Thick wire used in jewelry designs stands out mainly because they are bolder to look at. Oksana Truhan is a wire designer who likes to make swirly wire jewelry using thick 16 G wire.  This elegant pendant tutorial of hers is lovely.  I particularly like how she used a side drilled bead and wire wrapped it securely to her swirly frame.

 Also noteworthy is how she created a simple bail by hammering flat thick wire. The picture doesn't show it but she did use round nose pliers to bend it into the bail shape.  She also assumes you know to file the edges to get them smooth.

Copper is a wonderfully soft metal to work with.  Even so, some may find 16 G wire a bit hard to manipulate.  You can choose to anneal (soften it) with a torch so the wire is easier to handle.  Check out Oksana's tips on working with copper wire here. She shows how she anneals and cleans the wire afterwards.

I also liked her swirly earrings tutorial. This is the first time I've come across the valuable tip on using borax powder to help with the balling of the wire ends.

Always use bare copper wire if you are planning to add patina. Avoid using coated copper for obvious reasons. Not sure if your copper wire is coated or not?  Just drop a piece into gun blue (see link below) or liver of sulfur gel. It will stay shiny if it is coated. But Oksana shares how she removes such coatings if you want to go through that route!

She also uses ammonia to add patina to the earrings rather than liver of sulfur.  Ammonia is easier for many people to get hold of.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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