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2015 Tucson Classes

by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
October 29, 2014

Announcing the 2015 Tucson Jewelry Classes at JOGS:

Mark Your Calendar for January 29 – February 9, 2015

We are so excited to be bringing you 100+ classes this year at JOGS Gem and Mineral show this January 29th – February 9th, 2015. We have pulled together a very impressive international team of instructors to bring you the largest selection of classes available in Tucson.

Please browse our class schedule either by date or by Instructor to find the classes you want to take. You may register for as many classes as you would like all on the same order.

Plus, Early-Bird Savings: NOW through Tuesday, November 11, save $20, $75, or $175 when you reserve your seat online:

It’s that time: time to plan your trip to Tucson to stock up on wholesale deals on jewelry supplies and tools, check out the breathtaking fossil & mineral shows, network with other jewelry makers, and take classes from some of your favorite jewelry instructors you’ve seen online & in magazines!

Choose from 18 jewelry instructors at the JOGS International Gem & Jewelry Show at the Tucson Expo Center in Tucson, Arizona, January 29 – February 9, 2015.. This indoor show will be packed with exhibitors and booths – but you’ll have lots of space to learn and socialize in our spacious Jewelry Classes area.

Choose from full & half day classes with Marilyn Gardiner, Kim St. Jean, Joe Korth and many more! Plus, with classes starting at just $119 and many kits from $10-30, you’ll get a huge amount of jewelry techniques and skills for your buck.

Look at a few of the projects that our instructors will be teaching!

Annette Kinslow

NOW Through Tuesday, November 11, save $20, $75, or $175 when you reserve your seat online:

Buy 1 class, get $20 off with GS1420

Interested in more than 6 classes? Give us a call! 1-866 453-6147

See you in Tucson!


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by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Product Feature for the Week of October 27, 2014

This week we wanted to feature a few products that help you form and shape – Jewelry Mandrels

Form and shape your rings, bracelets and necklaces to just the right size with jewelry mandrels. We have 19 different mandrels for you to choose from. Check your tool box today. Are you missing any of these essential jewelry sizing mandrels? If so pick up one (or more) today and complete your wire jewelry work bench.

If your just getting started you may ask yourself: Do I need a mandrel? What is it? How do I use it? How do I pick one? Those are some common questions, and here is some information that will help you sort it out.

What is a Mandrel?
A mandrel is any object that is used to form, size or shape the jewelry you are making. You can use “found objects” of a proper size and shape for your project, or you can purchase mandrels. Here’s a bit of a run-down.

FOR SIZING RINGS OR BRACELETS – If you are making rings or certain kinds of bracelets (not strung or linked), you need a mandrel, or a set of mandrels, in sizes that match common ring or bracelet sizes. A ring mandrel will help ensure that your ring starts out, and stays, the size you want it to be when finished. It will also help you make sure it stays round, so it will feel comfortable.

FOR JUMP RINGS – If you are going to make chain maille and cut your own rings, you will want at least one set of jump ring mandrels, and perhaps more

The Basics:

Step and Oval Mandrels:

STEPPED VERSUS SLOPED MANDRELS – The advantage of the sloped kind is that it is more readily available, and sometimes less expensive than a stepped mandrel.

WOOD, STEEL OR PLASTIC? – If you decide to invest in a stepped mandrel it will likely be more expensive because those are generally made of steel. These are good because you can actually pound on them if necessary while you are making your piece. Plastic or wood are O.K. too for certain uses.

A few additional types:

For more information on how to use Mandrels, take a look at our DVDS and our Wire Jewelry Instructional Books.

Pick up your Jewelry Mandrels today!

Happy Wrapping!

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What Type of Wire Should I Use?

by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Wire Jewelry Tip for October 24, 2014

What type of Wire Should I Use?

We’ve been revisiting a few of our older posts, and here’s a great one that might help answer a few questions.

What type of Wire Should I use?

When first starting out in the wire-wrapping business, it may be a bit confusing about what types of wires to use for various projects.  Here are some recommendations in choosing the temper of your wire.

How to pick the hardness of your desired wire

Hardness is the measurement of the malleability or temper of a substance. When purchasing raw materials for wire-work, you will find that wire comes in several different levels of hardness, only a few of which are commonly used by jewelers. The most typical jewelry wire can be categorized into three groups:  Hard, half-hard, or dead soft.

To Find the Jewelry Wire You’re Looking For – Click Here!


Keep in mind that the gauge (thickness) of the wire will also have an effect on its hardness. For example, a piece of 12 gauge wire is relatively thick, and even at dead soft hardness will not bend as easily as 18 gauge wire of the same hardness. Large wire is not recommended for the beginner.

Hard Wire is difficult to bend and can be stiff if trying to manipulate with bare hands.  Tools are highly recommended when using hard wire for this reason.  Hard wire is excellent for holding its shape and for making clasps and other findings that will likely be stressed.

Example of Full Hard Wire:


Half-Hard Wire is malleable, but most people will need to use tools or jigs to bend it into shape. Half hard will; however, maintain a fairly intricate shape under moderate stress after it has been work hardened. It is very useful for light weight-bearing parts of wire-wrapped jewelry and is terrific for creating angular bends, wire loops, and for wrapping wire around itself.


Dead Soft Wire is extremely malleable and can be bent easily into a myriad of shapes by using the hands. It does not hold its shape in stress situations, such as clasps, until it is hardened.  Dead soft wire is great for making loops, swirls, and spirals.

I hope that helps anwer some basic questions about the different types of hardness.

If you’d like to read more about gauge and what to use – click here to read Part 2!

Shop our Wire selection today!

Happy Wrapping!


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Keeping Wire “On the Square”

by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
October 22, 2014

Keeping Wire – “On The Square”

This week I found another great question in our older posts that I think is well worth revisiting – Keeping square wire “on the square” Maybe you’ve had this same question as well.


I’m fairly new at this and am having difficulty keeping the square wire “on the square” when wrapping around a bundle of wires. How does one keep the wire from twisting or tweaking when wrapping the bundle?


When you are wrapping a bundle of square wires, think of it as a plank, which has 4 square corners. Therefore whether wrapping with half-round or square wire, the wire wrapper needs to make a right angle at every corner, which keeps square wire ‘on the square’. Using a good pair of flat nose pliers such as Swanstrom makes a major difference for a lot of folks.

The first DVD in my beginner series features my absolute favorite class for learning how to wrap with square half-hard wire (as well as how to easily straighten any wire, bundle and a great way to tape it all together.) The All Wire Unisex Bangle Bracelet will be able to help you in all of these areas.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

Ultimate Tool List:

If you are just getting started and need some guidance as to what tools to purchase -take a look at our Ultimate Tool List. It will help give you some ideas. Below is a quick reference about pliers with some examples.

First: A pair of crimping pliers, most often used by beaders, can also be used by wire wrappers to tuck the end wire in on a wrapped loop. Chain mail artists often use two pairs of wider tip chain nose pliers. One pair is sufficient for a wire wrapper, who also likes to have a pair of needle nose chain nose pliers to make tiny loops at the very ends of wire.

Second: Folks who do a lot of round wire designs use almost any pair of flat nose pliers, but wire wrappers who work mainly in square wire need a pair that have perfect angles (with no dips or bulges on their sides). Some people like pliers that have extra cushion on their handles; others) think the extra bulk is difficult to hold for long periods of time. Then there is the choice of longer handles. I am a firm believer that all pliers need to have a good spring hinge of some sort, so you don’t have to constantly open pliers while using them.

Wire Working Education

If you are interested in learning more about wire work take a look at the many Instructional DVDS and Wire Jewelry Books that we have available. A few suggestions might be our Jump Start Beginner Series, Intermediate or Advanced Series or even Coiling and Weaving Series.

Happy Wrapping!


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Tools for Fold Forming

by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Product Feature for the Week of October 20, 2014

This week we wanted to feature two products that are used in our new DVD Series called Fun, Fast Fold Forming by Eva Sherman.

If you’ve purchased our latest DVD Series by Eva Sherman - Fun, Fast Fold Forming then you would have received an e-book version of the Charles Lewton-Brain’s book, Foldforming.

We’ve had many ask about purchasing a copy of the book to have on their personal bookshelf, and we are happy to now be able to offer it to all of you.

Foldforming Hard Back Book

by Charles Lewton- Brain

Foldforming eBook - Charles Lewton-Brain

More than 20 years ago Canadian goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain invented a radical way to develop forms in metal sheets. In the ensuing decades he has led hundreds of metalsmiths to explore and expand on his pioneering work. Now for the first time, readers can learn his trade secrets in Foldforming.  Foldforming is a conceptual, physical, and intuitive approach to metalsmithing that is informed by the natural characteristics of metals. Rather than forcing form upon a material, this system exploits the inherent qualities of plasticity, ductility, and elasticity in metals, offering significant new series of procedures that are extremely efficient for generating hundreds of unique, three-dimensional forms.

One of the key tools used in the DVD Series by Eva Sherman is the Oval Steel Bracelet Mandrel. This premium steel Mandrel is the perfect partner in creating these amazing bracelets!

Premium Steel Bracelet Mandrel – Oval

5 X  Eye Loupe - Pack of 1

Smooth steel oval mandrel is designed for bracelets with a taper from 2-1/2″ to 1-3/4″. Length 8-1/2″. Weighs 3 lbs. 4 oz. Also available in round.

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up your copy yet of Fun, Fast Fold Forming by Eva Sherman, here’s a quick description and a link for you to read all about it.

Fun, Fast Fold Forming DVD Series

5 X  Eye Loupe - Pack of 1

Leading Fold Forming Expert Reveals This Little Known Proven Formula To Make Beautiful Cuffs That Cost Less Than $7 To Make – Even If You’ve Never Touched A Piece of Copper Before

Pick up your Fun, Fast Fold Forming tools and DVDS today and start creating!

Happy Wrapping!

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