I am looking to make a tiara base--something similar to a headband. Is there a wire that you would suggest I use? I prefer sterling silver, but I am open to other silver-colored options.
Heavier gauges (18, 16 and 14) sterling silver square or round wire would be good for the base of a tiara. A tiara should have a sturdy frame on which to form additional tiers of wire and weave beads and combs (to hold the tiara in place) and these heavier gauge wires will do the trick. A full-hard temper in these wire gauges is strong enough to hold up to the wear and tear yet malleable enough to be formed by hand around a sized form for the right fit and placement on the head.
Use a thinner wire, such as a 26-gauge dead-soft round wire to weave small-holed pearls and other beads onto the formed tiara frame. A soft temper will be malleable enough for weaving throughout the tiara you create and will be work hardened as you weave it so that it will hold up to wearing.
- Sandra Lupo, Jewelry Designer and Instructor and Swarovski crystal Ambassador