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Author Topic: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?  (Read 6699 times)

FranOnTheEdge

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How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« on: August 27, 2014, 10:44:48 AM »
I usually work with Polymer clay but recently, as some of you may know, I bought a few spools of coloured wires;

I got Turquoise, Purple, Silver, Petrol and Copper coloured wires in a few sizes, .5 and .8mm (and whatever 28 gauge is for purple, turquoise and copper)  (plus a few tiny pieces in other colours and sizes, (gold-ish, red-ish, one in .4mm and a couple in 1mm) I already had .9mm or maybe 1mm - (difficult to be sure) in copper. And I already had a coil of green craft wire in .5mm.

How do I find any information of working with coloured wires?

I've already tried searching on google, been searching for the past month or more, so by now I've tried every different connotation of wording that I can think of.  But most things seem to be about working with bare wire, and using liver of sulphur and other distressing mediums, now all that's nice and I'd certainly like to have a go at that sometime - but not right now, not while I've just bought coloured wires.

I can't afford the more expensive wires until I know if wire working is for me, and I haven't got much money so that's why I bought the less expensive coloured wires - also they are lovely colours, and I wanted to work with them, but I just can't seem to find any information about it, no how to work with videos or anything else.

I've found an e/magazine for wire working, but I can't tell if it'll have what I need inside and I can't afford to buy it without knowing, what if it has just one article? or one short paragraph on coloured wires? or nothing at all? No, that's not the way.

I've ordered some Wire Jewellery books from the local mobile library but that'll be another 2 weeks before I can see if anything's arrived on that.

I've seen some wire 'weaving'? with square wire and a different coloured round wire, but that was 2 wires I don't have and the square wire was acting as a bezel for a stone so it was hard - I don't have that, the smaller round wire was gold - and I don't have that either, couldn't afford any more wires anyway.

I don't have a wire jig either... I don't have any hammers at all either, nor a block. (I wanted to ask how essential they were, since some have said that you must be so careful not to damage coloured wires, and hammers can easily damage them... so ??? Help?)

The demo of weaving? (not sure if that's the right term)...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uoGp6yF5q4

...has shown me that combining one coloured and sized wire with another smaller sized and different coloured wire is possible, but I can't find any info about these coloured craft wires, or how to work with them anywhere.
So at the moment I'm stuck, can anyone help? or is that going to cost? I mean are such video tuts 'pay for' only?

I'm working mostly with Polymer clay, so I wanted some way I could combine shaped coloured wires with clay, either as part of a bail or connector, or as a design imbedded in the clay, either before or after baking - and that's another question - will baking ruin coloured wires? Will it damage the coloured coating?

Also what's the point of square wire, ditto half round wire? what's it mean't for?  and can I just use the round coloured wires I've got instead?
FranOnTheEdge

monkey ann

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 01:28:01 PM »
Hi Fran

Stop searching for info on working with coloured wire.  Use the info on standard wires and adjust what you do very slightly.  You will need to avoid any techniques or tools that might scratch the coloured wires, otherwise all aspects of working with wire should be the same.  Jude used the techniques for silver wire on silver plated wire when she first got started and it worked for her.  Don't hammer.  Don't use sharp/rough tools (cover the jaws with masking tape, if it is a problem).

The basic tools to get started are; wire cutters / flat nose pliers (x 2 ideally) / round nose pliers (both sides rounded are best).
There are many more tools out there, but these will get you on your way.

Go and try some simple techniques, even if you waste some of the wire in the process.
Ann from Croydon, Surrey

Carrie

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 03:19:21 PM »
I'd say the same as Ann....l have a lot of coloured wire, bought in a flush of enthusiasm ages ago which l've hardly used, but yes, you do need to be careful not to mark it so don't hammer - though maybe - l don't know - a rubber mallet thingy on a rubber block might work-harden it.  Someone will know, l'm sure.  Depends on what you make, and the gauge, whether you would need to harden it anyway.

I have never used sterling wire - l only use silver plated, copper and other metal colours, ditto findings.  I have no plans to sell anything and even if l did l would stick to plated. 

Boni's advice about working with wire on your wire book thread is spot on.

The coloured wires are very cheap and go a long way so have a play with one of them....it's all too easy to get hung up on not "wasting" our supplies...l bet everyone does it to an extent, but we'd never make anything or learn anything if we didn't dive in at some stage  :)

shelleym

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 07:04:39 PM »
Yes you can hammer coloured wire. But I do it on a block covered with thick paper (heard you are meant to use leather), then the wire, then another piece of paper. Then I hammer! Sometimes the colour will come off , but most the time it stays put. But as others have said a block and hammer are not necessary - certainly to start. Just use tools like the others have said!

Shelley


MilleD

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2014, 07:08:37 PM »
Similar to Carrie, I have quite a lot of coloured wire that it will probably take me a while to use.  Even the copper coloured wire I'm turning against as it's coated and doesn't take LoS.

But like Ann says, you don't need specific coloured wire videos, just ones you can adjust to your use.

As an alternative to a hammer, you can buy relatively inexpensive 'whacker' blocks that you sandwich the wire between and smack the two together.  It can flatten the wire without cutting through the coloured coating to the wire beneath.  Filing you need to be careful of as it takes off the coating.

I've never had any problems baking the wires at temps that clay bakes at, you may get different results, but the temp is so low I've never had any trouble.

For weaving, you generally need a thick wire(s) and a thinner wire.  It doesn't matter what colour or shape they are.

Jigs can be useful if you are doing a lot of repetitive shapes (making your own links for a chain or something) but they are not necessary.  A pair of round nose or bail making pliers will do most shapes a jig can do.  Just not quite as consistently.

Bonipie

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2014, 07:59:10 PM »
So, I have a bit of colored wire also.  Most of my wire work is in copper, then silver, then a little colored.  But, my wire work would have not happened without colored wire.  I made several chains one year at our yearly bead retreat.  I was hooked.  All was done with colored wire.  You will learn a lot with colored wire.  Biggest thing to learn-how to use tools with wire and not nick or scratch the wire.  The coloring comes off pretty easily, and if you aren't careful with it, you scratch or nick the wire.  So, you have an incentive to learn how to work without damaging the coloring of the wire.

About hammering colored wire, I don't do it.  You could try it, but you would have to have something (a thin fabric or something) between the hammer and the wire and between the wire and the surface you are hammering on.  But, the main purpose of hammering is to harden the wire.  You can harden wire just by working with it.  Just the action of working with the wire will harden it and you can feel the wire harden-it becomes harder to work with.  Hammering it hardens it and you will develop techniques to make the hammer marks into interesting patterns.

I use half round and square wires mostly for wirewrapping pendants and bangle bracelets.  It's available in silver, copper, and silver plate (maybe 'gold' plate).  When I'm teaching, I use plated wire or copper.  When someone feels ready for it, they might go for silver.  Hard to see from the photo below, but on the side of the stone, there is a stack of probably 6 parallel wires around the perimeter of the stone.  They maintain a nice even stack because they are square, not round.  You can see 3 places where there is a square wire prong holding the stone in place.  These are made by taking the top square wire in the stack and making a prong with it, and putting the square wire back into the stack-you then form the prong so it holds the stone in place (things on the back also hold the stone from the back).

A bit easier to see in the photo are areas that look like round wire wrapped around the square wire to hold the square wire in the stack.  This is the half round wire.  It looks like round wire that has been cut in half-like a half moon.  The reason it is half round is that when carefully wrapped around the stack of square wire, the flat back of the rounded wire against a a stack of square wire will make a very strong, tight stack of wire that will not shift or come apart.  The half round looks round, but eliminates 1/2 of the bulk of the round wire.

Also, you can see in the photo (curving around the bottom right tip of the stone and at the upper left side of the stone on the lower side) a twisted wire was included in the square stack of wires.  This is a cool decorative technique and is quite easy to do.   You twist only square wire.  Since it has 'edges', when you twist it, you can easily see the twists.  If you tried to twist round wire, you wouldn't see the twists.

I have a wire jig, but have never used it.  If you have tools (suggestions above are quite good), you can do anything with the tools that you can do with the jig.  However, I have been quite fascinated by the Wig Jig website.    If you go to their website and then to their video lessons, they show you a lot of things you can do with wire, and you can just try to so the same thing with your tools.

I can't help you with baking colored wire.  I haven't done it.  Wire can  often be added later.  I make a coil of wire for my bails.  I put a couple of small holes in the clay before I bake it.  After baking, I put the ends of the wire in the holes and use a little super glue to secure the wire.  I also add a little super glue between the clay and bail-just to be sure.

The hammer and block-use what you have.  When you get further along in the wire part of the hobby, you can see if these are important to you.  If you are using Mr. Man's tools, find the ones with the nicest surfaces.

Hugs, Boni  8) in Wonderful Yuma, Arizona
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 08:05:02 PM by Bonipie »

MilleD

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2014, 08:50:57 AM »
Love the twisted wire in that Boni.

Carrie

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2014, 10:50:55 AM »
Oh Boni - what a glorious piece  8)

MelMcG

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2014, 05:04:42 PM »
Boni, your wire work is always so perfect!  Beautiful piece!!

Mel  :)

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2014, 11:14:31 PM »
Hi Fran

Stop searching for info on working with coloured wire.  Use the info on standard wires and adjust what you do very slightly.  You will need to avoid any techniques or tools that might scratch the coloured wires, otherwise all aspects of working with wire should be the same.  Jude used the techniques for silver wire on silver plated wire when she first got started and it worked for her.  Don't hammer.  Don't use sharp/rough tools (cover the jaws with masking tape, if it is a problem).

The basic tools to get started are; wire cutters / flat nose pliers (x 2 ideally) / round nose pliers (both sides rounded are best).
There are many more tools out there, but these will get you on your way.

Go and try some simple techniques, even if you waste some of the wire in the process.

Okay, not coloured wire,  just wire techniques.  Got it.

I got a set of jewellery pliers, but 2 of them had serrations, which tee'd me off somewhat. I wanted flat ones and expected 'Jewellery' to mean they'd be suitable.
I tried wrapping a wire around itself to make a bail but ended up covering it up with a clay sheeth, cos I thought it looked too ugly.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 11:21:45 PM by FranOnTheEdge »
FranOnTheEdge

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2014, 11:27:25 PM »
I'd say the same as Ann....l have a lot of coloured wire, bought in a flush of enthusiasm ages ago which l've hardly used, but yes, you do need to be careful not to mark it so don't hammer - though maybe - l don't know - a rubber mallet thingy on a rubber block might work-harden it.  Someone will know, l'm sure.  Depends on what you make, and the gauge, whether you would need to harden it anyway.

I have no idea what does or doesn't need hardening.  I mean I don't even understand why you need to harden in the first place.


Quote
I have never used sterling wire - l only use silver plated, copper and other metal colours, ditto findings.  I have no plans to sell anything and even if l did l would stick to plated.


Why would you stick to plated?

Quote
Boni's advice about working with wire on your wire book thread is spot on.

The coloured wires are very cheap and go a long way so have a play with one of them....it's all too easy to get hung up on not "wasting" our supplies...l bet everyone does it to an extent, but we'd never make anything or learn anything if we didn't dive in at some stage  :)

Yes, I will, I'm just struggling to come up with any ideas yet.
FranOnTheEdge

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2014, 11:32:49 PM »
Yes you can hammer coloured wire. But I do it on a block covered with thick paper (heard you are meant to use leather),

Oh you can?  Oh right... yes I've heard of those leather sack thingies, so that's what they are for.

Quote
then the wire, then another piece of paper. Then I hammer! Sometimes the colour will come off , but most the time it stays put. But as others have said a block and hammer are not necessary - certainly to start. Just use tools like the others have said!

Shelley

I wonder if the leather sack would stop the colour coming off?
FranOnTheEdge

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2014, 11:47:11 PM »
Similar to Carrie, I have quite a lot of coloured wire that it will probably take me a while to use.  Even the copper coloured wire I'm turning against as it's coated and doesn't take LoS.

How do you know if it's coated? I ask because I don't know if my old big reel of copper is coated or not.  And I can't remember what it said when I first bought it I can't even remember where I got it from.


Quote
But like Ann says, you don't need specific coloured wire videos, just ones you can adjust to your use.

Yes, but it's finding the ones I can adapt.

Quote
As an alternative to a hammer, you can buy relatively inexpensive 'whacker' blocks that you sandwich the wire between and smack the two together.  It can flatten the wire without cutting through the coloured coating to the wire beneath.  Filing you need to be careful of as it takes off the coating.

Filing?  What filing?  I've not come across that.  Whacker blocks... is that what they are called?

Quote
I've never had any problems baking the wires at temps that clay bakes at, you may get different results, but the temp is so low I've never had any trouble.

For weaving, you generally need a thick wire(s) and a thinner wire.  It doesn't matter what colour or shape they are.

Yes, I'd thought of big turquoise, medium purple and small turquoise (28g), but I can't think what to actually do with them, a design... I'm stuck with that.

Quote
Jigs can be useful if you are doing a lot of repetitive shapes (making your own links for a chain or something) but they are not necessary.  A pair of round nose or bail making pliers will do most shapes a jig can do.  Just not quite as consistently.

Oh okay.  I did ask my husband if he could make me one... but I don't know yet.
When he saw one on a website where I'd found it, aluminium board with aluminium pegs but they were pretty loose and wobbled a lot in the demo video he wasn't impressed with the quality, actually he said it looked rubbish! Lol!
FranOnTheEdge

Carrie

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2014, 11:50:46 PM »
I use silver plated because sterling is too expensive and in any case l am perfectly happy with the look of plate.

If you have made a curve or spiral or whatever in wire then hardening it will ensure it keeps its shape.   

Bonipie

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Re: How To Videos On Coloured Wire, + Or - PolyClay?
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2014, 04:55:27 AM »
I buy all my wire 'soft'-with copper and sterling, this is an option (half hard, hard, soft).  It's far easier to work with soft.  It's very easy to harden.  Just working with it hardens the wire.  When I was braiding the wire bracelets in the photo, after I had the bracelets half done, I almost couldn't continue because the wire was so hard.

You do want the wire to harden on most things.  Jump rings would be too easy to open, clasps would open, rings wouldn't keep their shape, etc.  Just the act of making a jumpring and using it will harden it.

I tumble almost every wire thing I make, and this hardens anything that isn't already hard.

Hugs, Boni  8) in Wonderful Yuma, Arizona