WigJig Ear Wires2:05 PM
6 metal pegs (or 1 super peg and 2 metal pegs)
2-1/2 in. 20g craft wire
Nylon jaw pliers
Round nose pliers
WigJig Olympus or WigJig Olympus-Lite
20g Craft Wire comes in regular or silver plated colors. No other colored wire offers the resistance to scratching, peeling and marring. This is due to the special enameling process used to coat the wire to produce the 25 plus colors we offer in just this gauge. After the enamel is applied, the wire is clear coated to prevent tarnishing. Be aware that bare copper is not coated and will tarnish (sometimes this can be a benefit if you want an antique look). Soft Flex Craft Wire is hypoallergenic. This is especially nice for things like ear wires.
In the book Wonderful, Wearable Wire you will find easy to follow patterns. You simply lay your WigJig on top of the pattern and slide in the pegs.
The transparent WigJig products are constructed of aircraft strength acrylic. So strong, they can be used in a vise.
Cut 2-1/2 inches of 20g Craft Wire from the spool. You usually need your Nylon Jaw Pliers handy to pull any kinks out of the wire. Make a simple loop using your Round Nose Pliers.
Look at the easy to follow number guide provided with the pattern to find the starting point.
Slide your loop in place.
You want to guide the wire with your hand but turn the WigJig and let the jig do the work. As you turn the WigJig, it will create a nice round shape for you. You should never be pulling the wire around the pegs.
Work hardening is an important part of wire work. The temper of wire is the hardness or softness of the wire. The temper indicates the malleability of the wire to hold its shape and to bend fluidly. Work hardening your wire actually changes the molecular structure inside the wire. It is the process of manipulating the wire to lock in the design and stiffen the wire to strengthen it. To work harden, you can use a nylon or rubber tipped hammer. Set the design on a hard work surface and gently tap on the ear wire several times, trying to cover the entire surface area. You can also use a Wire Whacker which is my preference. It is made up of two nylon slabs. You place your ear wire on one and then slam the other down on top of it several times. This work hardens the entire surface with very little work.
And here is our final ear wire. It is simple, cost effective and most of all fun to make your own ear wires using a WigJig. For a professional finish, use a bur cup on the tip of the wire to file it down and make it smooth.
Now for a little math! 20g Silver Plated Craft Wire costs $7.49 for 25ft. Each ear wire requires about 2.5 inches of wire. 25ft should create around 120 ear wires. That is less than a nickel for each ear wire. The ear wire will be hypoallergenic as well as non-tarnishing! If you chose the regular colored 20g Craft Wire, 20g costs $4.99 for 10yds, which should create around 144 ear wires. That is less than 4 pennies per ear wire!
Here is a video showing a similar tutorial.