In shops and in nature, I enjoy antiquing, junking, estate sale shopping, and hunting for treasures. I find myself discovering a wealth of things that might make a beautiful ring along the way, including vintage beads, buttons, coins or tokens, shells, orphaned earrings, seed pods, Roman glass, beach glass, and so on. I am missing one thing, however: an enormous pile of cash to buy enough silver to make all this ring! Additionally, making them all takes time. It is possible to make rings from pretty much any found object with wire, which is quicker, easier, and more affordable.
Making rings is easy if you have wire on hand! You can quickly and affordably showcase all the treasured bits and objects you find that are just right for jewelry on these rings. I can make stylish rings from wire alone, even if you don’t have the same problem I do with finding objects. These four videos show how to make more than a dozen different rings using wire alone or with crystals and beads using Eva Sherman’s wire ring making videos.
Observing Eva’s wire rings videos for the first time gave me a lot of jewelry-making tips. My favorite number is five – who knew?
Here are five tips for making wire jewelry and rings:
- 1. You can tell the wire is annealed when it is dull red. It’s important not to anneal the metal to a cherry-red color, because at that point, it’s melting. When dealing with silver, this can lead to ruin rather quickly if you are not careful. When viewing the hot metal, dim the lights if you’re having trouble seeing the different red shades.
- 2. If you plan on using steel tools with your metal jewelry projects, make sure you dry them before using them with pickling or quenching procedures. It can be a bigger nuisance than you think to deal with rust on your tools (and your projects, if it transfers over).
- Tongs made from plastic or wood should be used when dipping and removing metal from the liver of sulfur. In some cases, different metals react with the liver of sulfur solution and affect our patina, especially in places where the tongs touch one another; they can damage our patina.
- Secure your ring mandrel in a ring mandrel clamp to keep both hands free while making wire rings. After that, you can hammer with one hand while holding the ring in the other, twist the wire with both hands, etc. Years have passed since I last used these little clamps for making wire rings and other rings! Purchasing a clamp is easier if you already have a mandrel and are looking for a clamp to fit it. Be sure the clamp is compatible with the mandrel you already own.
Metal: The Most Fascinating Fact
- Are you curious why your metal (especially copper) appears milky after pickling? Eva’s video explains what it is and why it won’t wash off. Before, I just considered it to be a pickled residue that needed to be cleaned off. In a pickle, hydrochloric acid cleans or “pulls off” the fire scale from the metal by pulling the metal molecules towards the vertical position as it cleans them.
A similar upright-molecule situation causes fired metal clay to appear dull right out of the kiln before it is burnished. The dullness can be removed by scratching the metal with steel wool or a brass brush, which burnishes and flattens the molecules where they can reflect light and shine again. The same applies to tumbling.
Eva Sherman teaches you how to make wire rings
Watch Eva Sherman’s videos on making wire rings to learn more about these tips and much more. There are no longer 13 rings compilation DVDs available-although there are still individual project videos that are helpful.
The following will be covered:
- Create perfect wire coils with a drill from a hardware store (for jewelry projects and designs)
- Get comfortable using a torch for annealing and balled headpins slowly and easily
- How to make wire rings that change size when they’re being made
- It goes on and on.
You will learn how to make a wide variety of wire rings with these videos, regardless of the occasion or your stash!
Wire or flat strip stock are both suitable for making silver rings. In general, silver wire bands consist of half-rounds or low domes that are either plain or patterned. Wires of all shapes and sizes can be used to make thin rings. Using a steel ring mandrel and rawhide or nylon hammer, round and shape the wire after choosing the material and size that you need. In the Halstead Studio, we love making silver rings. These stackers are a crowd-pleaser at a low price point. Ring bands can make an excellent addition to your collection whether you’re in the middle of planning a show, preparing for a holiday, or need to stock up.
A ceramic ring mandrel is an excellent tool for making rings. By using this device, the ring can be shaped once before soldering, and then it can be finished as usual. A little solder should be placed under the join and the silver ring material should be placed on the mandrel (join side up). Due to the fact that solder flows toward heat, the solder will draw up through the connection. Contact the joint completely and flush before soldering. A gap cannot be filled with solder.
Finish your silver bands by using a rotary tool, sandpaper, or radial disks from 3M. When you need to make a specific size of wire, lining up the wire can be challenging. It is not possible to blend the two ends together because rings must be precise. Embellishment can be added to a piece of jewelry in this way. Our image to the left shows charms, settings, even a halo of heishe beads to break up patterns or add some punch to the ring band. It’s fun to come up with useful findings!