Diagonal wire nippers have triangular blades that come together. The more the blades are angled toward each other, the closer the cut, similar to the way a knife edge is sharper when it has an angled blade.
When you use wire cutters, always place the flat, back edge of the blades against the portion of the wire that’s going to remain attached. The angled edge should face away from your work. The piece that remains should have a very close, flat cut.
Since bracelets receive so much wear and tear, it can be a little tricky to get them just right. Here are a few tips:
1) Use the largest diameter of beading wire (or other material) that will pass through the bead holes.
2) Lay the bracelet in a curved shape before attaching the clasp. If the beads are too tight, the bracelet will not bend properly around the wrist and abrasion can occur.
3) When using large, chunky beads, separate them with a single smaller bead to make it easier to bend around the wrist.
Crimp covers are a very cool invention. They look like c-shaped metal beads and you can use them to hide the crimps at the ends of your jewelry designs. After you attach the crimp bead or tube, slide a crimp cover over the crimp. Use a large crimping tool to press the sides of the crimp cover together.
Princess necklace: 18-20″
Matinee necklace: 23-27″
Flexible beading wire is made of miniature stainless steel wires twisted together, then covered with a nylon coating. It combines the softness of thread with the strength of wire. Use it for necklaces and bracelets that feature gemstones or metal beads or to create your designs.
Using a permanent marker to mark your pliers will help you make consistent sized loops
Jewelry making wire comes in a variety of tempers (hardness):
1) Spring hard:
The hardest temper appropriate for jewelry making, it is only recommended for making pin backs and other very sturdy elements.
One of the most common tempers used by jewelry makers, especially used for border wraps (a bezel around a cabochon or other non-drilled stone) or when binding wires together. In this site, half-hard wire is only used for armatures (thick gauges).
3) Soft or dead-soft:
This is the softest temper used by jewelry makers. Most examples shown in this site were made with soft wire. Thin wires (26ga and 30ga) in soft temper tend to behave like fiber and can be used in a variety of techniques, such as stitching, coiling, weaving, lacing.
When working with soft wire, it is important to remember to not manipulate it excessively, since it can become very springy and brittle.
That is a common problem with many necklace designs. If the necklace is relatively the same weight all around, there is nothing to hold it in place. My favorite fix for that is to hang a counterweight off of the clasp. I like to use an adjustable-style clasp by using a lobster claw on one side of the necklace and a short length of chain on the other. This way, I can change the length of the necklace if desired. But also I like to hang dangles of beads using head pins off of the last several links of the chain. This seems to keep the necklace in place, and if it does start to twist around my neck, I can feel it right away and move it back to where it should be. It is a nice touch at the back of the neck as well, adding an extra design element.
If you graduate the beads from smaller/lighter beads at the back of the necklace with bigger/heavier beads toward the front of the necklace, that might help too. Another good design idea to keep the clasp in the back is to make a double-strand necklace; the weight of the strands should help keep the necklace centered
You might also want to use a focal bead or pendant secured at the front of the necklace. If you string half of the necklace, then the focal bead or pendant (making sure the hole through the bead or the bail of the pendant isn’t large enough to fit over the beads in the necklace), and then the other half of the necklace, the weight of the focal bead or pendant should keep the necklace from turning.
If you do have a larger neck, wearing a longer necklace with some of the ideas above would probably help too. Different lengths and necklace designs are going to drape differently on different body types, so do a little experimenting to see which style works best for you.
Gently move one side of the S-hook open enough that you can slide on the end of your cord or chain; tighten it by squeezing it back into place. Attach the other half of your design to the jump ring. Open up the curve of the S-hook on the jump ring side to put the necklace or bracelet on and off.
Some S-hook clasps have two jump rings, one on each half of the S. Use the jump rings to end each end of your design. Then open and close the S-hook accordingly to take off and put on your necklace or bracelet.
There are many S-hook clasps to choose from, select one that suits the style of your finished piece.
Known for their unique shine and smooth texture, Pearls have been the world’s favorite oceanic jewels since divers hunted them in the 19th century. Their famous iridescent luster owes to a series of thin surface layers that reflect and refract incoming light in wonderfully eye-pleasing ways. Pearls are typically divided into two categories: natural and cultured.
Natural pearls are composed almost completely of organic nacre, or as most know it, mother-of-pearl, and are gradually cultivated inside the shell of the oyster or mussel over years and years. Pearls are therefore like trees: the more they age, the more concentric layers are accumulated, and the wider the diameter becomes. The value of a natural pearl depends upon regularity of shape, smoothness of surface, and size.
Cultured pearls, on the other hand, still attribute their tantalizing sheen to the all-natural nacre that makes up their outermost layers, but contain a non-nacre nucleus that comprises most of the pearl’s volume. Cultured pearls can take as little as 6 months of natural development, and now account for 95% of all pearls in the industry. Because the surface layers are still entirely natural, however, it is virtually impossible to distinguish between wholly natural and cultured pearls without the help of an x-ray.
Another distinction is the difference between freshwater and saltwater pearls. While oysters make saltwater pearls, freshwater pearls come from freshwater mussels, and are noted for their relatively wide variety of subtly beautiful, naturally occurring colors.
How to keep your projects intact after crimping
Time needed: 30 minutes.
People ask what they are doing wrong when they crimp beads after stringing and their items come apart after they have crimped the wire. What type of material are you using? Are you trying to string with fishing line or one of the well-known brands of new wire on the market? After much experimentation, fishing line does not hold crimp beads well. Fishing line material is only to temporarily string bead designs to see how they look, not as a permanent material. Whether you use Soft Flex wire, Beadalon wire, Acculon wire or any other brand name wire, there are steps to crimping a crimp bead. First make sure you purchase good crimp beads. There is junk on the market that does not hold up.
- First purchase a good crimping tool often called crimp-forming pliers.
Do you have a crimping tool or are you using a pair of regular pliers? Do not use regular pliers; they will ruin the finish on the crimp bead and not crimp them correctly. A crimper tool is the answer. Crimping tools work around the crimp bead in more than one way and secure them
- Take a short piece of wire and make a loop.
This will be your practice piece
- String on a crimp bead.
Now look at the crimping tool, open it and look down the side. There are two notches in it.
- Take the crimp bead to the notch closest to the inside of the crimper
- Crimp the bead tightly
- Take the crimped bead up to the top notch
Near the opening that has a kidney shape in it and place the crimped bead it in.
- Start Crimping
Hold the crimper with one hand and move the wire with the crimp bead around slowly with the other hand while you crimp it with the crimper in this notch
When you have gone all the way around the crimp bead, it should be crimped properly. If it is more comfortable, you can hold the wire with the crimp bead still and move the crimper around it to get the same results.
- If your crimp bead falls off
After you put it in the first notch and crimp it and then began crimping in the second notch, it could have folded so that it opened back up from the first notch. In other words, you closed the crimp bead, then when you began to work around it, it folded so the middle opened up again. Watch closely when you work the crimp bead in the second notch and see if it is folding in such a way that it opens back up.
Note: Be careful of coated wires, some are permanent with crimp beads and others do not hold. Stick with brand names you can depend on for permanent wire and use oddball material for temporary stringing.