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by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Wire Tip for July 30, 2014

FREE E-COURSE: 7-Part Jewelry Course

Do you enjoy learning? We all know that learning a new skill can be exciting and sometimes frustrating, so this week I thought I’d share a FREE E-Course that we offer and hopefully it will help give you build some new skills and learn some new tips about the jewelry business.

Even if you’ve already purchased our Beginner and Intermediate DVD sets, there are always new tricks and ideas to learn and try.

We’ve got some incredibly creative ideas for ways to promote your wire jewelry business and keep the orders rolling in. Plus, we’ve got background information on popular jewelry items like wire and tools that you can use in your jewelry making, as well as share with your customers.

Sign up and get your FREE Online wire jewelry making video – a $34.99 value!

This course will cover:

  • All different types and metals of wire
  • How to price your jewelry
  • How to clean and care for your wire jewelry and jewelry supplies
  • Niche markets and innovative places to sell your jewelry
  • Four surefire steps to success!

You’ll learn exclusive wire jewelry making tips, as well as tricks of the trade and specialty sales ideas! And rest easy, we’ll only use your email address for Wire-Sculpture related events.

SIGN UP NOW to get started–you’ll be glad you took this course!

Happy Wrapping

Do you love this information- why not sign up today for your FREE Jewelry Making Patterns. It’s a great place to start!

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by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Tool of the Week for July 28, 2014

This week’s Featured Tool is the Wire Gauge for All Sizes of Wire

If you’re like most jewelry crafters, you find great beauty in the small, precise details. These gauges, sizers, rulers and calipers help ensure that you get all the details perfectly right. These gauges are an essential part of your toolkit whether you are a jewelry-making beginner or a master crafter.

If you are familiar with how wire gauge works, then this hopefully will be a great refresher. If you’re not, then take a few moments as we examine wire gauge and measurement,  and also at few accessories that go hand in hand with it.

What is “Wire Gauge”?

Wire gauge is a measurement of how large a wire is, either in diameter or cross sectional area. Gauge weight per unit of length. Wire gauge is applicable to both electrical and non-electrical wire.

Wire Gauge for All Sizes of Wire

Wire gauge has machined slits for wire to fit into so you can determine the exact size of the wire be it round, square whatever.

It is almost impossible to tell the exact gauge of wire without a gauge.

This gauge measures in millimeters on one side, and SWG (Standard Wire Gauge) on the other. .

Plastic Stone Gauge for Faceted Stones

This rectangular plastic gauge can be used to size faceted stones, diamonds and give you the exact carat weight.


Metal Ring Sizer – Finger Sizer

Use this Metal ring sizer to determine the size of your customers fingers.

Sizes 1 to 15 with half sizes included (size 1, 1-1/2, 2, 2-1/2, etc). An indispensable tool for the jeweler.

For more great information about how to use a Wire Gauge – check out this blog post.

Pick up a gauge today and complete your jewelry toolbox!

To help you get started using Wire Gauges – you might want to take a look at our Wire Jewelry Books. We have quite a few that will help guide you through getting started with wire-wrapping. Click Here to take a look!

Happy Wrapping!


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by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Wire Jewelry Tip for July 25, 2014

The Birth of 200 Thousand Jump Rings!

Today I thought we’d talk a little bit about a very useful, and yet (perhaps) under appreciated metal finding. The Jump Ring!

What is a Jump Ring?

Jump rings are small metal circles with a cut that allows them to be opened to connect pieces together and then closed again to secure them.  Jump rings are useful for connecting clasps and charms or joining two findings that won’t attach to each other directly.

Jump rings can be used in a series to form a chain-like design or they can be grouped in clusters.

How are Jump Rings made?

Here at Wire-sculpture, we make a lot of our jump rings by hand, so I thought I’d share a few images of what the “birth of a jump ring” looks like.. from start to finish!

Step 1. Twisting copper wire to create a coil.
Step 2. Coiled Wire
Step 3. Layers of coiled wire, ready to cut.
Step 4. Final jump rings, after cutting and tumbling.

After cutting, we count and package and sent them off to you!

How do you handle a jump ring?

To open or close a jump ring, it’s easiest to use two pairs of needle nose pliers.  If you have one pair, you can hold one side with your fingers.  If there is a gap, close it by moving the sides up and down pressing gently together.  The ends should overlap then snap together tightly so the tension of the metal will hold the gap closed.  When you open a jump ring (or any loop) twist it open rather than pulling it open so it will hold tight when re-closed.

Why so many jump rings?

“La-Te-Dah” is a phrase we’ve been using around our warehouse a lot the last few weeks! Why? Because we just announced a NEW series of DVD’s by Patti Bullard called the Wire & Pliers Series. One of it’s main components is the “La-Te-Dah” Interchangeable Jewelry System When you order the Complete Wire & Pliers DVD Series you also  get the  FREE Supply Kit.

Here’s everything included in the supply kit:

  • 5 feet of 16-gauge copper wire for links, charms, and clasps…
  • 18 inches of 18-guage round dead soft copper wire for the charms
  • 3 feet of 20-gauge round dead soft copper wire for charms and ear wires…
  • 30 jump rings, 18-guage 4.0mm ID copper jump rings
  • A handpicked assortment of beads, spacers, and bead caps
  • Copper Headpins
  • Copper Ear Wires
  • 16-guage 6.0mm ID jump ring for pendant
  • All the Jump Rings you need for your extender chain

Here are a few photos of some of the finished jewelry that you can create with the DVD Series and the Supply Kit.


Copper Wire bracelet with Jump Rings and Beads
Silver Wire Bracelet with Jump Rings and Handmade Venetian Glass Beads.
Jump Rings used for chain


Now you understand why we’ve been making so many jump rings!

If you’d love to try creating this beautiful NEW Interchangeable Jewelry Set, take a look at our Complete Wire & Pliers DVD Series and you too, can get some of our hand cut copper jump rings in your Supply Kit!

Happy Wrapping!


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by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Jewelry Tip for July 23, 2014

Beads and Beading 101

For those of you who are beginners, today I thought I’d give you a little introduction into the world of beads and beading. We have a number of great articles on our blog, but this is a great “simple” explanation of beads and beading.

The craft of making things out of beads is called beadwork.

There are many different beadwork techniques and they can be broadly categorized as:

  • Stringing: Bead stringing is the putting of beads on string. It can range from simply sliding a single bead onto any thread-like medium to complex creations that have multiple strands or interwoven levels. ..
  • Embroidery: Bead embroidery uses a needle and thread to stitch beads to a surface of fabric, suede, or leather. Bead embroidery is an embellishment that does not form an essential part of a textile’s structure.
  • Crochet: Bead crochet is a technique that incorporates beads into a crochet fabric. The technique is used to produce decorative effects in women’s fashion accessories.
  • Knitting: Beaded knitting is a type of knitting in which the stitches are decorated with ceramic or glass beads. The techniques are for beads, but knitting sequins (and other perforated objects) can be done analogously.
  • Loom weaving: When bead weaving on a loom, the beads are locked in between the warp threads by the weft threads. The most common bead weaving technique requires two passes of the weft thread.
  • Off-loom weaving: Off-loom beadweaving is the technique of stitching together beads with thread without the use of a loom. Off-loom beadweaving requires only a needle, thread and beads. Seed beads are the most common type of bead used in off-loom beadweaving.

What are Beads?

Beads are small objects of decoration that are usually used in jewelry. In order to be used beads must usually first be pierced so that thread can be passed through them so that they can be joined together on a string.

However beads can also be adhered to surfaces of various items such as wall hangings and sculptures in which case they would not need to be pierced. Beads can also be used to adorn personal items such as handbags and purses. They can also be found in household items such as cushions and table cloths.

What kind of Beads are there?

Beads differ vastly in size from tiny little beads that are too small to handle without precision tools to large beads that are more than a centimeter in diameter.

Please don’t get confused by the term “seed bead”. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the bead is made from seeds, which some beads are. “Seed bead” is a generic term that is often applied to any small bead.


Gemstone Beads Venetian Glass Beads Metal Beads Seed Beads

Beads can be made from all kinds of different material, but some of the most common include:

However beads are also made from many other materials such as:

As you can see you can become very spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding what materials you would like to work with.

Beads have been around a very along time since the first known civilizations. The oldest known examples of jewelry are an approximately 100,000 year old pair of beads made from sea snail shells.


These are four views from different angles of a perforated Nassarius gibbosulus shell found at an archaeological site in Oued Djebbana, Algeria. The shell may be as much as 100,000 years old. The scale bar represents 1 centimeter, or half an inch.

Apart from being used in jewelry and personal adornment beads are also used for religious purposes, good luck talismans and curative agents.

Who Beads?

Hobbyists of all abilities can practice the craft of bead working. The simplest examples of beaded jewelry can be created by a novice beader in virtually no time at all, such as this Quick Bead & Wire Pendant pattern.

CLICK HERE to view the pattern

Experienced beaders may spend weeks of meticulous effort on their beadwork using specialized equipment and tools.

A few additional examples:

Swarovski Skull Beads Silver Plated Round Beads Gold Plated Round Beads Pearls

Getting Started:

Beads are a fun and easy way to start creating, either with wire-wrapping or without! If you’d like to learn more about basic beading techniques, take a look at our Wire Jewelry Books for some great instructional materials to get you started!

We carry a full line of supplies to get you started on your first project! Take a look at our Beading Supplies today!

Bead & Gemstone Containers Bead Tools Beading Boards Beading Wire

Happy Beading!

Do you love this information- why not sign up today for your FREE Jewelry Making Patterns. It’s a great place to start!


More information about Tiny Shells

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by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Tool of the Week for July 21, 2014

This week’s Featured Tool is the Small Benchtop Drill Press

Do you have a drill press? Because if you don’t, you should! One of the most versatile tools on any jeweler’s bench, the drill press can do more things, more quickly, and with more precision than a lot of hand tools can.

But a new tool, especially a drill press, can be intimidating. If you are not familiar with Benchtop Drill Press then this might be a good introduction to it for you. If you are familiar with how a Drill press works, then this hopefully will be a great refresher. Let’s take a look at what the Benchtop Drill Press is and at few accessories that go hand in hand with it.

What is a “Benchtop Drill Press”?

A machine tool in which a rotating cutter, usually a twist drill, is pushed into a workpiece to produce a hole.

Small Benchtop Drill Press

This easy-to-use benchtop drill press is very small, but powerful enough to use for all of your drilling projects.

The drill press gives you better control over the speed of drilling and help you achieve “straighter” holes. You can hold the piece at the desired angle and the press will a controlled drill hole where you want it. Better control means less broken drill bits.

With a platform measuring only 6-3/4″ x 6-3/4″, it is space-saving as well as economical.

Variable speeds up to 8,500 RPM. 1-year warranty.

20 pc. 61-80 Small Gauge Drill Bits in Metal Storage Case

Made of high-speed steel, this handy drill index offers 20 drills in sizes 61-80 (.0390″ -.0135″) for fine jobs.

All drills are handily marked by size, finely ground and heat-treated to a Rockwell hardness of 63.

Your small drill will stay conveniently organized in this handy metal index.


Diamond Coated Uniform Shank Drills, Set of 6

Our 6 piece 3/32″ shank Swiss-made twist drills with electroplated diamond particles are the ultimate for drilling stones, pearls, glass or ceramics.

Use with standard handpieces and a small amount of water as lubricant. All drills are medium-fine grit.

If you are looking at the picture from left to right, the sizes are as follows:

  •  1.00mm
  •  1.30mm
  •  1.40mm
  •  1.60mm
  •  1.80mm
  •  2.10mm

To help you get started using Drill Presses- you might want to take a look at our Wire Jewelry Books. We have quite a few that will help guide you through getting started with beading and wire work. Click Here to take a look!

Happy Wrapping!


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