Someone recently asked me advice about starting up making jewelry. Luckily for me, I had someone to hold my hand while I tested the sterling silver waters. But at the time, I didn't know what I was getting into or realize just how much money I was going to spend.
So, if anyone is interested in wire wrapping, here's my advice:
1. Books - There are a ton of books out there that will teach you new (and old) techniques on wire wrapping. Why pay for them? Go to your local library and borrow them for free! After all, it's your tax dollars so you might as well put them to work for you. My favorite book I found at my local library is called Wrapped in Gems by Mai Sato-Flores, which was so inspirational when I first started. I can't say anything about other libraries, but mine in southern california is great. You can get an online account and pick all your books from there. Then they send you an email when your book is ready or if the book you have needs to be returned.
2. Magazines - if you don't like books, there are a ton of magazines at your local bookstore. I was just at Borders the other day and there are lots of colorful and fun magazines with techniques and projects and advice.
3. a) Go to your local craft store first. Buy cheaper craft wire or copper wire, which comes in all tempers and gauges and try your hand working those BEFORE you get into the expensive stuff. This is much more affordable than buying expensive wires and stones and then realizing you really don't like it or have an affinity for it. While you're there, pick up a combo pack of supplies with all the different pliers because as a beginner, you never know what you're going to need.
b) Make sure you go with a shopping list. To make your shopping list, take a look around at your favorite designs. Note all the components you think you're going to need. Want to make earrings? Make sure ear wires are on your list. Does your design require chain? What size beads? Making a necklace or bracelet? Don't forget to add a clasp to your list.
c) Stick to your shopping list! It's waay too tempting to see all the beads they carry and think you're going to make something with it. Then you end up with a whole bunch of beads and no ideas of what to do with them.
d) Keep a running list of stuff you need as you use stuff when making your jewelry, then you don't end up going back shopping without knowing what you need
4. You can buy a fancy wire cutter if you want, but I just use a nail clipper. Easy to carry around (like on the airplane) and easy to replace. Plus you can get up close to where you want to cut.
5. Now that you're done with that, wear your jewelry! Give them as gifts! Does anyone comment or tell you how much they love your stuff? Maybe you can start your own store, too!