Creating jewelry from wire dates back more than 5,000 years ago. Wire jewelry is made without soldering or casting. Although more fragile than traditionally manufactured pieces, wire jewelry will last generations, if not centuries, with proper care. Sculpting wire into wearable art is challenging and the work is rarely duplicated. Click on the image to see a more detailed version.

History of Wirework

The process of creating metal wire dates back to early Ancient Egypt. Ancient jewelers pulled thin strips of hammered metal, usually pure gold, through holes in stone beads which created small tubes.

Today wire is formed by “drawing” it through metal drawplates with a series of holes, each one smaller than the previous. The method that was powered by the strength of an artist’s hands is now a fully mechanized process.

Creating beautiful jewelry from wire was a technique used by Egyptians and Phoenicians more than 5,000 years ago. It regained popularity in the Victorian era and was resurrected once again after World War I. Wire jewelry is created without soldering, casting or melting the metal. Artists use only basic tools such as pliers, as well as their hands, to twist, bend and sculpt the wire into unique pieces of art jewelry. As result, this technique can be quite challenging.

Although wire jewelry is more fragile than traditional manufactured work, with proper care a piece created with ancient wire techniques can be worn a lifetime and passed down to following generations. Many examples have even survived the millennia to be showcased in museum exhibitions of ancient artwork