In this blog post I go through my experience of wire coiling, review the products I have used and make suggestions for anyone interested in making wire coiled jewellery.
Firstly let me explain I am a total beginner to wire working and jewellery making in general for that matter. What drew me to wire coiling is the flexibility of the method, the wide range of designs you can create and the high quality look of final results.
To begin my wire coiling adventure I bought a Artistic Wire Deluxe Coiling Gizmo, A pair of Xuron Maxi-Shear cutters, Buy The Dozen 22ga Artistic Wire and two books; Coiled Wire Jewellery and Beadalon's Coiled Wire Jewellery With The Coiling Gizmo.
The Beadalon Deluxe Coiling Gizmo comes in a compact size cardboard box which make it easy to store away. The box also comes with some basic instructions on the back so you can begin experimenting straight away. Inside the box is a table clamp and 5 different size mandles. These components are solid metal and the high quality you expect for Beadalon products.
The table clamp is adjustable allowing you to attach it to a table of any thickness. If you want to protect the surface of the table you're using I would suggest laying some soft material (such as folded paper) between the table and clamp ends. Even with this material in place the clamp should sit securely with no wiggle.
What I like about the Deluxe Coiling Gizmo is the 5 different thicknesses of mandle which allows you experiment with creating different size and styles of wire coiled designs. This I feel makes it superior to the basic Beadalon Coiling Gizmo which only contains one mandle and no table mount.
My one quibble about the Deluxe Coiling Gizmo is the length. I originally want to create really large coils and turn them into a bangles but this isn't possible with the Deluxe Coiling Gizmo. If creating really long coils is what you want I recommend investing the Professional Deluxe Coiling Gizmo. This coiling gizmo is definitely the best in it's class and also allows you attach the Conetastic tool for creating cone shaped coils.
All in all I would defiantly recommend the Deluxe Coiling Gizmo for those wanting to start making coiled wire jewellery. It's high quality results are really easy to achieve even by a complete beginner like me. The designs you can create are impressive, I've got lots of complements on the coiled jewellery I have made. Another plus point about the Deluxe Coiling Gizmo is the price. At only £9.95 for such a brilliant product.
In regards to wire, I recommed using Buy The Dozen Artistic Wire reels. This is because you get 12 small reels of different colours in each pack, giving you plenty to experiment with. If you more of a particular colour CJ Beaders supply larger reels for you to buy. For wire coiling you want wire that isn't too thick, gauge 26 to 20 should do. Thick wire is very difficult to coil and tends to kink, I tried it myself with 18 gauge wire and I tell you first hand it doesn't work well. Thinner gives much more better results and coils a lot easier.
To cut the wire I bought a pair of Xuron Model 2175 Cutters. This tool is ergonomically designed and comes with Xuron's patented Micro-shear. This bypass blade design, the Micro-shear, reduces cutting effort and extends the life of the blade. I decided to go with the Xuron cutters because it is important to me to have a very clean cut on the wire. The last thing you want is horrible jagged cut lines on a piece of jewellery you spent a lot of time making. Xuron pliers and cutters are some of the best on the market so I knew I was getting a quality product. Apart from the clean precise cuts this tool creates another thing I love about this cutter is it's ergonomic design. It's just a nice tool to use, the handle is very comfortable and it's spring back function feel light, it makes cutting easy.
The Xuron Model 2175 is £16.75 making it one of the more pricer cutters on the market. Click here to see more cutters available. Remember Xuron tools are a premium, professional tools and in my personal opinion the Xuron Model 2175 cutter justifies the price. From first look you can tell this is a high quality product and with especially with Xuron's patented shear it will last you a long time. You won't be disappointed by this cutter, I surely wasn't.
Next week I will finish my adventures into wire coiling by reviewing the books Coiled Wire Jewellery and Coiled Wire Jewellery With The Coiling Gizmo!