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:
This month's jewelry making technique is some discussion on how to follow our jewelry making instructions for a left handed person. We try to describe our instructions using terms like "use your dominant hand" or "non-dominant hand" and perform the action described. Our jewelry making instructions are good at avoiding descriptions that focus on using your right hand, we just discovered that we have a hidden right hand bias in many of our instructions. In the following paragraphs we will describe two ways that the right hand bias impacts our instructions and how to overcome that bias.
When we take a picture of an action performed with your pliers, we tend to show a picture where the pliers are held in our left hand and therefore the pliers enter the picture from the left side of the picture. When we push wire while holding it in our pliers, a right handed person will normally hold the pliers in their left hand and push the wire with the thumb of their right hand. The picture above-right is one of the few pictures on our web site where the pliers are shown being held in the right hand. Please note that the picture above-right demonstrates how a left handed person would hold the pliers and subsequently push the wire with their left thumb.
We have another right handed bias in the way that we lay out the pegs in a pattern. We did not recognize this until very recently. Shown at right is the way we recommend laying out the pegs for a right handed person. If you are left handed, we would recommend transposing pegs 2 and 3. In effect, peg 2 would be on the left and peg 3 would be on the right, while peg 1 would remain in the same position. See the picture at left, for the left-handed peg pattern for our !Queen of Clubs Earrings. The reason for this is that a right handed person should push and guide the wire with the tip of the index finger of their right hand, while moving the jig with their left hand. By contrast, a left handed person should push the wire with the tip of the index finger of their left hand, while moving the jig with their right hand. Because we flip the wire component over (mirror image) after every loop we make, a right handed person would make all their loops on the right side of the pattern. By contrast, a left handed person should make all the loops on the left hand side of the pattern, still flipping the wire component over after each loop of wire.
When making a series of loops in a line or row, around pegs on your jewelry making jig, a right handed person should have the initial loop on the left and add additional loops to the right side of the wire component. By contract a left handed person should have the initial loop on the right and add additional loops to the left side of the wire component. There is a simple rule that applies to almost all cases. If you are right handed, add loops on the right side. If you are left handed, add loops on the left side.
Let us try to summarize. When using pliers, hold the pliers in your non-dominant hand allowing you to push the wire with either the thumb or index finger on your dominant hand. When making wire components on a jewelry making jig, hold and move the jig with your non-dominant hand. Push and guide the wire with the tip of the index finger on your dominant hand. If you are left handed, please remember that our instructions have a hidden right hand bias. Please adapt our patterns so that you are making new loops on the left hand side of the wire component.
Please select here to view a web page that discusses tips for using our instructions by a left handed jewelry crafter.
Nostalgia Corner -- Some of our favorite jewelry making projects:
This week's featured design in our Nostalgia Corner is the design for our Wrapped Jewelry Wire Chain Bracelet. This bracelet project uses jewelry wire and hand tools to make a simple, but strong chain.
We really like this chain because it is elegant and simple yet strong. It is also very easy to make this chain in a consistent manner because we use our WigJig tools to establish a pattern.
Please select here, or select the picture above right to view our free instructions for making our Wire Wrapped Chain Bracelet 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: 11/10/2009