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 week's jewelry making technique is some discussion on how we recommend people use our jewelry making jigs. Roughly once a year, we like to review our recommendations so that newcomers will understand what we believe to be the best way to make jewelry.
Our first tip is to start with straight wire. It is very important that you straighten the wire before you use it on one of our jigs. We recommend using nylon jaw pliers to straighten the wire as shown here.
Our second tip is to start with just two pegs in your jig, no matter how many are required in the pattern. Using this technique, you begin with two pegs and add pegs as you go. For a pattern with six pegs as an example, if you start with 6 pegs in your jig, four of them will be in your way making it difficult to use the jig. By starting with only two pegs and adding a peg as you go, you won't get into the difficult position of trying to push the wire down among pegs that are spaced so closely that you can't get your fingers in between them.
Our third tip is to push the wire and do not pull the wire. Intuitively, everyone wants to grasp the wire by the end and pull the wire around the pegs. Grasping and pulling the wire tends to introduce bends in the wire. By pushing the wire with just one finger touching the wire as shown above-right, you can keep the wire straight as you use it and your jewelry wire components will be more professional looking. Push with your finger as close to the peg you are bending the wire around or against as possible.
Our fourth tip is when pushing the wire, turn the jig with your non-dominant hand and use the index finger of your dominant hand to guide the wire up and over the pegs as necessary. Turning the jig gives you more control over the wire and actually provides leverage to make it easier to control the wire. The index finger on your dominant hand essentially pushes the wire so that the wire remains stationary as you maneuver the jig.
Our fifth and final tip is to continue pushing the wire until the wire rests adjacent to the hole for the next peg in the pattern with no pressure applied to the wire. This means you will need to push the wire and then remove your finger from the wire to allow the wire to relax back to its final position. It may require several instances of push the wire and remove your finger to test and see if you pushed the wire sufficiently. By doing this you ensure that the wire will retain the shape after you remove it from the jig. Failing to do this may result in your wire component springing out of shape when you remove it from the jig. Please visit this web page to view the way that you start with two pegs and push the wire until it rests adjacent to the hole for the next peg.
By learning and following these five tips, you will find that you can make the most consistent, repeatable and professional wire components and jewelry items as possible.
Nostalgia Corner -- Some of our favorite jewelry making designs:
This week's featured design in our Nostalgia Corner is the design for our beadstringing jewelry making project. We have added several cloisonne necklace designs to our bead stringing instructions. You can view the different patterns below. We also added instructions including what part number to purchase in our Internet store. Please note that our 6mm AA black onyx beads, Item 3281, used in the second necklace down, are on sale now for 20% off.
Please select here, or select either picture above to view our instructions for making our Beads Stringing Project shown here.