Flat nose, chain nose, bent nose pliers

At first blush – you may wonder what makes these different from the regular pliers that you may already have – and can find anywhere – from the dollar store to Lee Valley Tools. Teeth. The answer is teeth – these tools do not have grooved ridges cut into them for gripping the wire. (Which, you’d think would make them cheaper than regular pliers – but nooooo – doesn’t work that way.) That toothy gripping surface on regular pliers is going to play havoc with your nice soft, shiny wire – it will chew up the surface and make it …

Round nose pliers

With their gently tapering, smooth round jaws – these are the go-to tools for bending wire. These are indispensable for making wrapped loops and simple loops – a staple of most strung and wired jewelry. But that’s not all they do. Despite their curved jaws, you can use them to hold wire. When making a wrapped loop, after forming the loop – instead of switching to another pair of pliers – use these across the newly-formed loop – to hold it while you finish the wrap! This works for all but the thickest, gnarliest wire. If you want to get …

A New Year, a New Beginning, a New Class

As promised I am blogging the upcoming new class for 2009. I will mostly focus on January and a bit of February. Metal Smithing 101 with Suzanne Crudden begins January 14th and runs for 8 weeks on Wednesday nights.Suzanne McNenly’s Introduction to Pearl Knotting on January 17th Stephanie Dixon has 2 new classes coming in January: Wire Crochet Cuff Bracelet on January 17thAnd the Wire Crochet Earrings for Beginners on January 18th Cindy Vroom’s Basic Bead Stitching 101 begins on January 22nd and runs for 4 weeks. This is a great introduction to different types of stitches. You can enroll …

Tools – Crimp Pliers

Crimp pliers – oh sure – you can get by without them. You can crimp the crimp tubes that secure the beading wire by first flattening them with a pair of flat nose pliers, and then crushing a gap between the wires using your round nose pliers. But even the most tool-phobic person can see that is a clumsy way to go about it – that’s what you do when you can’t find your crimpers. The secret is that they have two holes – and you use the second one first. The second set of holes is shaped like a …

Tools – What to buy

OK – so if you don’t need 15 inches of solid stacked tools (see yesterday’s post!) – what do you need? What is the minimum tool kit for someone making jewelry – stringing beads, making earrings, etc.! Here it is: 1 pair wire cutters – flush cutters – good quality 1 pair crimpers 1 pair roundnose pliers 2 pairs chain nose or small flat nose pliers – or 1 chain nose and 1 flat nose, or 1 chain nose and 1 bent nose. That’s it. Pretty simple list, eh? I know the tool junkies will be disappointed, but really – …

Basement Craft Room Project – Making progress

I have come to the realization that this project will take me a lot longer than a week. I am quite determined to see this finished though. The sheer amount of work involved is quite staggering! We have cleared through a LOT of junk. You can now actually see the floor! I can walk from one end of the basement to the other without climbing over empty boxes. I’ve got on a coat of primer in some spots, and I”m hoping to get the rest of the primer up later today. I ran out of steam yesterday. I’m also heading …

Tools

Hi, My name is Dwyn, and I’m a tool junkie. It’s been 3 days since I bought a tool. Guys do not have the market cornered on loving tools. I have probably met as many women tool-junkies as men – maybe more. I personally love to try out new tools, in the hopes that they will make some tricky task easier. I also love it when I find some tool that is beautifully designed or overcomes a design flaw from other versions of said tool (As witness to this – I offer “True-Parallel Love” from my OTHER blog – primarily …

Eye Candy – Bulgari Jewelry

The opening page of a website – if it does not contain a lot of content, but just a teaser or a short animation to get you more interested, is called a splash page. Bulgari takes this literally – with a delightful and delicious little video of truly beautiful jewelry being splashed through water. Worth watching twice, actually. But then you get into the site – and oh my! Lots of content! And the jewelry! Oh my! Be sure to check out “Magnificent Jewels” – both “Bulgari Creations” and “Photographic Artwork.” If that doesn’t get you thinking differently about fruit …

Basement Craft Room Project – The beginning

I’ve got a week off. Can I completely organize the mess you see below into a decent craft room in one week, and on a serious budget? I tried to do this about a year ago, but life got in the way, and it was never finished. Now the whole situation is far worse than it ever was. 🙂 The goal is to get rid if the years of accumulated junk, organize, brighten it up, and install a sink. What we’re working with is an unfinished basement, lots of already available storage options, and about $700 in Christmas money/gift cards. …

Jen’s Bracelet Variations

Last week – Jen promised to show you some variations on a bracelet that she made for the Inspirations. But then, she had some technical difficulties. Jen finally managed to locate the bracelets – but not the photos – so she sent them with me for shooting. Here they are. The original bracelet is in the centre – and the colour variation is on the left is the second one. This is a pleasing combo of dark blue, light blue and light mauve. The third variation, however, proved to be quite interesting. Instead of the 6 and 8 mm pearls …