I've been experimenting with making jewelry using coated wire instead of sterling silver wire. For the most part, I prefer sterling: I like how it feels, the line it creates and I enjoy wirewrapping. I do have a stash of heavier beads, though, and as I'm starting to think about using some of them, a sturdier material is indicated.
I've used soft flex or similar coated wires a couple of times before - mainly when I'm making chokers. It creates a nice shape for a close-fitting piece and is very durable. The chokers have worked out beautifully, but I'm practicing bracelets right now and turning out some goofy work. So far, I'm finding it difficult to get the strand tight enough to look good while keeping it loose enough to curve properly and still be able to finish the ends nicely.
For example, this piece. I love the melon colors of these beads together, but the large size and irregular shapes are giving me a very hard time. I also decided (once I had this all put together, of course) that I didn't like the lineup and preferred the colors in chunks - green on one side, melon on the other. And in any case, the strand isn't tight enough. So back to the practice board I go.
Keep an eye out for some new pieces in my Urban Seaweed line in Leaves of Glass. Once I'm comfortable that I've mastered my techniques, I have some chunky recycled glass beads that I'm planning to pair with loops of chain in some heavier, messy-looking pieces. Because debris is sexy.