Thursday, March 11, 2010

So you wanna learn to do wire work?

Well, everyone has to start somewhere right? First thing is first, what tools are you going to need?

When I first started wire working, I had a very basic set of tools. I bought a very cheap set of "jewelry making tools" at a local Michael's craft store. I quickly discovered they were not the right kind of tools when I saw that the pliers I purchased had teeth. Teeth on plier are great if you are using the to loosen nuts and bolts or grip something. But they mar and scratch your wire when making jewelry. So, I ditched my beginner set and bought a better one. The pliers I purchased the second time around had no teeth and were made specifically for jewelry making.

The first pair of jewelry pliers a beginner needs are a plain pair of needle nose pliers with no teeth. They are a simple but essential part of wire working.

The next set of pliers you will absolutely need to do simple wire work jewelry are bent nose pliers, again without teeth. These are excellent for holding jump rings andother wire pieces in place with one hand while you work on the piece with the other hand or another tool.

The third tool that you will need is a good pair of round nose pliers. These are used to make jump rings, twists, turns, or other rounded shapes with your wire. I have two pairs of these that I use, a smaller pair for small twists and shapes and another pair of larger ones that have multiple sizes for different size round shapes.

And last but definitely not least, every wire work jeweler needs a good pair of wire cutters. I use a pair of flush cutters. Flush cutters ensure that at least one side of the wire you are cutting with them will be completely flush. Now, a word of assurance and warning... you will go through wire cutters. You will wear them out and need to buy a new pair. If you are like me a good pair will last you maybe two years before they need replacing. I've tried sharening a pair or two before.... sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

And there you have it. The tools you will need to begin working with wire to create unique and lovely jewelry.

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