Artistic Wire vs Parawire - Apples to apples comparison
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I am trying do an apples to apples comparison of two brands of craft wire - Parawire and Artistic Wire. I personally have used Artistic Wire - but not Parawire yet.
After talking with the Parawire rep at the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee, reading posts here and comparing prices I am ready to try Parawire. I would love to hear what others who have used these wire brands think.
First, let's compare prices. I just picked a few random colors/gauges of the silver plated wire to compare and did the math - these prices are based on the manufacturer websites - not a distributor. And please note each company sells different size spools, which is why I priced it by the foot. Obviously Parawire is cheaper - but is it as good?
Color Gauge Price per FOOT
Gold 26 $ .04 $ .11
Silver 20 $ .14 $ .27
Fuschia 24 $ .06 $ .16
If nothing else, I hope this comparison will help someone looking to watch their pennies (as I am) in this economy - without sacrificing quality.
*Please note this is not a discussion of the virtues of craft wire versus ss or gf wire! This is just to compare craft wire brands - specifically Parawire vs Artistic Wire.
Posted at 12:16 pm Jun 10, 2009 EDT
Parawire responded to my email. They are asking me to ship the wire back (they say they will reimburse me - we'll see how that goes) so they can take a look at it and determine if the wire should be replaced or my money refunded.
I am pleased that they are at least opening a dialogue. Of course I told them I am reviewing their product and posting finding on Etsy so I am sure that has something to do with it! But anyway, perhaps it will turn out okay. I imagine it will be a few weeks before I know for sure what they will do.
Posted at 11:23 am Jun 30, 2009 EDT
So, I sent the wire back (at my expense) and they must have received it because they sent a refund through PayPal for the original purchase amount. But other than that I got no further communication from them about the wire. Not to mention they did not add on any refund amount for the shipping which they specifically said they would reimburse me for.
Conclusion: In my opinion Parawire craft wire is inferior to Artistic Craft Wire. Parawire is cheaper, but not worth the money. And since the Parawire reps at the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee SPECIFICALLY used Artistic Wire as a comparison when they were trying to sell me their wire, I think they either need to improve their product or stop putting themselves in the same category.
Posted at 12:27 pm Jul 15, 2009 EDT
Here is the body of the email response from Parawire after I sent them another one asking about the refund and lack of information:
"The wire you returned to us is the only wire we can supply you with. If none of those wires were what you are looking for we cannot help you. We never want to turn away business of course, but sometimes that is better than wasting money on shipping and both parties being even more unsatisfied. Good luck with your wire endeavors."
I have the impression this company originated in industrial wire and decided "hey, let's sell it to artists as well" without taking the time to consider what qualities a jewelry artist needs that an electrician doesn't!
And with that, I am done. I hope if someone searches the forum that this thread will help them. To those of you who already told me so, glad I could help.
Now to go order some Artistic Wire....
Posted at 3:52 pm Jul 15, 2009 EDT
Thank-you so much Designs by Mandie! Alot of research on your part and I do appreciate it. I was just googleing Parawire and ran accross this post. I'm trying to save expenses in this economy also and appreciate not wasting money and time. I've bought my Artistic wire from Fusion Beads. Where do you purchase yours, just curious if there is a better place out there...?
Posted at 6:38 pm Aug 10, 2009 EDT
>>>sorry for the late post, but I just happened across this thread>>>>
I've been purchasing Parawire and have been pleased (directly from their website).
I've purchased about 18 spools in varying colors and guages. I'm extremely pleased with their raw copper,price point and service. I like the fact that they state when they ship and when they have events, which prevents them from processing orders.
I think they added a min. order, as I don't remember seeing that when I first ordered.
They've responded to my emails promptly (without mentioning Etsy) and I get my order in about 4 days.
In regards to Gold and Silver...the gold-tone is consistent...however, I ordered their new gold plated wire and it has a rose-hue...which does not match up well to real gold or gold-filled (not happy about that).
The silver was somewhat muted, which is fine, if that's what you like, but I like shiny silver. When I hammer/texturize or tumble other brands of coated wires, it comes off and exposed the base metal. Again, if that's what you like....
I've successfully tumbled Parawire and it doesn't damage it (one hour). Doesn't make it more shiny...it may harden it..but no change.
I'm very pleased with their Vintaj Bronze, raw copper, titanium and silver (wish it were more shiny). Wish the gold was more shiny, too.
The gold wire would probably match up better with brushed-gold pieces.
I was just about to order more 20g gold to finish a project and found this thread.
Regarding Artistic Wire brand...I'll have to weigh in later, because I want to check and see if was AW brand or Craft Wire (which I absolutely HATE...from Michaels, JoAnn's or Pat Catans).
Question??? Where does everyone get their Artist Wire (AW) from??
Thanks for asking and I LOVE ETSY!!
Posted at 12:36 pm Aug 13, 2009 EDT
I have had experience with Parawire, and when I first purchased it from an Etsy vendor, I was very satisfied with the quality (though I will admit, I had nothing to compare it to at the time as I was new to wire-wrapping). I decided to order directly from their website, and sadly, I was disappointed. I ordered a large spool of their non-tarnished silver wire, and upon immediate inspection, I could see the spool was really dirty, but looked okay. It wasn't as shiny as I remembered it to be, but I used it and was sorely disappointed that as I was bending and shaping it, it went from mostly shiny to matte!! I was using the same tools before so it must have been the wire! As for the copper wire I ordered, I noticed splotches on the wire! That's why I've just decided to steer clear of Parawire!!
Posted at 12:24 am Aug 22, 2009 EDT
I have been using Parawire for several years, and have had no trouble at all. But I only use their vintage looking wire, and the shine is not so important with the antique look. I like the choice of matching the antiqued brass color, or the antiqued cooper. Also, I am mainly using the wire as small connecting pieces, or a small amount of wire wrapping. And, not sure if the gauge has anything to do with it, I use 20g and 24g.
I have tried the Artistic wire, and thought that was fine too (maybe I'm too easy to please ;D ).
But for silver, I really can't say, as I usually work in sterling or fine silver. However, that may be about to change a little, as I'd like to learn Viking Knit, and if I'm going to bungle up a bunch of wire, I'd really rather not get that spendy!
Do any of you know a brand of wire that is good(and cheap)for learning? I think the gauge would be 26g or 28g. I would have just gone with the Parawire, but if it gets brittle when worked, it wouldn't do for Viking Knit...
Posted at 3:58 pm Aug 22, 2009 EDT