gold pendant

What Is Wire Wrap Jewelry?

Wire wrap jewelry is any jewelry made through the technique of hand work,  meaning not an automated system, with the use of wire. Simple, right?  Well no, it's just the beginning. Wire wrap jewelry has a few types of techniques and styles that make up this label. 

Organic style

This is the style most people recognize when a friend says they began learning to make wire wrap jewelry. It is the beginning of how most wire wrap artists learn. It is a more rough style and leans towards the use of wire to simply capture or hang a gemstone in  way that shows the gemstone as the most important piece of a jewelry item. It includes a style that looks almost like chicken wire in how it twists together leaving open spaces all around the gem, as well as simple spirals and thick wire to capture the stone with one wire, such as making a spiral cage around a gem. It also usually includes gemstones that are drilled so that a wire can be put through the gem to secure it into a frame. 

Organic styling would also include chaos style and crochet but these are a more advanced technique that takes more practice and falls farther into my journey, so we will come back to them later.

Traditional Style (Pictured)

This style of making jewelry  is more elegant and looks rather simple in all those tutorials on you tube, but I assure you it is much more difficult than it appears. It is the style in which a jewelry artist creates a frame or bezel around a gemstone with multiple wires that are wrapped by a smaller one. The top most and bottom most wires are moved onto the gemstone to capture and secure it into the frame. It becomes a fancy picture frame for the gemstone. 

Wire Weaving

Wire Weaving is a technique where you have base wires and a thinner wire that weaves between them to create a frame or bezel. It can be a simple frame where the gemstone nestles into it or it can be incredibly complicated where different weaves connect and wrap around the gem in multiple ways. Sometimes the back is simple with just braces to hold the gem in and sometimes the weave wraps completely around the gemstone. This style has many types of weaving and wrapping techniques that come together for some magnificent designs. It is deceiving how much wire is used in even a simple design.

Crochet and Viking Knit

Crochet is just like what you think of in the yarn form. It can be made right on a needle and is one wire looped around itself or a frame to create textured sections between wire base wires or to capture a gemstone. It reminds me of the way a fishing net looks when it is around a gem. Viking knit is the same technique of looping around a dowel and then drawn through a plate to make a chain. 

Chaos Style

Chaos is basically winding and weaving the wires around either a frame or each other to create loops. It can be used to create chaos wire beads when it is done around a slim dowel or it can be used to create beautiful loops to fill in space between two thicker wires to create a super textured and intricate design and also used to wrap around a gem and a frame to secure the gemstone in place with a fancy looking design. It is called chaos because a designer doesn't usually begin with a pattern in mind, it's created as you go and also it is sometimes difficult to know where the chaos begins and ends. 

The best part of all these techniques is they can be used together to create really unique pieces of jewelry. 

Have a blessed day and check out all my blogs for more information on gemstones, materials, design services and how to clean your custom jewelry and more. Or head to my shop to see many of these techniques in my artisan jewelry line.


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