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Video:How To Make a Wire Wrapped Ring

with Heidi Dehncke

Wire wrapped rings are a fun and funky jewelry design. Learn how to make a simple wire wrapped ring with custom beading.See Transcript

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Transcript:How To Make a Wire Wrapped Ring

Hi. I'm Jeanette Caines. I'm an instructor here at Jewelry Arts Institute and I'm here for About.com. This is my apprentice Valerie Bloom, and she's going to be here learning along with you. The project we're doing today is a fun and funky ring. It's a simple ring made out of Sterling Silver and you can customize it a lot of different ways.

Tools Needed for the Wire Wrapped Rings

  • 14 gauge sterling round wire
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Round nose pliers
  • Nippers
  • Ring mandrel with the sizes right on it
  • Cutting shears
  • File
  • Leather mallet
  • Torch
  • Tweezers

Size the Wire Wrapped Ring to Fit

We're going to start off with our 14 gauge wire. We need to size it. This is a length gauge. This is to help you figure out what length of wire is going to make a certain size ring. That's what the numbers mean. Now, that doesn't take into account the thickness of the metal. If I wanted it to be a size seven I'm going to have to make it a little bit longer. I'm going to lay my wire down right on it. I'm going to mark it right there just by the seven. I'm going to put a little pinch. And then I'm going to pick it up, find my pinch, and cut it.

Solder the Wire Wrapped Ring

Then I'm going to file the ends nice and flush. Valerie is using her fingers, but you can also use a leather mallet to give it a little extra force if you need it. Your flat nose pliers will also work very well to get the ends together so we can solder them shut.

We're going to use hard solder to solder it together. Put your piece of solder flat on your block, and then the piece directly on top of it with both sides of the seam directly touching the solder. Then you can put a couple of drops of liquid flux on from the top and just heat from the top. And you see how Valerie doesn't hesitate. She goes right in there and gets it good and hot. And there it went.

As always, we're going to let it cool for a little bit and then we can dunk it in the water. Our metal is kind of dark and crusty. So, we're going to put it in the pickle and acid bath for about three to five minutes until it's nice and clean. When we make up a fresh batch of pickle we're going to use a quarter of cup of sodium bi-sulfate per quart of water. It's extremely important to add the acid to the water, not the water to the acid.

Dry it off and then we're ready to shape. Valerie's just putting it on the mandrel and she's just going to tap it a little bit with the leather mallet to make sure that it's: A- beautiful and round, and B- fits her finger.

Customize the Wire Wrapped Ring with Beading

We need to make our jump ring for the top. That's where all of our little beads are going to wrap to. I can just grab the wire like this, twist it around, and I'm grabbing the wire at the same point on the pliers. I'm just letting the extra just ride up the top. I'm going to file the ends of these flush. It's always better to position yourself against the bench leaning, so you just let the tool glide along. I've got a couple of nice pieces of medium solder. I'm going to dip my solder in a little bit of paste flux and I put it right on top.

Now, since I'm right handed, I'm actually going to hold the torch in my left hand. Because that leaves my right hand free to operate the tweezers. I'm going to gently dry the flux. I'm heating more on the larger piece. Because solder follows the most heat. As always I'm going to let it cool for a minute. Then, I'm going to put it into the water and then it's going to go into the pickle bath.

Wire Wrap Beads Around the Ring

The next step is wrapping on my beads. I've started off by making just a piece of wire that will go through my bead. I really need to have a ball on the end so the bead doesn't just slide off. Hold it up with my tweezers, to the end of the flame and it will just ball up on the end. Just slide it on my bead. I'm going to grab it on top with my round nose pliers like this. Make a bend at 45 degrees, pull it around counter clockwise. So that we end up with something that looks like this.

I'm going to slide it on to my little jump ring. Then, I'm going to close it up. I'm just going to use my nippers to nip off the excess. And however many beads you want to add on to here is really up to you, you can be as creative as you want to.

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