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2009 Apr 14

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 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. 

New Jewelry Making Supplies:

We have nine new 9x36mm CZ pendants since our last newsletter you can view them below:  Select any picture to view that item in our Internet store.  These gemstone pendants cost $5.19 each.  

9x26mm CZ Gemstone Pendants Yellow

9x26mm CZ Gemstone Pendants Amethyst

9x26mm CZ Gemstone Pendants Olive

9x26mm CZ Gemstone Pendants Tangerine 9x26mm CZ Gemstone Pendants Lavender 9x26mm CZ Gemstone Pendants Red
9x26mm CZ Gemstone Pendants Champagne 9x26mm CZ Gemstone Pendants Clear 9x26mm CZ Gemstone Pendants Pink

Google Knol: This month we have created a Google Knol on jewelry tools.   Please select here to view our Knol on jewelry making tools.  Our goal with this Google Knol is to document all the tools that are required, recommended and nice to have and to discuss the characteristics that make some tools betterSwarovski Clear CZ Gemstonesthan others.  We hope our newsletter readers will benefit from this Knol.  

Birthstone for April:  The Birthstone for April is the diamond.    Please select here to view more information on diamonds.  

Browsing our WigJig Web Site:  In our last newsletter we discussed some changes that we were making in our WigJig server infrastructure.  For visitors to our WigJig web site who live on the West Coast, if you visit http://west.wigjig.com, it will respond faster than our East Coast wigjig.com server. 

Printing Pages from WigJig.com:  Our preference is that people will use our site on the Internet, without printing the pages.  Unfortunately, many people tell us that this doesn't work for them and that they need to print our web pages.  Printing from web pages isn't always easy.  We do try to limit the amount of data on a page and we do suggest that people set the margins in page set-up prior to printing to .3" left and right.  Finally, we suggest that you highlight the portion of the web page that you want to print and only print that "selection".  We document our printing instructions here.   Now we have one new suggestion.  HP has developed some free software that helps allow users to select portions of web pages and to combine portions from several pages onto one printed page.  You can view more information and download this free printing software by selecting here.

From the Store's Perspective:  Most people have experience as a customer of a retail store, but few people have experience on the other side as the store owner or operator.  Until 10 years ago, we at WigJig had no experience operating a retail store.  We had a lot to learn and we are still learning.  Some of what we have learned can help our newsletter readers in their interaction with other stores and other vendors.  Hopefully, in the next few paragraphs we will be able to convey some tips that may be helpful. 

First, it may be helpful to understand what it is like to walk in the other fellows shoes -- let's provide some background on what it is like to run a store.  With a store, somewhere between one in a thousand and one in 6,000 of your customers will successfully steal from you.  In an average year, this happens to us once.  In addition, out of every 50 to 100 customers, one of those customers will behave in a very rude and offensive manner.  One out of 200  to 600 will lie or be so offensive that you mark their customer records to never do business with them again.  Often, when customers change their minds about a purchase, they will begin their communications to us with a rude comment like "Your web site is so hard to use.  It is poorly organized." or with some other insult.  Sometimes these communications begin with some form of threat.  With our company we have had customers who committed the felony of attempted blackmail over a $50 order.  By a large margin, our customers are very, very nice.  Unfortunately, which customers tend to stand out in our memories -- the 99 out of 100 that are nice or the 1 out of 100 that was very rude?  We don't like admitting it, but the 1 out of 100 rude customers tend to be much more memorable than the 99 who were nice. 

A lesson that we learned the hard way is that the owner of a company, the inventor of a product, or the designer of a web site is the absolute worst person in the world to perform customer service for that company or web site.  The person whose labors are on display can not help but take the insults coming from the 1 out of 100 rude customers personally and will have great difficulty in responding dispassionately.  This is human nature. 

Now for the meat of this section.  What can you as a customer learn from this?  Here it is.  There is almost nothing to be gained by being rude or threatening when communicating with a company or vendor.  Even if you think you aren't being rude, the company may interpret your communications as rude because 1 out of 100 communications that they receive are intentionally rude.  As an example USING ALL CAPS for emphasis in an e-mail will be interpreted as being rude and the store will respond to you with their rules for how they handle the 1 out of 100 rude customers and not with their rules for the 99 out of 100 who are nice.  Many stores will bend over backwards to retain a customer in the 99 out of 100 category and just want to get rid of the customer in the 1 out of 100 category so that they will never come back.  Who do you think will get the better deal in having a problem resolved -- the one out of 100 customer that has placed their last order with that firm, or the 99 out of 100 nice people who might place a future order?  With our company, the 99 out of 100 almost always get more than the 1 out of 100.  For the 99 out of 100 we try to resolve the dispute fairly to our mutual satisfaction and when we can, we add something to the resolution to let that customer know we appreciated their being fair with us.  We believe that many companies operate this same way.  Our rules for the 1 out of 100 rude customers is to do the absolute minimum that will cause that customer to go away and never come back. 

We wish that we could say that our experience has led us to the position where we are never rude to a vendor.  Unfortunately, we aren't perfect and we still make mistakes.  Here are some suggestions that we try to practice so that we can remain in the 99% category with our vendors.

  1. Never ever start with a threat.  Sure you may be frustrated because the transaction did not go the way you wanted, but it will be in your best interest to keep that frustration from tainting your communications with the vendor.  Above all remember that there is a law that says you can not try to blackmail anyone including a vendor.  For those who aren't totally familiar with blackmail -- any communications that sounds like -- If you don't do what I want I will do something to harm you -- can be interpreted as blackmail and might be illegal. 

  2. Never ever start with an insult.  Every communications that starts with an insult gets the source of that communications moved into the 1% category and out of the 99% nice people category. 

  3. Be honest.  Try to stick to facts and make certain that opinions are described as just opinions. 

  4. The way you intend to have your message interpreted and the way that it will actually be interpreted by the store or vendor are different.  The store will be defensive and will tend to interpret what you say as being hostile and rude.  This is human nature.  When we at WigJig send an e-mail to one of our vendors about an issue, we try to read it two to three times and test for ourselves whether it is possible that someone could misinterpret the tone.  Frequently, we have to change the wording of the e-mail to remove words that could be interpreted as hostile.  Please remember that if it is possible to misinterpret the tone of a letter or e-mail, it will be misinterpreted by someone.  In general, it is good practice to use wording that has nothing more inflammatory in it than "I was disappointed." or "It wasn't what I had anticipated." 

Our opinion is that everyone can catch more flies with honey than they can with fire.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you often works better than do unto others before they do unto you.  We do ask that our customer's understand that we are trying to live by the above suggestions.  Unfortunately, we aren't perfect and we apologize to everyone for those instances where we failed.  This is the end of our Easter Week sermon.  Hopefully, there may be a kernel of truth here that will help you the reader in your future interactions with your vendors.   

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 May 15th 2009 or until we run out of that item. 


Swarovski Sapphire 4mm Round Beads

Swarovski 4mm Round Beads 
12 beads per package. 

Swarovski Emerald Round 6mm Beads
Swarovski Crystal AB Bicone 6mm Beads
Swarovski 6mm Bicone Beads
Package of 12

 WigJig Tool Wallet for Jewelry Making Tools

WigJig Tool Wallet
Sale Priced $6.23.  Save 20%

Economy Round Nose Pliers Jewelry Making Tools
Economy Round Nose Pliers
Sale Priced $4.15
 


10mm GF Snap Fit Pendant Setting for Round Gemstone10mm Round Cubic Zirconia Gemstone

10mm Gold-FIllec Snap Fit Pendant Setting for a Round Gemstone and
10mm CZ Gemstones

$4.95 per 1 setting and $8.79 per 2 CZs.  
 

6mm Magnetic Clasp Jewelry Making FindingGold Filled Earring Post with Loop Jewelry Making Finding

Gold Filled 6mm Magnetic Clasp and Gold Filled Ear Posts with Ball
Sale priced $2.71 per clasp 
or $3.83 per pair of ear wires.  
 


Leatherette Box for Earrings

Leatherette Box for Earrings
Sale Priced $2.59 per box.
 

18 Gauge Natural Silver Artistic Wire Brand Jewelry Wire

18G Natural Silver Artistic Wire
$3.92 for a 12' Spool
(This wire has an anti-tarnish, enamel coating.)

Make pearl earrings and necklaces with this month's sale items!


Gold Knit Chain Necklace Jewelry Making ProjectFree Jewelry Making Design:

With every newsletter we provide a new jewelry design from WigJig University to spur the creative juices.  This weeks design is our design for adding a clasp to knitted wire chains, braided chain, leather, satin or hemp cord.  This design is an advanced beginner's jewelry making project.  

This design is a great way to make a necklace using a large focal bead or a gemstone pendant like the one shown at right.  We really like the look of a necklace of braided Soft Flex bead stringing wire.   To view our free instructions for how to make a braided wire chain select here, or select any picture above or below.

End Cone Clasp with Braided Softflex Chain Necklace

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:

How to Make a Wrapped Loop -- a Jewelry Making SkillThis week's jewelry making technique is our new instructions for how to wrap wire.  Wrapping one wire segment around another is the technique that we use instead of soldering.  It fixes and makes a wire component permanent.  For the purposes of this discussion we will treat the wire we are wrapping as a "wrapped" wire, the center wire in the wrap, and the "wrapping" wire.  The "wrapping" wire is the outer wire that is wrapped round the "wrapped" wire.  Here are some thoughts on how to make high quality, consistent wire wraps.  Wrapped Loop Jewelry Making TechniqueWe begin these discussions with the loop already completed.  If you need to view how to make this loop, please select here. 

First, whenever possible use 1/2 hard wire for wrapping.  Soft wire will not wrap as tightly or consistently.  1/2 hard wire simply works better.  This does not mean that you can't use soft wire, just that it will be more difficult to make tight, consistent wraps with soft wire.

 Wrapped Loop Step B Jewelry Making Technique

Second, use your bent chain nose pliers to hold the wrapped wire.  Normally, we are making a wrapped loop and we hold the loop in our chain nose pliers to preserve the round shape of the loops and to stabilize the wrapped wire. 

Third, keep the wrapping wire perpendicular to the wrapped wire.  When the two wires aren't perpendicular the wrap will have gaps.  When the two wires are kept at a 90 degree angle to one another while wrapping, the resulting wrap will be tighter and more consistent. 

Wrapped Loop Step C Jewelry Making TechniqueFourth, push the wrapping wire don't pull it whenever possible.  Hold your bent chain nose pliers in your non-dominant hand and use the thumb on your dominant hand to push the wrapping wire.  Push with your thumb as close to the wrapped wire as possible. 

Fifth, don't shortchange yourself on wire.  Try to leave about 1/2 inch of wrapping wire to spare.  This is most important for beginners.  When you get down to 1/4 inch of wrapping wire, you will find that it isn't safe to continue pushing with your thumb.  You can easily puncture your thumb if you aren't careful.  Using a little more wire than necessary is a good idea for beginners. 

Wrapped Loop Step D Jewelry Making TechniqueSixth, as you get more advanced in making your wrapped loops, you can experiment with using less wire.  When the wrapping wire gets down to about 1/4 inch, use two pair of chain nose pliers -- one to hold the loop in your non-dominant hand and the other in your dominant hand to push the wire.  Remember, a little blood and a puncture wound are nature's way of reminding you to use two pair of pliers. 

Seventh, when you have wrapped enough wire and are satisfied with the result, you are ready to cut the excess wire.  Cut the wire with your flush cutter using the flat side of the cutter toward the finished wrap.  This will leave a flush cut end on the end of the wire. 

Wrapped Loop Step E Jewelry Making TechniqueEighth, after cutting the excess wire, you will have a very short wire tail on the wrapping wire.  Use a second pair of chain nose or bent chain nose pliers to simultaneously squeeze and twist the cut und of the wrapping wire until it is flat and tight against the wrapped wire. Finished Wrapped Loop Jewelry Making Technique

Finally, if the wire you used happened to be soft wire, or if you find small gaps in your wrap, you can tighten the wrap up using two pair of chain nose pliers.  Continue holding the loop in your non-dominant hand with one pair of pliers and use the second pair of pliers in your dominant hand to squeeze and twist the wrap until it is tight.  Sometimes you can squeeze the wrapping wire length-wise to close up any gaps in the wrap.  Use your bent chain nose pliers to do this. 

For more information on making wrapped loops in jewelry wire using common jewelry tools please select here.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to make tight, consistent wire wraps. 

Wrapped Jewelry Wire Link Bracelet Jewelry Making ProjectNostalgia Corner -- Some of our favorite jewelry making designs:

This week's featured design in our Nostalgia Corner is the design for making our Wrapped Link Bracelet shown at right.  We selected this project because it uses a lot of wire wrapping, our jewelry makingJewelry Wire Wrapped Linktechnique for this newsletter.  This project uses 20 gauge wire to make a link like the one shown here.  This link combines several qualities that we like to incorporate into our jewelry.  First, it is very strong and won't pull apart and second, it is very delicate and aesthetically pleasing.  This link can be made in a variety of lengths, but when made into a link that is longer than 1 inch, it will use a lot of wire.  A length of 3/4" is recommended as a compromise and uses about 3.5 to 4 inches of wire to make each link.  1/2 hard wire is preferred when making this link. 

 Please select here, or select the picture above right to view our free instructions for making our Wrapped Link Bracelet out of jewelry wire using our WigJig jewelry tools.

 All content on this web site including jewelry and wire designs are copyrighted© by WigJig.  WigJig® is a registered trademark.  Last modified: 04/14/2009

 

 



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