Sunday, June 26, 2011

Experimenting with "Soft" Wire

I purchased some 18-gauge "soft" wire a few days ago and was excited to give it try.  I had read about it before, but not worked with it.   Upon trying it out, I was at first thrilled, then disappointed, then happy to have discovered it!    I'll explain...
  • Although 18-gauge is a fairly thick, heavy wire, normally hard to wrap and bend, this wire was easy to do so.   It was much more flexible and that was an exciting discovery!   
  •  I quickly recogized its limitations though.  Like using a too-thin wire, it didn't hold up well to a string of heavy beads, tending to bend and flop around.   Disappointment set in.  I also found that it scratched and dented more easily, leaving undesirable tool marks.
  • Soon though, I found it had its own niche.   It worked wonderfully for wire wrapping and for use with one large bead rather than a longer grouping of beads.   It wraps beautifully and so much easier than harder wire of the same gauge.   It does require a lighter touch with the tools, particularly any that would leave nicks in the silver.    I'll use it for certain projects only, but have discovered that it does have a useful place along with many other wire types I like to use.     

After experimenting a bit, I found that the project, above, is one example of where this soft, heavy-gauge wire will be useful.   I was using two pieces of dyed quartz I had.  I'm not sure what this piece will be "when it grows up."  I'm thinking of getting a few more pieces of quartz in similar shapes and colors and linking to make a necklace.  

Keep watching...   You may find it on my website one day soon!   

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