New Silver Wire Options

One of the things I keep wanting to do with my jewelry is figure out how to offer quality pieces for affordable prices. I’ve managed to find some wonderful gemstone suppliers, now I’m working on wire options. I love working with the sterling silver, it’s soooooo shiny, but it can get so very expensive. Especially when it comes to my trees and chainmail. Sterling silver rings for a chainmail bracelet can cost me close to $100.00 depending on the size and weave. When I think choker size or cuff size maille … I get woozy. That being said, I do intend to make sterling chainmail but I want to be able to offer maille that doesn’t cost a small fortune.

Copper is an alternative, as is brass or bronze, however they are very much a different animal than the silver. I find my options for a silver look are rather limited. I can go silver plate, which I have, but personally …I don’t love it. I can go artwire, and have found some good wire, however it doesn’t withstand things like my trees; the coating tends to flake and I end up with fuzzy looking trees. Big booooo on that.

I’m a perfectionist, and quality matters to me. As much as I’d love to use these things, I don’t want to make things that look cheap, or fall apart when twisted. No fuzzy trees for Freia.

So… what to do. How to offer a quality piece that looks like silver for less?

I may have figured it out. I hope. It’s rather new from what I understand. It’s called Silver Fill.

It differs from silver plate in that instead of a microscopic silver coating that can and will flake off, it has a thick layer of sterling silver over a base metal core. 5 or even 10% of the wire is sterling. I’m assured it is so much like sterling silver that it can be worked the same, even hammered or oxidized and the sterling layer will withstand it all.

Sounds like major win to me.

I’ve gotten some various sizes of the 10% in already to see how it works for the Tree of Life pieces, some other pendants and some hammering. Last night I ordered some rings for a couple of new chainmail patterns I want to make. Fingers crossed that it works like I’m told. That… would please me greatly. Yes, yes it would.

Fingers crossed it works out to be a good, less expensive, silver alternative.

Results to be posted… soon. After large tree, silver tree brooch and… all the other new  projects I’m currently working thru. There’s kind of… a lot of them. 😀

Adventures in jewelry.

W00T!

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3 thoughts on “New Silver Wire Options

  1. I have the same dilemma with the wool and cotton and various fibres I use. Believe me, there is a difference and the higher quality stuff is not 3 bucks a skein. You can feel the difference between the higher end yarns and those procurable at wally-mart and as for how they wear and stand up to actual use – no contest. I could use cheaper stuff, but I don’t like to. I especially don’t like to work with it. There’s a HUGE tactile component in knitting and the cheap stuff doesn’t feel right to me. Anyway, loves loves LOVES your stuff and hopes your discovery works out.

    • Oh yeah. HUGE difference. I went thru that with my crochet. I never made sweaters and things like I’ve seen you do, but I did make scarves and blankies. That good yarn gets EXPENSIVE, but it’s worth it like you say. Touch and feel and wear and tear and all that… no contest.

      I have super high hopes for this new wire. I think being able to make an intermediate price catagory would be good. The Silver Fill isn’t as inexpensive as the plated stuff, but… definitely less than the sterling. 🙂

  2. I hope this stuff works for you My Dear! Sounds like a pretty neat alternative to the sterling silver. I wish I could be as creative as you. Can’t crochet or knit, and goodness knows my mom certainly tried her best to teach me how to, but I never could get the hang of it. You are so blessed with an amazing talent! Have fun playing with the new silver fill!

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