New Adventures in Wire Jewelry Making: Fun with WoolyWire

23 Sep 2013

I love it when a new product helps me rediscover an old technique, or vice versa. When my friend Stephanie "The Dixon Chick" Dixon turned me onto new "handspun fiberwire" WoolyWire, which are felted fibers on a copper wire core that I think of as bendable yarn, I immediately wanted to try it in all my favorite wire jewelry-making projects and techniques. 

 
So I dug out back issues of Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry magazine and started browsing for WoolyWire-friendly designs. I searched for ways to make the most of this unique new product, thinking that coiling, wrapping, and creating links would be the best options.

 
Coiling and wrapping seem to be a great way to make great use of it because it wraps and coils onto just about anything you want to put it on, and because it's all wired, you don't need any adhesives or connections other than the "cold connection" of wrapping it on. So I made simple wire hoops and teardrop shapes and then added a little extra interest in the form of a splash color and texture by wrapping on some WoolyWire. I wrapped loosely on one pair and tightly on the other, and embellished one pair with green fluorite briolettes.

 
These channel beads from Nunn Design were just begging for something bright and colorful to be wrapped around them. Enter the WoolyWire! These beads are also great with decorative papers, regular wire, epoxy clay and crystals, polymer clay, or other fibers wrapped around them. Make two, hang them from ear wires, and voila! Super quick earrings. (Or slide one or a few on a chain for a fast necklace or bracelet.)

 
I was also intrigued with the idea of making individual wire links out of this "bendable yarn" and turning them into gorgeous colorful chain in bracelets. I made the "Whirligig" and something inspired by the "Ball of Yarn" links from Cindy Wimmer's The Missing Link book. I had to hammer the Whirligig links a bit to work-harden them to help them keep their shape better; the core wire is quite soft. Though it doesn't feel itchy, it might be considered a little itchy on the neck as a necklace chain, but that's easily fixed. Make some links with WoolyWire and use them as the front segment or focal piece on a necklace of ribbon, leather cord, or regular chain. Perfect for autumn!

 
Serenhippity Hoops earrings
by Genea Crivello-Knable.
After I played around with coiling and wrapping the WoolyWire, I realized that the wire doesn't have to be a secondary addition--it can be the primary material. Where I first made wire loops and then wrapped them, I could've just made the loops from the WoolyWire and embellished that with other beads, like these earrings by Genea Crivello-Knable. I love the idea of lampwork glass with WoolyWire; they both have a blend of swirling colors that pair up so nicely.

The more I make jewelry, the more I value wire. Now having a wire product that's also colorful and adds texture to my pieces makes me enjoy wireworking even more.

 
Empress of the Thicket and Green Tango earrings
by Genea Crivello-Knable.
For more inspiring wire jewelry designs and step-by-step wirework projects, subscribe to Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry magazine. Each issue is packed with tutorials and ideas as well as tips on techniques and new products--all from leading wire-jewelry experts.  

P.S. See lots of other inspiring projects made with WoolyWire on their Pinterest board

Resources:

WoolyWire: www.etsy.com/shop/ktotten

Genea Crivello-Knable: www.geneack.etsy.com


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Comments

lyone wrote
on 1 Oct 2013 9:24 PM

Where is wooly wire available?

TammyJones wrote
on 2 Oct 2013 10:30 AM

Hi lyone,

If you click the link to "Wooly Wire" above, under Resources, you'll go right to their page on Etsy and can order it online.

Thanks for reading JMD!

Tammy