Torch: this wire wrapper’s new best friend.

by Shirin.
(Culpeper, Virginia USA)

My first balled up wire.

My first balled up wire.

In my almost two years of wire-wrapping I never considered adding a torch to my tools. The word “torch” scared me to death, and made me believe it was way out of my league, and was something only experienced professional silversmiths used.

Not to mention I could burn my whole house down, right? Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

First earrings with my own balled up wire. Simple design, but I was in a rush to finally use the wire for instant gratification.

First earrings with my own balled up wire. Simple design, but I was in a rush to finally use the wire for instant gratification.

When I finally worked up enough courage to start researching torches, I realized that they were not scary and, most of all, it was not a major investment if you wanted a very minimal setup to, let’s say, only produce your own balled up wire.

And if, or WHEN you feel like you are hooked and need to take it up a notch, you will move on to a slightly bigger torch, and start adding new tools and gadgets to your collection.

Shirin: Torch: this wire wrapper's new best friend.  2

I started with a micro butane torch, also called creme-brûlée torch, because that is all it is, really. A can of butane gas to fill the torch. A fire extinguisher, you know, just in case and to stay safe, a heat safe surface, and a bowl of water for quenching.

And then, after a while, you will start asking yourself how in the world you managed to survive for so long without a torch. I know I am asking myself this question constantly.

And here I am now, three months after my first balled up wire, having taken it up a notch, or two, or three, totally hooked on torches, soldering, metalsmithing, and producing pieces I couldn’t even dream about a few months ago.

One of my latest pieces three months after I got my first torch.

One of my latest pieces three months after I got my first torch.

And all because I stepped out of my comfort zone and got my first tiny creme-brûlée torch.
What are you waiting for? Go get that torch. You know you want to.

Before attempting to work with flame please be sure to follow the instructions on how to fill, light and use your torch. Also be sure to protect your eyes and work in a well ventilated area. ~ Rena

Shirin Designs

FREE - Get 7 Super Jewelry Making Hacks

Get Rena's 7 Super Jewelry Making Hacks, plus the Jewelry Making Journal Newsletter - all for FREE.

We Respect Your Email Privacy

  • Cindy says:

    Yes! I want my own torch! There,.. I said it! lol… Thanks so much Shirin for your post. I’ve been wanting to make my own ball pins for quite some time. I’ve wanted to get into the whole soldering thing but I’ve been a bit hesitant for numerous reasons. But after reading your post I think I want to fan the flame of creativity!

  • It’s fun to dip into a whole new area of creativity! Your balled wire headpins and ring are great steps into adding variety in your finished pieces. A great encouragement for others to try something new.

  • Kelly says:

    Love the can with Stop Fires Fast in the photo! I need to get some of that! 🙂 Glad you conquered your fear – it still scares me every time I light it, but it does open up a whole new world of possibilities!

  • Catherine Franz says:

    Shirin, enjoy! I love metal work, even after 15 years.

  • Gail says:

    I love my torch! And you are right, learning to get over the fear of a torch (use it a couple times, you’ll see it’s not so scary) opens up a whole new creative world. I’m with you Shirin, I’m in a whole new place now because of my lovely torch.

  • Cindy, get it! I never thought such a simple element like your basic balled wire can add that something special to your pieces. Not to mention it is cheaper to produce your own, especially if you are working with silver. Good luck!

  • Kelly, Gail, and Catherine, I feel better knowing I am not the only one whose life has changed completely with getting just one new tool. Well, started with one, and then it escalated from there, obviously. No regrets here.

  • Sue Shade says:

    Oh I just love my torch also. Who knew it would change things up so much. Beautiful pieces Shirin.

  • Val says:

    Thank you for posting this! I have been afraid of using a torch but know I need to got over that fear. After reading how easy it have been for you to get starting, I am feeling confident! The possibilities will be endless for you now.

  • Alysen says:

    You’re right Shirin! And I completely understand the obsession … I used a crème brulée torch (came with ramequins too) about a year ago to ball up some copper headpins. So amazing! Then a few months later bought a Blazer. In fact, I just annealed some size 6 copper wire with it! Plus, a couple of months ago I acquired a jeweler’s saw and had no trouble at all using it. Metalsmithing is fast-becoming as obsessing as wirewrapping in my little world.

  • Colleen says:

    Lol, I kidnapped my husbands Napp (or is it Mapp) gas torch. It’s a hotter flame. Love it! Sorry dear, you won’t be getting it back!

    Suggestion – invest in some fire bricks to put under your jewelry while firing/annealing. These will protect your surface from burning. Also invest in a good pair of heat resistant tonges/pliers to hold whatever you are torching.

    Have fun!

  • LOL Colleen! 🙂 And thank you for adding the tips about fire bricks and tongs.

  • Alysen says:

    Agreed Shirin! I have a Blazer micro torch and have had some probs creating sterling silver links with 20ga wire. But my first balled copper wire led to many more ….
    I just had the 2nd of 4 metalsmithing classes and we used an acetylene torch. Thought I’d fear it and the larger flame, but had no problem and eventually, one day I may move up a few also ….

  • Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful comments. Yes, there is really no turning back once you pick up that torch. It is just too exciting to stop at balled wire. The whole new metalsmithing world is waiting beyond that one tiny yet very important step. Good luck to everyone!

  • >