Page 35      Jewelry Making with Beads and Wire -- What a Beginner Needs to Know

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Generic Step-by-Step Approach to Jewelry Making Projects

The steps involved in starting a jewelry making project are essentially the same for every project.  From an overview perspective the first thing you need to do is to make your jewelry wire components out of practice wire.  While making your components out of practice wire you need to learn how much wire is required to make the components so that when you get ready to use your good wire, you will be able to cut the correct length of wire on your first try.  In general, with every jewelry making project, you will cut your wire, measure the wire, make a loop in the end of the wire, hold this loop and straighten your wire,  and then make your wire component starting with just two pegs in your jig and adding pegs as you go.  When you have completed wrapping your wire on your jig then you need to cut the excess wire and measure how much excess wire you have.  Your goal should be to have 1/2 inch of wire left over as scrap when you are done.  Here are the steps involved.

Step 1:  Cut a length of practice wire that you estimate will be 1-2 inches longer than you need.

Step 2:  Measure this length of wire and record the length.

Step 3:  Make a loop in one end of this wire using your round nose pliers or Fine Step Jaw Pliers.  (We prefer the Fine Step Jaw Pliers for making initial loops because the first step gives us a loop the size of the metal pegs for the WigJig Delphi, Cyclops or Centaur and the second step gives us a loop the size of the metal pegs for the Olympus, Olympus-Lite or Electra.)  Select here for information on how to make a loop with round nose pliers.  Select here for information on how to make a loop with Fine Step Jaw Pliers.  When making your loop, be sure to use the end of your wire with the flush cut and not the end with the sharp end.  See the top of page 27 if you aren't certain which end of your wire to use.  If both ends of your wire are sharp, cut one end off about 1/4" from the end being certain to leaveFour Dangle Earrings Jewelry Making Project Made with Swarovski Jet Beads the flush side of the cut on the piece of wire you plan to use.  For many people it may be a good idea to cut both ends of the wire off flush to avoid possibly cutting yourself on the sharp end of the wire.  (If I were smart, this practice would save me a lot of money on Band Aids for my thumb.)

Step 4:  Now, while holding your wire by the loop you just made, pull the wire through the jaws of your nylon jaw pliers several times until it is straight.  Page 3 has more information on how to straighten wire. 

(Continued on page 36)

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