Saturday, November 19, 2011

Making Jewelry: The Tools I Use

I get a lot of questions from people about my jewelry -- how I make it, whether I bend the wire by hand, if I use tools. I do use tools, though there are times when I bend the wire by hand, if I'm able. But if you want to get started with making jewelry, here are some basic tools to have. You can order beginner jewelry kits online and most have just what you need.

1. Round nose pliers: These have a rounded tip and are great for making loops. They're a necessity for things like floral designs and spirals.

2. Flat nose pliers: These have a flat tip and are great for squeezing things tight. I also use them for making angles, like in my square and triangle pieces. Plus, they're useful for straightening wire.

3. Flush cutters: I use wire cutters that cut on the flush; this way, the wire isn't jagged at the end. You definitely need quality wire cutters because if you try to cut with a regular scissors, you won't get an even cut.

4. Heavy duty wire cutter: I have a much stronger cutter for snipping 14 gauge wire, which is tough! It's good to have different sizes for different sized wire.

5. File: Always file the ends of the wire so it's not sharp. You don't want to stick yourself or someone else. Trust me, it hurts!

6. Wire (duh): I like to use 20 gauge silver plated for most projects, but I'll sometimes use softer (22-28 gauge) or harder (18-14 gauge) if a piece calls for it. For instance, I'll use very hard 14 gauge to make a thick pendant, but will use 28 gauge to connect a stone. I like to use 18 gauge for bracelets because it's flexible, but holds well.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

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