Sunday, October 5, 2014

All That Wire

I often say when showing my work that the wire is recycled and comes from my husbands job sites.  Today Dave was stripping some wire and I thought that I should show my readers just how it works.  The tool he uses is made by Steel Dragon Tools and I purchased it on Amazon, it's running $349.00 right now.

The first thing you have to figure out is what hole the wire needed to go into so it cuts the plastic but doesn't nick the wire.  It's a bit tricky and some wire is sacrificed while trying to find the sweet spot.

This is one of the holes with the blade hanging down.  Once the wire is sent through the machine the plastic should easily come off but that isn't always the case.

Here's Dave with a big bin of wire.  I can't even begin to lift it. He was out in the garage for over 5 hours stripping wire for me.  The whole reason for this post is to show you that it would be easier to just purchase wire but I love the idea of my jewelry having a past and a beautiful future.  Right now copper wire is running $15.00 a pound and when I figure out the amount of time he spent and the cost of the tool it would be cheaper to just purchase it.  Even after it's stripped I still have to untwist the wire so the single strands can be used and sometimes it has to be pickled to clean off the grime. 

At the show this weekend I got the same sticker shocked customers I always do and I think they believe my jewelry should be cheaper because I use recycled wire but it takes a whole lot more work to use than simply purchasing wire from a supplier. I want to thank everyone for the continued support for artists who use recycled materials and I want to remind you all about the effort it takes to make pretty things out of the ugly mess that's on my garage.


  1. Awesome! Keep it up! I can totally relate to something similar, since I use lots of artist beads in my work and people do not understand the value.

  2. I love to use things that are recycled and upcycled. I have cut the plastic off by hand for some smaller sets of wire, but this takes it to a whole new dimension! I think that those sticker-shockers are everywhere. It reaffirms that my jewelry (and yours) is just not for everyone. But those that get it will never give you that response. Cool to see the backstory! Keep it up! Enjoy the day. Erin

  3. Great post Tracy! I always tell my customers the origin of the wire so it is nice to have a visual even for myself.

  4. That's amazing, thanks for sharing that part if your process.