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2010 Mar 16

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. 


Aquamarine Jewelry Making Gemstone AAA GradeBirthstone for March:  The birthstone for March is the aquamarine.  Please select here to view more information on the aquamarine.  For the month of March, we have placed our 8mm man-made, AAA grade aquamarine gemstones,item 3208, on sale for $7.99 per pair. 


Cubic Zirconia Jewelry Making Gemstone AAA GradeBirthstone for April:  The birthstone for April is the diamond.  For more information on diamonds, please select here.  We strongly recommend against anyone purchasing a diamond for the simple reason that the price of diamonds is artificially inflated by the DeBeers corporation.  If the law of supply and demand were to operate normally here, diamonds would cost about 1/2 as much as they currently do.  In addition, with man-made diamonds becoming readily available, we really believe that the price of diamonds will drop dramatically in the foreseeable future.  Instead of purchasing diamonds we recommend purchasing cubic zirconia (CZ) gemstones at a fraction of the price.  CZs appear so similar to a diamonds that most professional jewelers can't tell them apart based upon visual inspection alone.  

For the month of April, we have placed our 10mm, AAAAA quality CZ's on sale for 20% off or $8.79 per pair.  This is item 3207 in our Internet store.  Please select here to view that item.  We have also placed our 10mm gold-filled, snap fit, pendant finding, item 3217, on sale for 20% off, or $4.95 each. 

WigJig Jewelry Tools Web Site Demographics:

We thought our readers might be interested in what sort of people visit our WigJig web site.  Here are some demographic statistics on the visitors to our site. 

  1. In a normal day, we get over 4,000 visitors to our web site every day.  Of these 4,000 visitors, slightly less than half start with a visit to our home page and 1/2 start on a web page other than our home page.

  2. On the day we send a newsletter, we get about 6,000 visitors to our web site, 2,000 more than normal.  We send the newsletter to 28,000 subscribers. 

  3. Roughly 1/3 of the visitors to our web site are from outside the US.  2/3 are from the US.

  4. 72% of the visitors to our web site are female and 28% are male.

  5. 67% of the visitors to our web site are 35 years old or older.

  6. 59% of the visitors to our web site have a college education. 

  7. 20% of the visitors to our web site are regulars and these regulars account for 48% of the visits to our web site. 

  8. 10% of the US visitors to our web site are from California.  6.5% are from Texas, 5.7% are from Florida, and 5.5% are from New York. 

  9. Looking at our visitors based upon what city the visitors live in, here are the top visits by city:

    o  Undefined / no city -- 4.2%
    o  London -- 1%
    o  Singapore -- 0.7%
    o  Houston -- 0.6%
    o  Los Angeles -- 0.6%
    o  New York -- 0.5%

  10. Approximately 400 people visit our Internet store every day. 

WigJig Jewelry Tools Tip:

We received a tip this past month from Loyde Eckhardt of Prescott, Arizona on how to help your Super Pegs to fit more smoothly into a jig.  If you use 400 grit wet dry sandpaper you can sand the edges off of the bottom of the peg portion of the Super Pegs.  That will help the peg fit more smoothly into the holes in the jig.  It doesn't require a lot of sanding, just enough to round the edges.  This same wet dry sand paper can be used to remove any rust that may have built up on any of the regular metal pegs that might have been exposed to water.   The sandpaper could also be used to round the edges on any of your hand tools.  400 grit sandpaper is very fine and should not negatively impact the Super Pegs or your hand tools.  Boomer says thank you to Loyde for this tip. 

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 April15th 2010 or until we run out of that item. 

Swarovski Bicone Amethyst Light Faceted Beads
Swarovski 6mm Round Tanzanite Beads 
$2.31 per package of 24 beads. 

Swarovski 4mm Round Aqua Beads
Swarovski 4mm Round Aqua   Beads
$2.55 per package of 12 beads.

Swarovski Sapphire Round 4mm Beads
Swarovski 4mm Sapphire Round Beads 
$2.55 per package of 12 beads.

 Nylon Jaw Pliers WigJig Jewelry Making Tools
WigJig Nylon Jaw Pliers
Sale Priced $10.36 each 

Assorted Jewelry Files WigJig Jewelry Making Tool

WigJig Set of 6 Jewelry Files
$9.19 per set

10mm CZ Jewelry Making Gemstone    
10mm AAAAA Grade CZ Gemstone
$8.79 per pair

 8mm Aquamarine Jewelry Making Gemstone

8mm AAA Grade Man-Made AquamarineGemstone
$7.99 per pair.    
Birthstone for March.

Gold-Filled Ear Wire with Loop Jewelry Making Finding

Gold-Filled Ear Wire with Loop
Sale Priced $3.83 per Package of 4 (2 pair)

2mm Round Gold Filled Beads
2mm Round Gold-Filled Beads
Sale Priced $1.83 per Package of 24 beads

22 Gauge Non-Tarnish Silver Jewelry Wire

18G Non-Tarnish Silver, Silver-Plated Wire
$3.92 for a 12' Spool
(This wire resists tarnish.)


Free Jewelry Making Design:

Our new jewelry design for this month is actually several designs of our Comma Jewelry Wire Earrings shown below. 

Comma Jewelry Wire  Earrings Jewelry Making Project Comma Jewelry Wire & Beads Earrings Jewelry Making Project Comma Jewelry Wire and Beads Earrings -- Jewelry Making Project Comma Earrings On the Ear -- Jewelry Making Project

These earrings have the interchangeable bead feature that we identified in our two Interchangeable Ear Wire designs.  You can view how this feature would work in the middle two pictures above.    

Please select here, or any picture above, to view our free instructions for making our Comma Jewelry Wire Earrings 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:

This month's jewelry making technique is our discussion on how to make up a new jewelry design.  Developing a new jewelry design can be one of the more trying jewelry making tasks.  Here is some discussion on how we come up with a new design.

The first step in coming up with a new design is getting the inspiration.  This is frequently the most difficult part.  What we do to get inspiration is to look at jewelry wherever we find it.   When in the mall, we look at jewelry in the windows of jewelry stores, and we look at the jewelry that people are wearing as we walk the mall.  One of the best places to get inspiration is from museums and books that show ancient jewelry.  The techniques we use to make jewelry are techniques that have existed since at least Roman times and probably further back.  Many of the ancient jewelry designs can be made with modern techniques.  Some can even be improved with modern techniques. 

Generally, we don't try to copy any other piece of jewelry, we try to find a design that we can modify to make using our techniques.   A good example of inspiration is that we were inspired to make the Comma Jewelry Wire Earrings discussed above by the Harry Mason web site.  We were directed to that site by an e-mail from a visitor to our web site.  We viewed a pair of earrings there and asked ourselves can we make that?  Can we make it better?  Can we make it different?  For the earrings in our new project for this newsletter, our inspiration was to make a variation of the earrings that we viewed on the Harry Mason web site. 

Peg Pattern for Comma Jewelry Wire Earrings Jewelry Making ProjectThe second step in developing a new design is to begin trying to recreate that shape in wire using your jig.  This step requires you to understand the geometry of your jigs and accessories.  Consider the pattern you are trying to recreate.  Would it be easier to recreate that pattern on a jig with a square peg pattern?  Would a jig with a round peg pattern be easier.  Are there rounded portions of the design that will require Super Pegs?  For the Comma earrings, we initially thought that the earrings could be made with two Super Pegs, one 1.5" and one 1/2".  We tried this and found out that using the round portion of our WigJig Centaur, or our WigJig Cyclops would work better.  Initially when we tried this pattern on the Centaur, we used only 7 regular metal pegs and the 1/2" Super Peg.  Our first attempt at making the Comma Earrings used this pattern and we made a wire component using that pattern with practice wire.

While you are performing the trial and error portion of your new design, use inexpensive practice wire and use Alternative Jewelry Making Design for Comma Jewelry Wire Earringsonly 18 or 20 gauge wire.  In general, it will be easier to develop a new design in 20 gauge wire because 20 gauge wire is easier to work with. 

Continue to consider alternatives.  The questions you need to ask yourself are will it work better if I add a peg, if I move a peg, or if I change the size?  Try making a wire component with several different variations of your pattern.  For this weeks jewelry making project, the Comma Earrings, it only took us thee alternatives before we got the design the way we wanted it.  By contrast when we were trying to develop our angular alternative to the Comma Earrings, it took us about 4-5 alternatives before we were satisfied with the design.  This is the trial and error part.  Try several alternatives and figure out which one works best.  Remember that making jewelry is a combination of bending wire on our jig and bending wire by hand off the jig.  Your finished wire project will require both. 

Once you have settled on a pattern and approach to making your wire component then consider what size wire would be best to use.  For rings, 14 and 16 gauge are good sizes of wire.  For necklaces, 16, and 18 gauge are good sizes.  For earrings, 18 and 20 gauge are good sizes of wire.  After you have selected a gauge of wire, you will need to consider which hardness of wire will work best.  For rounded shapes like the Comma Earrings, soft wire works better.  For angular shapes like the angular alternative to the Comma Earrings, shown above-right, half-hard wire tends to work better. 

Comma Jewelry Wire Earrings Jewelry Making ProjectComma Jewelry Wire Earrings Decorated with BeadsThe third step in the design process is decorating the earrings.  After you have the design of the wire component completed you can start thinking about how to add beads to decorate the earrings.  Consider the size of the beads and the shape of the beads.  In the earrings shown left and right you can see how we used just one 4mm bead at right and a 4mm bead and a 6mm bead at left.  You can also consider a series of beads.  In the earrings shown in the Nostalgia Corner paragraph below, you can view a couple of instances where we used a combination of beads for our earrings. 

The final step is to document your finished design.  The best way to document a design is to use one of our templates for our jigs and use a colored pen to color in the locations of the pegs you used.  You can find a web page with all the templates for our jigs.  Please select here to visit that web page of templates.

Here are some things to remember when you are making your own new design. 

  • Making new designs is a trial and error process.  Normally when we are doing a new design, we try between two and seven different alternatives before we settle on a peg pattern and approach to make a jewelry wire component.
  • Use practice wire when you are making your trial wire components.  Start with 20 gauge.  Once you have a design, consider heavier gauges.  
  • Remember that using the jig is only one step in making a wire component.  You can shape the wire before you put it on the jig and you can continue shaping the wire after you remove it from the jig.  The final step in almost all jewelry projects is called "hand finishing".  Hand finishing is the process of bending the wire component using your fingers and adjusting the shape visually.  
  • Document your successful designs by marking the peg pattern on a paper templat.

In summary, we see roughly four steps in our design process.  The steps are 1.  Inspiration, 2. Trial and Error, 3.  Decorate, and 4. Document.  We hope these thoughts will help you, the reader, to understand the design process as we practice it. 

Nostalgia Corner -- Some of our favorite jewelry making projects:

Interchangeable Beads Ear Wire Jewelry Making ProjectInterchangeable Ear Wire Jewelry Making ProjectThis week's featured design in our Nostalgia Corner is the design for our Interchangeable Beads Earrings jewelry making project.  The feature that makes these ear wires unique is that the beads can be removed and exchanged on these earrings.  See the two pictures below to see how the beads can be removed and exchanged.

Tanzanite Interchangeable Ear Wire Jewelry Making Project Remove Beads on Interchangeable Ear Wire Jewelry Making Project

Please select here, or select either picture above to view our free instructions for making our Interchangeable Beads Earrings made out of jewelry wire, beads and jewelry supplies on our WigJig jewelry tools.

All content on this web site including jewelry and wire designs are copyrighted© by WigJigWigJig® is a registered trademark.  
Last modified: 03/16/2010



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