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Showing posts from July, 2014

3 Simple Wire-Working Jewelry Making Secrets

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Make a Bracelet Your Grandma Would Love
Some would-be wire jewelry makers never get started because they see it as oh-so complicated. If you start out simply and take it from there, it won't seem like such a challenge. It's easy for even a beginner to make a simple bracelet, or even a necklace, with the right techniques. With figure 8s you can make basic wire bracelets that even a grandma would love. In these few steps you can learn to do that; or you can add details to make your bracelet as fancy as you choose. To get you started, here are a few of my best wire-working secrets. Secret #1 - Find Your Rhythm Simple wire jewelry making is not complicated. It's finding a rhythm, working your hands, controlling the wire before it controls you. Learn to rotate your wrist smoothly, and that single ability will help you make great wire jewelry. Use a comfortable grip. Mimic the rhythm of turning a car key or revving a motorcycle, a rotation originating in your wrist. Now use your rhy…

Working with Your Blowtorch: Ten Safety Tips Jewelry Designers Need to Know

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"Metal Play" earrings  Sterling silver soldered over copper
If you've recently graduated from simple beading and wire-work to metalwork, you may have found the transition a bit scary. After all, you've moved from pliers and cutters to far more intimidating devices. Metalwork requires the use of handsaws, rotary tools, drills, buffers, polishers and other power driven devices, all with the ability to create injuries in the blink of an eye.

If you are learning to solder metal pieces together, you may have picked up your first blowtorch. It's the one tool most of my students find intimidating; but with a few safety tips, learning the soldering process can go smoothly. Blowtorch Virgins When I start teaching a metal class with women and sometimes men who have never used a blowtorch before, we must gradually work our way up to the part where I ask them to light a torch for the first time. I spend several days of class time getting them comfortable with the newness of wor…