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An Expressive and Innovative Mixed Media Art Ezine for Paper Crafters, Collage and Assemblage Artists

Wire Elements

By Chris / CS Designs
Some of you have noticed and asked about the hand made wire scrolls I use in some of my pieces.  They are easy to make, add air of elegance and do not take alot of materials to create. I use I use wire around the 20 gauge which  I have purchased in stores like Wall-mart, beading stores and even Michale's, but sometimes you can also find wire in hardware and pluming  type stores.

Several Wire Elements:
All kinds of shapes can be created with wire and the unique elements can be used for all kinds of things such as stick pins, dangley pieces for shrines, clips such as paper clips which can be attached to paper art pieces and even to create jump rings to use in creating your own charms.

I created all the wire stick pins on the right in I think under half an hour. I say I think because once I started creating these the time went so quickly I didn't even notice.

Although most of the pins are just shaped wire, they could easliy have beads attached to them to make them or decorative.

A salt shaker because of the holes is great for displaying the finished pieces. I included the wire in the photo just so you could see how much wire still remains on the spool. I have had this spool for over 10 years and I have made all kinds of elements including my own jump rings to attach charms to projects.  I got the decorative heart in a second hand store in the junk jewelry section. and all it needs is for me to make it a jump ring so I can hanging it somewhere.
Materials Needed
Although you can go all out and buy tools for jewelry making, it really does not take much to start creating metal coils and stick pins to add to your mixed media projects. I actually only have two tools which I use all the time, one is a small pair of wire cutters and the other is a a cheap pair of jewelry pliers that I bought at Wallmart for under 10.00 dollars.

Since I am not yet making fine jewelry, I really don't need more expensive tools. 

The Tools:
On the right is a close up of the tools I use. The pliers are meant for jewelry making but were not very expensive. The Nose on them is shaped like a cone and rounded so that the wire will be round. Regular pliers will work for this but the shape would not be tottaly round. Regular pliers also often have toothed or ridged noses which will mare your wire.
Wire in Art
The Altered Sardine Can is one of my older pieces but I have included it here so you can see how just how much drams these kinds of elements can add to any piece.

They make great accents for paper crafts, or altered art which include shadow boxes, shrines or assemblage art. The possibilities are endless and all it takes a little time and practice. Your pieces do not have to be complex in order to look fantastic, a simple coil all by itself is more than enough to add a little beauty and uniqueness to a project. For the coils, you just start by pincing the end of a wire between the prongs of the cone shaped plyers and roll. After that you just keep rolling until you get the size you need. If you really enjoy this craft you can go all out and by books with patterns and examples or even join art communities for jewelry makers. If you just want to dabble, there are lots of examples for shapes all over the web for you to look at. If you have a good eye it is easy to tell how the wire wrappes around to make the shape. You can also draw your own shapes on a piece of paper and follow your own patterns.


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  1. I took an evening clas in wire works and have used it a little for crafts but now I see a lot more things I can use it for! =) Just need the time to make everything! =)
    Hugs, Elenor

  2. Gosh the number of sardine cans I have thrown out! This is lovely

  3. mmmmmmmm Lots of food for thought here. xx


Thank you for stopping bye and for taking the time to leave me a comment. :) Chris / CS Designs