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2009 Jun 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 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. 

Bead & Button Show June 4, 5, 6, and 7:  Gary Helwig, inventor of the WigJig, will be at the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee.  He will be doing free demonstrations June 4th through 8th.  If you visit the show, please look for Gary in the Soft Flex Booth.  Gary will not be at a booth labeled WigJig, but he will be doing WigJig demonstrations at the Soft Flex Booth.  The Bead & Button Show is in the Midwest Airlines Arena in downtown Milwaukee.  (Please note that the show is not open to the general public on June 4th.)  You can find information on this show here. 

Freshwater Pearl BeadsBirthstone for June:  The Birthstone for June is the pearl.  Please select here to view more information on pearls.  This month we are discounting our 6mm 1/2 drilled grade AAA freshwater pearls by 20%.  These freshwater pearls are used to make earrings as described here.  Please select the picture at right to view this product. 



7x18mm Pear Pendant CZ GemstonePlanned Price Changes:  We have changed the price of our 7x18mm Cubic Zirconia Pear Pendant beads.  We found a competitor who was beating our price so we need to respond to the competition.  We sell these pendants two to a package and they can easily be made into earrings or a necklace pendant using the free instructions provided here.  These pendants were formerly priced at $5.99 per pair and we have reduced our price to $3.99 per pair. 

Starting in July we are going to increase the price of our Rainbow AB beads by $1 per 8" strand of about 17 beads.  We import these beads ourselves and we have done some comparison shopping and found that we should raise the price of these beads.  We have found that when we under-price an item it won't sell as well because customers perceive the item must be cheap. 

It is difficult to set prices for imported items.  As you can see above, sometimes we get it right and sometimes we have to adjust.  We do suggest that our customers take advantage of the new lower price for our 7x18mm pendants and purchase any Rainbow AB Beads (like the ones used in this months new jewelry project) before our July price increase.  You can view these beads below. 

Green Rainbow AB 12x6mm Beads Blue Rainbow AB 12x6mm Beads Red Rainbow AB 12x6mm Beads Yellow Rainbow AB 12x6mm Beads

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

Swarovski Crystal AB 6mm Round Beads

Swarovski 6mm Round Emerald Beads 
$4.07 per package of 12 beads. 

Swarovski Crystal Round 6mm Beads

Swarovski 6mm Crystal AB Bicone  Beads
$2.71 per Package of 12 beads.

 Round Nose Pliers WigJig Jewelry Making Tools
Round Nose Pliers WigJig
Sale Priced $7.96 

6mm Gold-Filled Earring Post with Cup for Making Pearl Earrings
6mm Round 1/2 Drilled Freshwater Pearl Gemstone Bead

6mm Gold-Filled Ear Post for Setting 1/2 Drilled Freshwater Pearl Beads & 6mm Grade AAA Freshwater Pearls  
$21.43 per 2 settings and $10.39 per 2 Pearls.  

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

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

Jewelry Box

8"x2"x7/8" Gold Foil Gift Box
Sale Priced $0.79 per box.

20 Gauge Non-Tarnish Silver Jewelry Wire

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


4 Necklaces Jewelry Making ProjectsFree 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 new approach for making necklaces using bead stringing wire and 22 gauge round wire.  The advantage of this new approach is that it is stronger than a necklace made using crimp beads.  We use this new technique to make the four necklaces shown at right. Completed clasp for new necklace jewelry making project

If you have ever had a problem with a crimp bead breaking, or a necklace pulling apart due to a problem with the crimp, this new technique may be perfect for you.  For us, we won't be buying any crimp beads in the future.  This new approach uses end cone findings to hide the connection between the bead stringing wire and the wire component that we make to connect to the clasp.  The completed clasp portion of the necklace will appear as shown at left.  In this case we used a magnetic clasp.    A finished necklace will appear as shown below left or right.

In these necklaces we discuss the concept of "focal beads", the single or small group of beads that are eye catching, and "background beads" the predominant beads in a necklace.  In the necklace below-left, the white pearl beads are the background beads and the Rainbow AB beads are the focal beads.  Seed beads are used to separate all the focal beads and background beads in these necklaces.  Seed beads provide the spacing that we historically provided by knotting silk cord between each bead in the necklace. 

Blue Rainbow AB Beads as Focal Beads Necklace Jewelry Making Project Green Rainbow Beads as Focal Beads Necklace Jewelry Making Project

We really believe that this approach to making necklaces creates a professional quality product.  Please select any picture above, or select one of the three links below to view our instructions for making a necklace using bead stringing wire without crimp beads.

Stringing beads on bead stringing wire technique #1

Stringing beads on bead stringing wire technique #2

Stringing beads on bead stringing wire technique #3

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 Wire Cutter

Jewelry Making Technique:

This week's jewelry making technique is some discussion on jewelry wire cutters.  We recently visited a bead store and while performing demonstrations at the store we noticed that all of their cutters were dull and marked by nicks.  This is a frequent problem especially for new wire workers.  For that reason, we decided to discuss the problem, what causes it and how it can beJewelry Wire Cutter Flat Sidecorrected. 

First, the cutters made for cutting jewelry wire are made to cut soft wire.  In this case "soft" has a different meaning than the stiffness or springy nature of the wire that we discussed in our last newsletter.  In this case soft refers to the strength of the material or the Mohs hardness used by the gemologists.  Copper, silver, gold and gold-filled wire are easier to cut than brass and all five materials are much easier to cut than steel.  Most jewelry wire has a Mohs hardness of 3-4 while steel has a Mohs hardness of 5-6.5.  Jewelry wire cutters are made to cut copper, silver, gold, gold-filled and brass wire up to 12 gauge.  They are made to cut these wires and leave a flat or "flush" cut on one end of the cut wire.  To do this the cutting surface of the best cutters is made with one beveled surface and one flat surface as shown above.  Unfortunately, this feature, that makes them excellent for making jewelry items, also makes them more susceptible to becoming dull and getting nicks when they are used improperly.  In the case of most jewelry wire cutters, they are not made to cut anything other than copper, silver, gold, gold-filled, and brass wire.  They are not made to cut a clasp finding, even clasps made of copper, silver and gold and they are not made to cut steel, even steel wire.  Bead stringing wire like Soft Flex is made of stainless steel micro-filaments and ordinary jewelry wire cutters will not cut bead stringing wire without being damaged.  The bottom line here is know the capability of your cutter and know what you are cutting.

If you need to cut items that are harder than jewelry wire, you need a special cutter.  For cutting bead stringing wire you need to use cutters that are specially hardened and made to cut that wire.  For cutting bead stringing wire, we recommend either Item 0356 or Item 0645.  If you want to cut clasp findings, or anything made of pot metal, or memory wire you need a different cutter.  For this application and for cutting anything larger than 2mm in size regardless of material, we recommend a heavy duty cutter like our Item 0808

Now let's discuss what to do if you should get a nick in the jaws of your cutter or what you can do when the jaws of your cutter seem dull.  In our grand-fathers time there was a door-to-door tradesman who would visit a neighborhood and sharpen scissors and knives.  In our modern, disposable society, we tend to discard a pair of scissors that have become dull, where in the early 20th century and before, these items were routinely sharpened and re-used.  For jewelry wire cutters, you have the same choice.  You can discard your cutter when it gets a nick, or you can sharpen them.  Unfortunately, the tradesman won't come to your door any more to do it for you.  Sharpening the jaws of a cutter is something that almost anyone can do.  It requires two things -- a small flat surfaced file like a jeweler's file (Item 4023) and patience.  To sharpen the jaws of your cutter you need to sharpen the flat side of the jaws with the cutter held closed and sharpen the beveled side of the cutter on both beveled jaws with the jaws open.  Use your flat surfaced jeweler's file and file from the hinge toward the tips of the cutter repeatedly.  When sharpening the beveled jaws of the cutter, it is important to sharpen both jaws equally and to file from the hinge to the tip.  Don't file back and forth in one spot as this will create a notch in the jaws.  You can check your work by holding the closed jaws of the cutter up to a light.  When your cutter is properly sharpened, you won't see light between the jaws when the jaws are closed.  Continue filing until both jaws of your pliers are sharp. 

Finally, we at WigJig are always looking for a better way to do things.  Currently we are developing a new cutter that is hardened so that it can cut bead stringing wire and shaped so that it will cut jewelry wire with a very flush cut.  This new cutter will retail for just under $22.  We hope to have this new cutter available for sale starting in August.  Look for an announcement about the availability of this new cutter in our August newsletter. 

Please select here to view our instructions on how to cut jewelry wire for a jewelry making project using the flush cutter jewelry tool.

Cloisonne Necklace Jewelry Making ProjectNostalgia Corner -- Some of our favorite jewelry making projects:

This week's featured design in our Nostalgia Corner is the design for making our cloisonne necklaces.  These necklaces are rather similar to our Rainbow AB necklaces that we discussed in our new project for this newsletter and the same approach for making the necklace would apply. 

White Cloisonne Focal Beads Jewelry Making Project

Red Cloisonne Focal Beads Necklace Jewelry Making Project

Green Cloisonne Beads Necklace Jewelry Making Project.

You can three different ways to combine cloisonne beads as focal beads and using either black onyx or crystal pearl beads as background beads left and above-left. 

 Please select here, or select any picture above right to view our free instructions for making our cloisonne focal beads necklaces.

All content on this web site including jewelry and wire designs are copyrighted© by WigJigWigJig® is a registered trademark.  Last modified: 06/02/2009



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