Inquiring minds want to know...so, I've decided to divulge one of my deepest, darkest jewelry making secrets: where to get steel wire. It's really not a secret at all but you may be having a hard time finding it at your local craft store. That's because most craft and bead stores don't typically carry it. I'm very fond of using dark (or black) annealed steel wire in many of my jewelry designs.
That's what you're looking for if you want to use this type of wire--dark annealed steel wire. Don't get the galvanized or the stainless steel...they don't have the same look.
The smaller gauges typically come in small packages of 50 foot rolls. I work most commonly with the 28 gauge, 24 gauge and the 20 gauge (the 19 gauge will work but I like the 20). Occasionally, I use a larger gauge like the 18 gauge, depending on what I'm making. In case you're thinking "but Deryn, 18 is smaller than 28!" Not so in the world of wire. Remember, the smaller the gauge number, the larger the diameter of the wire.
The larger gauges come on spools like this one. For some reason, this wire can be hard to find, unless your ordering it for industrial use. Ace Hardware used to carry it on their online site but it seems they don't anymore.. My local Ace hardware carries these gauges and I've asked them to keep them in stock after a big scare when they informed me they wouldn't be carrying the 24 gauge anymore. They kindly got right on the computer and ordered it, just for me. So, if you don't see it in your local store, ask them if they can order it. Also, the larger hardware stores usually carry the larger 16 gauge wire but not the smaller gauges. Sometimes the larger gauges are called re-bar wire or mechanic's wire. A few online sources: Fundametals and Etsy. Just plug it into the Etsy search bar.
Secret revealed...happy wire twising!