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2004 Feb 15

WigJig Jewelry Tools Presents our Jewelry Making Newsletter for February 15, 2004

International Gem and Jewelry Show, Tucson:
We want to thank everyone who stopped by our demonstration at the Best Bead Show in Tucson.  Your very kind reception made demonstrating our tools very easy and was greatly appreciated. 


We update the items we have "On Sale" with every newsletter.  A small sample of the products we currently have for sale at a discount are shown below.  Please click on any of the text below the pictures to view our entire list of sale items.  Quantities are limited for these items so please shop early.  This sale will be effective through February 27, 2004. 


New Store:
We now have an alphabetical index of our products.  This provides another way to shop in our Internet store.  You can view this Index here.     If you have problems placing an order, please call us at 800-579-WIRE or send us an e-mail  at with your telephone number and we will be happy to call you to take your order.  


With every newsletter we provide a free design from WigJig University to spur the creative juices.  This newsletter's free designs are the designs for the four earrings shown at right.  Instead of "Seven Easy Pieces", these are 4 Easy Earrings as these are all beginner's projects.  Making these four earrings is a great way to get started in wire design.  We have created an Internet Starter Kit that includes all the supplies, tools and materials to make these earrings using silver-plated wire for a total cost of $54.95.  Instructions for this Internet Starter Kit are provided via the "Beginners Start Here" link on our WigJig home page.  We will begin selling this Internet starter kit as a package during the week beginning February 16th.  Until we have the kit ready to go, we have included a complete parts and tools list along with complete instructions for making these earrings here.    

Earrings jewelry making projects made on WigJig jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire.

4 Easy Earrings

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.  You will need to scroll down to view the techniques section in each prior newsletter. 

Jewelery Making Technique:

This weeks techniques discussion is on what jewelry wire to use.  During my demonstrations in Tucson, one of the more consistent responses that I heard is that many people were having trouble getting started properly.  Often, the problem was very simple -- they started with jewelry wire that was too small.  22G wire is great wire for making wrapped bead links, where the wire wraps around itself and is therefore stronger; but it is not the right wire for making a wire component like the body of the four earrings shown above.  In general, earring components should be made from 20 or 21G wire, bracelet components should be made from 18 or 20G wire and necklace components should be made from 16 or 18G wire.    Some additional discussion on wire has been added to our Beginner's section here.  Please also visit our November 9, 2003 newsletter for information on working with half-hard wire. 

The next thing that we need to emphasize is to begin every new project with practice wire.  Making the jewelry items that we show on this web site is relatively easy, but it is not so easy that you will be able to sit down and get it perfect on the first try.  You should plan on making several pieces out of practice wire that you will ultimately cut up and throw away before you graduate to your good wire. 

The last thing to discuss is the choice of Artistic Wire versus sterling silver or gold-filled wire.  For beginners, Artistic Wire, especially the Non-Tarnish Silver wire, is a great choice.  The wire is relatively inexpensive, and it is attractive.  You can make some great pieces out of this wire.  Artistic Wire also has one major advantage over Sterling Silver.  Because of the non-tarnish enamel coating on the wire, Artistic Wire doesn't require the polishing that sterling does.  Artistic Wire does have a few drawbacks.  First, it is only made in a hardness of soft, and some pieces are easier to make in half-hard wire.  (In general, all pieces can be made in soft wire, although some may be slightly more difficult.  By contrast, half-hard wire can not be used to make pieces with a spiral.)  Second, because Artistic Wire comes in either nylon coated copper, or silver-plated styles, it doesn't have the commercial appeal of sterling silver or gold-filled wire.  Pieces made with Artistic Wire may not command the same sales price as pieces made in the precious metals.  Finally, both styles of Artistic Wire are more susceptible to scratches than either sterling silver or gold-filled wire. 

The finished pieces that we show on our web site are almost always made in gold-filled wire.  The reason for this is simple.  Our camera won't take acceptable pictures of jewelry made in silver colored wire.  We try to use a dark color of Artistic Wire for our directions because this wire is inexpensive and gold-filled wire for the finished pieces because we can get good pictures with this wire.


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