Wire - dead soft or half-hard?
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Just curious . . . to the other jewelry artists out there, do you typically use dead soft or half hard wire for wrapping briolettes?
I've been using dead soft because its easier to work with. I'm still a beginning when it comes to wire work and still learning all the ins and outs of working with wire. I'm thinking I should be using half hard instead.
Posted at 2:48 am Sep 2, 2010 EDT
Wow, looks like I'm in the minority! But I really do have a strong preference :)
I spent days looking for a good source of half-hard copper wire because I got so sick of dealing with the soft stuff that just bends willy-nilly all over the place and doesn't stay where you put it.
The book that I got when I was starting out (All Wired Up by Mark Lareau - a terrific book on basic technique that I highly recommend) says to use half-hard, and I'm going to quote him here:
"Dead-soft wire offers no resistance when you're working with it. This quality may initially seem to be an asset, but it actually makes the wire very difficult to work with. If you grasp a piece of dead-soft wire with flat nose pliers and try to make a sharp right angle bend, the wire turns limply to make a weak and curving bend. Half-hard wire is ideal for wirework because the wire resists you every step of the way. It doesn't want to bend, less of it's surface yields, thus it makes a sharp angle."
But the only way to decide what's right for you is to just get some and try it both ways!
Posted at 9:15 am Sep 2, 2010 EDT