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2008 Apr 02

SpokesDog Boomer for Beads, Jewelry Tools and Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Web SiteWigJig 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 at right, you will be able to view Boomer at 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. 

Classes in Making Jewelry Using WigJig Jewelry Tools Held in South Portland, ME:

On Monday, April 21st, Marcia Wiggins, our WigJig Customer Service Director will be giving a class on the basics of wire working at Artascope in South Portland, Maine.  The class will be held from 6 PM to 9 PM and will end up teaching how to make earrings using our WigJig tools.  Anyone interested in attending can contact Artascope directly by calling 207-799-5154.

Four Plus 1 Jewelry Wire & Beads Chandelier Earrings Jewelry Making ProjectMaking Green Jewelry:

In this case, we use the term "Green" jewelry to discuss environmentally friendly jewelry.  Many people do not consider the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions, so we thought it worthwhile to spend a small amount of human energy discussing what those impacts might be. 

First, let's discuss mining in general.  If a mine were just a hole in the ground that would be one thing.  Unfortunately, the worst environmental impact from mining is not the hole in the ground that is created, but is instead the "slag heap" or pile of dirt and chemicals that are created by processing what is removed from the mine and is deemed not commercially important.  Many, many rural mining communities have serious environmental impact years after the mines have closed from the toxic chemicals that leach (wash out) from slag heaps and invade the ground water table.  Some cities have problems because the dust that blows off of the slag heaps, in the wind, contains lead and is therefore very harmful.  Mining is just not an environmentally friendly operation. 



2 Tier Jewelry Wire & Beads Chandelier Earrigns Jewelry Making ProjectThe second negative impact of making jewelry supplies is in the processing of the mined material.  Most commercial gold today is mined from the ground and separated from the gold ore in a process that involves mercury (a hazardous chemical).  Silver does not normally come out of the ground as elemental silver, but is usually combined with other chemicals in a new chemical compound called silver ore.  Silver ore must be processed chemically to remove the elemental silver from the other compounds in the ore.  One way of processing silver ore involved arsenic (another hazardous chemical).  Processing of silver and gold ores can create environmental impact. 

Given that mining is bad for the environment and that processing ore can be bad for the environment, what are some choices that aren't as bad for the environment?  One obvious answer is that manufactured materials like glass, or man-made gemstones have significantly lower environmental impact than mining.  The basic component in glass is sand and one doesn't have to dig very deep to find sand.  It is certainly fair to say that a man-made diamond, cubic zirconia, ruby, sapphire or amethyst have less impact on the earth than a diamond, ruby, sapphire or amethyst mine. 

Another potential green solution for making jewelry is to consider using gold filled wire and components Emerald Chandelier Jewelry Wire & Beads Earrings Jewelry Making Projectinstead of gold components.  Normally, gold filled wire or findings are made of 5% gold alloy with the remainder being a gold colored metal.  Using solid gold is wasteful, because one can't see, feel our touch the 95% of the item that is in the center of the wire.  Why pay more for gold that isn't helping?  Gold-filled wire and findings have a layer of gold that is millions of gold molecules thick and won't scrape off, or flake off.  In fact, because gold-filled is relatively new, the laws don't regulate how gold-filled items must be labeled and sold.  It is quite possible that your neighborhood store is selling some gold-filled jewelry and labeling it as 14K gold they just don't tell you it is "solid" 14K gold.  Because making gold-filled wire and components are relatively new, it is something that is not well understood and often confused with gold-plated.  The difference is the difference between 2 molecules of gold thick (gold-plated) and millions of molecules of gold thick (gold-filled). 

While we aren't tree-huggers, we thought that it was worthwhile discussing greener jewelry.  We hope that by adding a few pictures of green jewelry that we will have kept this discussion from being too boring. 

New Jewelry Making Supplies:  

We have natural blue topaz, and natural amethyst in addition to the natural peridot and garnet that we previously had.  We only sell these gemstones in the 6mm size at this time.  We have also added two different styles of Cubic Zirconia pendants in several different colors.  You can view our new, natural blue topaz gemstones below left, our natural amethyst gemstones below center-left, our larger cubic zirconia pendants below center-right and our 7x18mm cubic zirconia gemstone pendants below right.  Please select any picture below to view that item in our Internet store.  Please note that while we are introducing these new products that supplies are limited, but we do intend to re-order once we run out. 

6mm Blue Topaz Gemstones for Making Jewelry

6mm Amethyst Gemstone for Making Jewelry
Pink 22x30mm Cubic Zirconia Gemstone Pendant for Making Jewelry
7x18mm Cubic Zirconia Gemstone Pendant for Making Jewelry
Blue Topaz Amethyst 22x30mm Pendant 7x18mm Pendant

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 April 30th 2008 or until we run out of that item. 

10mm Round Cubic Zirconia Gemstone

10mm Round, Cubic Zirconia Gemstones 
Sale Priced $8.79 per package of 2 gemstones

 8 mm Round Swarovski Crystal ABl Beads 

8mm Swarovski, Round Crystal AB Beads
Sale Priced $3.35 per package of 6 beads

6mm Bicone, Swarovski Emerald Beads

6mm Swarovski Bicone Emerald Beads
Sale Priced $2.39 per package of 12 beads

Gold-Filled Leverback Style Snap Fit Ear Wires for 6mm Gemstones

Gold-Filled Leverback Style Snap Fit Ear Wires for 6mm Round Gemstones
Sale Priced $5.59 per package of 1 pair
Gemstones not included

Cup Bur Jewelry Making Tool

Cup Bur Economy Jewelry Tool 
Sale Priced $4.87 per tool

22 Gauge Natural Silver Artistic Wire Brand Jewelry Wire

22G Natural Silver Artistic Wire
$3.20 for a 24' Spool
(This wire has an anti-tarnish, enamel coating.)

Pendant Necklace Jewelry Making ProjectFree Jewelry Making Design:

Pendant Earrings Jewelry Making ProjectWith every newsletter we provide a new jewelry design from WigJig University to spur the creative juices.  The new design for this newsletter is the design for the Pendants Earrings and Necklace shown left and right.  Making the pendant requires about 5 inches of 22 or 24 gauge wire.  Half-hard wire is better in this application if it is available.  This jewelry making project requires a flush cutter, round nose pliers, and two pair of bent chain nose pliers.  This is one of the few projects that we show that does not require one of our WigJig tools.

The gemstones shown left and right are cubic zirconia.  They are not glass.  This is important because glass has the same hardness as dust and can therefore be scratched by dust.  Cubic zirconia (CZs) are much harder than dust and therefore retain their shine better than glass.  You can view these pendants in our Internet store here.

To view our free instructions for how to make these Pendants Earrings and Necklace select here, or select either picture above.

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. 

Jewelry Making Technique:

Gemstone Setting Pliers Jewelry Making ToolSecond View of Gemstone Setting Pliers Jewelry Making ToolThis week's jewelry making technique is a discussion on how to use our new jewelry making tool -- gemstone setting pliers.  We have added a new web page that shows how to use these pliers.  These pliers work to help with bending the prongs in a gemstone setting in, to hold the stone tightly.  In the pictures at left and right, you can view how we use these pliers, aligning the short jaw of the pliers along a prong and using the long jaw to bend the tip of the opposite prong in.  We like these pliers, but like every tool and every skill you will get better in using these pliers with some practice.  To view our complete instructions for how to use our new gemstone setting pliers, please select either picture above, or select here.

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

Oval Links Jewelry Wire & Beads Earrings Jewelry Making ProjectOval Links Jewelry Wire & Beads Bracelet Jewelry Making ProjectThis week's featured design in our Nostalgia Corner is the design for our Oval Links Jewelry Wire & Beads Bracelet and Earrings shown here.  This design is relatively easy to make, but does require wrapping wire around itself and is therefore probably not suitable for beginners.  This design can be made on any of our WigJig Tools but does require one 1/2" and/or one 3/8" Super Pegs for your jig to make both earrings and necklace. 

Please select here, or select either picture to view our free instructions for making our Oval Links Jewelry Wire & Beads Bracelet and Earrings Project made using our WigJig jewelry tools.


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All content on this web site including jewelry and wire designs are copyrighted© by WigJigWigJig® is a registered trademark.  Last modified: 04/02/2008



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