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2009 Apr 28

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. 

New Jewelry Making Supplies:

We have four new beads in our Internet store.  These beads are faceted and are 12mm long by 6mm square.  The beads have four facets with an AB finish.  The AB finish doesn't photograph easily, but it reflects red, green, blue and gold colors.  An 8" strand of these beads (approximately 17 beads) cost $3.89.  This month we have an introductory sale on the blue and red beads, with both offered at 20% off, or $3.11 for an 8" strand.  You can view these four new beads in the top row below. 

Green Rainbow AB Beads Blue Rainbow AB Glass Beads Red Rainbow AB Glass Beads Yellow Rainbow AB Glass Beads
Item 3460 Item 3461 Item 3462 Item 3463

We also have several of our silver plated Bali Style Beads that have been out of stock and are now back in stock.  You can view these Bali Style Beads below the rainbow AB beads.  Please select any picture to view that item in our Internet store.

Silver Plated Bali Style  Beads Round Mirrors Silver Plated Bali Style  Beads Rondelle w Balls Silver Plated Bali Style  Beads Bead Cap Circles Silver Plaged Bali Style  Beads Bead Cap Mirrrors Silver Plaged Bali Style  Beads Bead Snake Tube
Item 3413 Item 3421 Item 3430 Item 3432 Item 3422

Emerald CZ Gemstones

Birthstone for May:  The Birthstone for May is the emerald.  Please select here to view more information on emeralds.  This month we are discounting our 8mm Emerald CZs by 20%.  Please select the picture at right to view this product.  

WigJig Jewelry Making Classes in Maine:

We at WigJig don't give a lot of classes ourselves.  We receive many requests, but running our business is as much as we can handle and holding classes sometimes interferes with doing the best possible job of running our Internet store.  On the rare occasion where we do participate in classes, we like to let people know.  From 6 to 9 PM May 11th, we will be providing a class at Artascope Studios in South Portland, Maine.  The class will be taught by Marcia Wiggins who will teach the Deluxe Duplex Bracelet shown below.  If you are interested in attending this class please contact Artascope at 207-799-5154.  We will also have a free demo at Artascope on May 9th from 10AM to 1PM.  During this demo, we will be making earrings.  Tools and supplies will be available for people to follow along. 

Purple Duplex Bracelet made on WigJig jewelry tools out of jewelry wire, beads and jewelry making supplies.

From the Store's Perspective:  We received many comments on our write up "From the Store's Perspective" in our April Newsletter.  Some people appreciated seeing this matter from a different perspective.  That was our goal.  Some other people thought that it must have been a bad month for us with some particularly difficult customers.  Here are a few more thoughts on this topic. 

Hardly a month goes by that we don't think about the interaction between customer's and stores.  This past month was no different from any other month, but after thinking about the topic as much as we do, we finally decided to write about it. 

Our company is different from many stores because the owner of our company views almost all of the e-mails that are sent to our company.  Most stores have layers of employees who filter problem customers and block the customer from directly contacting the owner.  We don't isolate our owner from our customers, and we try to remain as flexible as possible in responding to issues.  We tend to discuss how to resolve customer complaints more than most companies.  In short, the issue of interacting with unhappy customers tends to have a greater impact on our company. 

Our opinion is that society changes over time and right now more people feel frustrated in dealing with vendors because large, impersonal chain stores respond to issues according to a fixed policy and aren't able to be flexible.  We would like to do something positive about this situation and the only positive thing that we can think of to do, is to discuss the situation in an open forum.  Being frustrated may be appropriate.  Showing frustration may not be in anyone's best interest. 

Our final thought on this is that part of the reason we discuss this issue is to simply remind ourselves to be better in the way we treat other people.  When times are tough like they are now, it seems worthwhile to sit back and remind ourselves that we want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. 

Jewelry Makign 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 June 30th 2009 or until we run out of that item. 

Swarovski Rose 4mm Round Beads

Swarovski 4mm Bicone Beads 
$2.15 per package of 24 beads. 

Swarovski Crystal Round 4mm Beads

Swarovski 4mm Round Beads
$2.47 per Package of 12 beads.

 Economy Round Nose Pliers Jewelry Making Tools
Fine Step Jaw Pliers
Sale Priced $9.06 
Our lowest price ever!

8mm SS Snap Fit Pendant Setting for Round Gemstone  
8mm Round Emerald Cubic Zirconia Gemstone

8mm Sterling Silver Snap Fit Pendant Setting for a Round Gemstone and
8mm Emerald CZ Gemstones

$2.39 per 1 setting and $15.19 per 2 CZs.  

8mm Magnetic Clasp Jewelry Making FindingSterling Silver Earring Post with Loop Jewelry Making Finding

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

Blue Glass Rainbow AB BeadsRed Glass Rainbow AB Beads

6x12mm Rainbow AB Glass Beads
Sale Priced $3.11 per 8" strand (about 17 beads).

18 Gauge Brass Jewelry Wire

18G Soft Brass Wire
$6.87 for a 30' Bag
(This wire will tarnish.)


WigJig Dog Bone Jewelry Chain Earrings Jewelry Making ProjectFree Jewelry Making Design:

With every newsletter we provide a new jewelry design from WigJig University to spur theDog Bone Jewelry Chain wire componentcreative juices.  This weeks design is our design for our WigJig Dog Bone Chain Earrings and Bracelet.  This is an advanced beginners jewelry making design.  The chain is make with 22 gauge or 20 gauge 1/2 hard wire and can be made on any WigJig tool, with two 3/16" Super Pegs for the jig. 

The name Dog Bone Chain isn't the most elegant name for a jewelry item.  We selected this name because there is a type of chain called the "Dog Bone Chain" that has been around for thousands of  years.  The dog bone chain is based upon making a wire component that looks like a dog bone.  You can view a sample dog bone wire component above-left.  After making that wire component one would solder the gap in the wire closed, then fold the dog bone component in half to begin making a chain.  Because we don't solder wire, we have adapted the dog bone chain, using our WigJig tools and by wrapping wire around itself rather than soldering.  Above-right you can view a chain four links long made into earrings.  Below you can view a WigJig Dog Bone Chain made into a bracelet. 

 Instructions for makign Dog Bone chain by shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tools.

When we make a chain, we have two requirements that we want to meet.  First, it needs to be aesthetically pleasing or just plain nice looking and second, it needs to be strong and permanent.  We think this chain meets both requirements.  Because it is strong, it could be used as a charm bracelet.  It can also be used as a necklace. 

We are going to expand our styles of WigJig Dog Bone Chain in the future with additional sizes of links and with different shaped links. 

Please select any picture above, or select here to view our instructions for making a WigJig Dog Bone Chain using 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. 

Jewelry Making Technique:

Hardness of Jewelry WirelThis week's jewelry making technique is some discussion on the hardness of jewelry wire.  We have discussed this many times, but not in the past year, so it may be worthwhile to review. 

First, wire can be soft and pliable or it can be stiff like a spring.  The perfect wire would be a wire that was soft and pliable when you were working with it, but upon completion of your work it turned instantly stiff so that the finished shape was permanent.  Unfortunately, this perfect wire does not exist.  What does exist is wire that can be manufactured to be pliable, semi-stiff, or very stiff and springy.  Pliable wire is frequently sold as "soft" or "dead soft".  Semi-stiff wire can be sold as "half-hard".  Very stiff wire is sold as "hard".  When you purchase your wire, you must decide which of these alternatives best meets your needs. 

Now that we know that wire can be pliable or stiff what do you look for in when buying wire.  Unfortunately, when you go to a store to buy wire, most wire will not state whether it is soft, half-hard or hard.  Inexpensive wire is not made to a defined hardness.  The hardness is what it is and you, as the buyer of inexpensive wire, don't have a choice.  Fortunately, in general, it takes more work to make wire that is stiff, either half-hard or hard.  Since it takes more work to make stiff wire, almost all cheap wire is soft wire.  Our experience has been that all copper wire has a hardness of soft, and all colored copper wire has a hardness of soft.  Most brass wire has a hardness of soft with a few exceptions.  The Artistic Wire brand of non-tarnish brass wire isn't manufactured to a defined hardness but its actual hardness is roughly half hard.  Some other manufactures of brass wire will make their brass wire to a specified hardness so you can buy some brass wire with a defined hardness.  Silver plated and gold plated wire is also generally soft, although we don't see that the manufacturer specifies the hardness of that wire.  Finally, expensive wire including all sterling silver, gold, and gold-filled wire is made to a defined hardness.  Be sure to select the hardness that meets your needs.

WigJig Dog Bone Chain Earrings Jewelry Making ProjectThe next question that must be answered is -- what hardness will meet your needs?  First, for the projects on our web site, we never use hard wire.  It is just too springy.  If you were making a hat pin, then hard wire would be appropriate, but you must understand that with hard wire you will have a lot of work straightening the wire and it is very difficult to work with.  Our recommendation is to avoid hard wire.  Second, the larger the size of the wire, the less important hardness is.  For wire that is 10, 12 or 14 gauge we only recommend soft wire.  For 16 gauge wire, we rarely use half-hard wire.  So now we get to the important stuff.  For 18, 20 and 22 gauge wire, we recommend both half-hard wire and soft wire according to the project.  In these sizes of wire, anything that includes a spiral must use soft wire.  Half-hard wire will not make a good spiral.  Furthermore, rounded shapes, including rounded shapes using our Super Pegs usually work better with soft wire.  By contract, angular shapes and wire components where you must wrap wire around itself tend to work better with half-hard wire.  When in doubt what do you do?  Our recommendation here is that if you aren't certain which wire would work better, then find a project on our WigJig web site that is similar to your project and see which wire we used for that project.  When we make a project, we experiment with the wire and try making that item in both soft and half-hard wire.  Finally, for smaller wire like 24 gauge, we only recommend half-hard wire. 

For the WigJig Dog Bone Chain earrings shown above right, we used 22 gauge wire in two different hardnesses.  The links in the chain were made with 22 gauge half-hard wire because they require wrapping wire around itself and half-hard wire does that better.  The spiral head pin at the bottom of the earrings, holding the bead, were made with 22 gauge soft wire, because you can't make good spirals in anything but soft wire.  Hopefully, this discussion will help you to understand the hardness of wire and what wire will work best 

Wire Wrapped Jewelry Wire Chain 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 Wire Wrapped Chain Bracelet shown at right.  We selected this project because it makes a chain that is somewhat similar to the WigJig Dog Bone chain that is our new jewelry project for this month.  This chain can be made with open loops or with wrapped loops.  You can view the open loops chain below-left and the wrapped loops chain below-right.  Both of these chains meet our design requirements of strength and being nice looking. 

Wrapped Chain watch made on WigJig jewelry tools out of jewelry wire and jewelry making supplies. Wrapped chain bracelet made out of jewelry wire shape using WigJig jewelry tools.

 Please select here, or select the picture above right to view our free instructions for making our Wire Wrapped Chain Bracelet made 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: 04/28/2009



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