I love going into the hardware store to see what goodies I can find.
My husband loves it too cause I am off looking around and not tapping my foot trying to get him to leave. Of course many times it's my husband who is tapping his foot!
I get a lot of my copper wire from there. It usually has only a couple of gauges but I find it's pretty cheap. I have a surplus store in town that has brass and bronze wire! Call around your town to see if you can find a surplus store. They are a great resource.
Another great find are copper washers. Recently I found a box full of all sizes. It's so easy to use a jewelry hammer and give them a little texture and then use a patina and voila you are done.
While looking around I found these great little sprocket thingys.
They have teeth in them and do not lay flat, so I put them on my steel pad and pound them flat. I patina them and add them to earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. It's one of my favorite finds.
There is a hometown hardware store where my aunt lives and they have a bunch of different sizes, if you can find an old fashion store you might get lucky too!
I know a lot of you out there use the black iron wire. I used to get it from a web site but found a cheaper source at a local hardware store. I buy them by the spool full!
You know its bad when you travel and instead of looking for a cool place to eat you look up local hardware stores!
I would love to hear of peoples finds. I am sure I am missing some good stuff!