring and through the top of the "U" in the "U" loop as well for an earring!(See last photo with necklace and earrings for a demonstration of this).

Here you can connect a wire-wrapped dangle to the "U" loop you just created. For instructions on that technique, please see my other tutorial here. 

Here is what the patinated ring looks like with a dangle hanging from the "U" loop you created :D

Remember my new necklace and earrings? This is where I came up with this wonderful technique while designing my new piece!

 Center patinated ring, toggle, and "Clay Ding" beads by Karen Totten.
Black Loopty Loops and  Batik Style Hippy Girl focal by Staci Smith
Enameled hoops, "Wing Dings," glass headpins and design by Genea C-K

I hope you enjoy using this technique in your creations!

xo Genea


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