Dec 28, 2003, 10:03 PM
I've been playing with wirewrapping beads for awhile now. Mostly gemstones -- irregular or chunky beads. I've taken apart the power bracelets, for small stones, and strands for larger ones. I've done a few bone spiral beads too.
They make nice pendents on all sorts of strands, and the metaphysical stones make nice simple "power" jewelry.
The advantage of wrapping a bead, is that you have a hole already to anchor the wire, and especially for the beginner, it makes it easy to get started. The nice thing is that with the gemstones, no two wraps are going to be the same, even if you use the same "moves." The wire follows the contours of the stone, and each has a unique look. For smaller beads, 20 or 21 gauge wire works well. for larger, chunky beads, an 18 gauge wire can be used.
Square wire gives a different look than round wire, and the look can be *really* different.
I'm working on getting some photos on line, and we'll be showing the techniques in classes, but there is really "nothing to it." It's a matter of practice. Inexpensive brass or copper wire from the hardware store works well for getting the hang of it. Sterling and Gold Filled wire is the stuff to use for the "real" thing, but it's expensive to practice with. Copper wire is good to wrap crystals with, especially quartz and amethyst, and even hematite, for a mixing of the metaphysical properties.
I find when I'm stressed, sitting down with a pile of odd beads, and just wrapping with odd left over wire can be very relaxing. Often, I don't even realize what I've done when I look at the pile the next day.
It's also a good way to use up odd beads, beads which just don't seem to want to string nicely, and other "problem" children in your bead bag.
PUGDOG's Rock & Bead Shop
Pittsburgh, PA 15217