Handmade Wire-Wrapped Bracelet

Crafters who make wire bracelets use a variety of weaving and bending methods. Depending on the bracelet, they may use a single technique or more than one wire bending method to complete the project. The type of bend and weave they use depends on the design they want, the type of wire, wire gauge and other materials they use.

  1. Braiding

    • A basic wire weaving technique is the braid. The process is much like braiding hair or any other fiber, but manipulating wire into a braid takes some practice. When using this technique an artist should use soft pliable wires in either copper, gold, silver or steel. Start the braid with three pieces of equal wire lengths. Twist the ends of the three pieces together using needle-nose pliers. Start the braid by folding the outer wire piece over the middle piece and under the opposite outer piece of wire. Alternate the wires by first braiding one side in this over-and-under fashion and then the other side.

    Twisting

    • A looser and less restricted technique is the twist method. The process requires the twisting one or two wires over or under each other, curving the wire into sharp or softly curves, adding knots, twists and ties to form the abstract design the artist wants to achieve. Often the twisting method involves the integration of the other wire bending techniques at certain points in the design, giving the artist the abstract wire shape he wants. An artisan will use either hard or soft wire depending on the effect he wants to achieve and depending on whether he is integrating beads or stones into the design. Start the process by placing the ends of two or three wires in a vice and twisting them in one or the other direction; the idea is to curl and curve the wire in an artistic and interesting design pattern.

    Looping

    • In this process one or two of the wire strands are looped and then straightened in the bracelet design. These loops are made so an artist can add clasps, charms or other decorative items to the bracelet design. The crafter creates loops from wires of all sizes and shapes it with differently sized needle-nose pliers. Start the loop by pulling one wire from the main design, forming the loop and twisting the end of the wire around the loop several times to strengthen it. Return the wire to the design or cut excess wire from the loop end with the needle-nose pliers.

    Wrapping

    • Another wire twisting technique is the wrapped technique. This involves the wrapping of stones or beads within the wire. The beads are incorporated into the bracelet design using a wrapped process. Most artisans start by placing the bead on top of the wire and wrapping the outer strands over and around the bead or stone in an attractive style. The artisan continues with the wrapping process until the bead or stone is secured within the design. He may add a few coiling decorative effects by bending the wire in a coil shape using the needle-nose pliers.

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