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2011 Jan 4

SpokesDog Boomer for Beads, Jewelry Tools and Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Web Site

WigJig Jewelry Tools Presents our Jewelry Making Newsletter -- AKA Boomer Sez:

Our Spokesdog:  If an insurance company can have a gecko, we have decided that we can have a spokesdog.  Boomer, shown at right, is our spokesdog.  If you select Boomer's picture, you will be able to view Boomer at his work. 

How to Unsubscribe:  If you signed up for our newsletter and then decided you don't want to receive it any more, the proper way to unsubscribe is to select the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every newsletter e-mail or to follow our sign up link above.  On that sign up page we also provide a way for people to unsubscribe. 

WigJig Jewelry Making Design Contest:  

During the next three months, we are going to hold a design contest.  Anyone who would like to submit a design for consideration is welcome.  The project submitted must be made out of wire and/or beads using one of our WigJig tools.  It should be your original work.  Please select only projects that you are willing to allow us to publish in our newsletter.  We will select monthly winners and after three months we will select an Grand Prize Winner in April 2011.  All the winners designs will be published in our WigJig newsletter along with instructions on how to make the winning design.  Winning designs will be selected based upon originality, and artistic content.  We are seeking designs that are entirely new, or show a new way of employing components from our web site.  Preference will be given to designs that are suitable for advanced beginners to intermediate wire workers.  Designs that are so advanced that we could not describe how to make them in fewer than ten pages, will be considered, but designs that are easy to document will be given preference in the judging.  Designs that use materials that are readily available will be given preference.  The materials do not need to be purchased from our WigJig store, but need to be available for purchase at some Internet store. 

 Monthly winners will receive a $100 credit in our WigJig store.  The grand prize winner will be selected from the three monthly prize winners and will receive an additional $200 credit in our WigJig store. 

To submit a jewelry design for consideration in this contest, you will need to send us an e-mail including your name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, and one or more pictures of your jewelry design.  Please send your e-mails to info@wigjig.com.  Please use "WigJig Design Contest" as the subject line in your e-mail. 

Man Made Garnet Jewelry Making Gemstone

Birthstone for January:  The modern birthstone for January is the Garnet.  The term garnet applies to many different chemical compounds generically called neosilicates.  While garnets normally come in the red color shown here, garnets can come in the greatest variety of colors of any gemstone.  The use of garnets as a gem can be traced to pre-historic times.  Beginning in the late 19th century garnets were used as an industrial abrasive in addition to being as a gemstone.  The varieties of garnet have a hardness between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale (quartz has a hardness of 7).  Please select here to view more information on garnet gemstones.  We sell both mined and man-made garnets in our Internet store.  Select either picture above right to view our selection of garnet gemstones. 

Amethyst Jewelry Making GemstoneNatural Amethyst Jewelry Making Gemstone AAA GradeBirthstone for February:  The birthstone for February is the amethyst.  Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz (Silicon Dioxide) and as such has a hardness of 7.  Amethyst as an element in jewelry was known since antiquity and was very popular among the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.  The name amethyst comes from a Greek word meaning "not drunken".  This name was devised because the ancient Greeks believed that drinking from an amethyst cup could prevent intoxication.  (Boomer sez don't try this at home.  It doesn't work.)  While amethyst was traditionally included among the "cardinal", or most valuable gemstones (including diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald), amethyst has recently declined in value due to the discovery of extensive deposits of the gemstone.  

There is some diversity of opinion on the chemical source of the purple color in amethyst.  Interesting enough, upon exposure to heat, amethyst becomes yellow.  In fact, citrine, a yellow variety of quartz, is sometimes called "burnt amethyst".      Please select here to view more information on amethyst gemstones.  We sell mined amethyst, man-made amethyst and amethyst colored Cubic Zirconia.  Please select either picture above to view our selection of Amethyst gemstones. 

Copper Jewelry Making WireNew Jewelry Making Supplies:

Since our last newsletter we have added several new items of copper wire.  You can view our entire selection of copper wire here: 

Copper Wire

Please notice that we now have square copper wire in both half-hard and soft, also we now have 1/2 round, half-hard copper wire.  Because of the extremely high price of gold, perhaps copper is a good choice for some of your jewelry.  It is also a very good choice as practice wire. 

Jewelry Making Supplies On Sale:

We update the jewelry supplies that we have "On Sale" with every newsletter.  A small sample of the products we have for sale at discounted prices are shown below.  Please click on any of the links below the pictures to view our entire list of sale items.  Select the picture itself to view that specific item in our Internet Store.  This sale will be effective through February 1st, 2011 or until we run out of that item. 


Swarovski Bicone Rose Light 6mm Faceted Beads
Swarovski 6mm Bicone Rose Light Beads 
$2.39 per package of 12 beads. 

6mm Round Swarovski  Crystal Beads
6mm Round Swarovski Round Crystal Beads
Sale Priced $3.59 per Package of 12 beads

 
 Shepherd's Hook Style Jewelry Making Finding

WigJig Gold Filled Ear Wire Findings
$6.71 per package of 10 (5 pairs) Shepherd's Hook Style Ear Wires
 


WigJig Step Jaw Pliers Jewelry Making Tool

WigJig Step Jaw Pliers
Sale Priced $10.36 each
 

 Anti-tarnish Strips Jewelry Making Accessory
Anti-Tarnish Strips
Sale Priced $1.59 per package of 10. 

2x4 Bugle Beads Crystal S/L
1 Hank 2x4 Bugle Beads
Sale Priced $2.39

6mm Earring Post with Ball Jewelry Making Finding
6mm Earring Post with Ball Jewelry Finding
Sale Priced $3.83 per four (2 pair)


Gold Filled Curb Chain Medium
Gold-Filled Chain 24 Inches
Sale Priced $9.51 each (No Clasp!)
 

20 Gauge Non-Tarnish Silver Jewelry Wire

20G Non-Tarnish Silver, Silver-Plated Wire
$3.92 for a 18' Spool
(This wire resists tarnish.)

 

Free Jewelry Making Design:  

Our new jewelry making project for this newsletter is a new bracelet design that we call the Double 8 Jewelry Wire Bracelet.   You can view this bracelet below.

Double 8 Jewelry Wire Bracelet Jewelry Making Project

As you can see, this bracelet is made without any beads.  In the above bracelet we used figure 8 connectors to connect the double 8 wire components together.  The bracelet design could be easily modified to replace the figure 8 connectors with wrapped bead links.  Had we done this, the bracelet would have been more colorful and would have needed fewer of the double 8 wire components because the wrapped bead links are longer than the figure 8 connector that they would replace.  Both styles of this bracelet would be very nice.

Because we made this bracelet in copper and did not have a clasp that we liked made of copper, we made the clasp used with this bracelet.  Our free jewelry making instructions document how we made the clasp shown. 

The bracelet shown above is made of 20 gauge soft copper wire.  The next time we make it, we will make the double 8 wire components out of 18 gauge soft wire.  Both gauges work well.  18 gauge makes a bracelet that is bolder looking.  20 gauge makes a bracelet that is lighter and more delicate.  Personal preference should dictate which size wire will work better for you. 

Please select here, or select our picture above, to view our free instructions for making the Double 8 Jewelry Wire Bracelet made out of jewelry wire shaped on our WigJig jewelry tools.

Past Jewelry Making Techniques:

We maintain a techniques web page that provides links to the discussion of techniques in our prior newsletters.  You can visit this web page here.  Follow the links on that page to the discussion of the technique in that newsletter. 

Current Jewelry Making Technique:

Copper Jewelry Making WireThis month's jewelry making technique is some discussion on selecting wire.  We frequently get asked what wire should I use for my project.  Our answer is usually the same and is similar to -- "I don't understand your project, but what I would do is experiment."  We don't have all the answers and there isn't any single wire that is perfect for every project.  In general, soft wire is best for projects that are rounded or use a spiral and half-hard wire is best for projects that are angular, or require wrapping wire around pegs.  In general, for relative newcomers, start with 20 gauge wire and based upon that experiment, then go larger or smaller as seems appropriate.  Our double 8 bracelet project, above, is a good example.  We started with 20 gauge soft wire.  Soft wire because the project was rounded.  20 gauge wire as a general choice and because it is less expensive to experiment with 20 gauge wire than with thicker wires.  After making the bracelet, we decided that 18 gauge would also work well for making the double 8 wire components.  18 gauge makes a heavier and bolder looking bracelet.  20 gauge makes a lighter and more delicate bracelet.  22 gauge would be too light and not strong enough.  16 gauge would be too thick and it would be difficult to bend the wire at the middle of the design to hide the beginning and the end of the wire.  Here are a few suggestions for choosing wire in any new jewelry project:

  1. You will have to experiment in selecting your wire.  Try a couple of different sizes of wire.
  2. Start your experimentation with 20 gauge wire.  It is less expensive and easier to work with.
  3. If your project has a spiral or is very rounded, bending wire around Super Pegs, use soft wire.
  4. If your project is very angular or involves wrapping wire around regular pegs, use half-hard wire. 
  5. Use 20 or 22 gauge wire whenever you need to thread beads on the wire.  Most beads will not fit on 18 gauge wire.
  6. In general, when making a wrapped bead link, use 22 gauge wire.
  7. Use square wire when your design calls for placing several pieces of wire side by side. 
  8. Use 1/2 round wire when you need to bind two or more pieces of wire together, especially when binding 2 or more square wires. 
  9. Finally, the one rule that is absolute.  Experiment!  Try different sizes.  Try both soft and half-hard wire.  Try square wire and 1/2 round wire if appropriate.  Remember, variety is the spice of life. 

Please select here for the beginning of our detailed instructions on choosing your jewelry wire.

Nostalgia Corner -- some of our favorite jewelry making designs:

Delux Triplex Jewelry Wire and Beads Bracelet Jewelry Making ProjectOur Nostalgia Corner project for this newsletter is our Deluxe Triplex Bracelet.  The reason this project was selected was because the technique for connecting the wire components together into a bracelet is by using the wrapped bead link.  This same technique can be used with our new jewelry project for this newsletter, the Double 8 Jewelry Wire Bracelet.  Both bracelets are similar in that the long axis of the wire component is perpendicular to the axis of the bracelet.  This bracelet may be our favorite bracelet design.  It takes about 3 hours to make this bracelet, but it is worth it.  Please select here or select the picture above-right to view our instructions on how to make the Deluxe Triplex Bracelet using our WigJig jewelry tools, jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry making supplies.


Sunset in Texas:

During the winter, the sunsets in Texas are less exciting.  While not exactly boring, they are less spectacular than the sunsets in the summer when there are more clouds and more humidity.  We will close out 2010 with these two sunset pictures.  I don't anticipate anymore sunset pictures until next spring. 

Sunset in Texas
December 18, 2010

Sunset in Texas
December 26, 2010

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Last modified: 01/04/2011

 

 



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