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Step 5: At this point our practice wire is ready to be shaped on
our jig. Start with just pegs 1 and 2 from your pattern. Leave
all the other pegs off the jig, out of your way. Place the initial
loop that you made in Step 3 onto peg 1 and shape the wire against peg 2.
Push the wire far enough that the wire will rest immediately next to the
empty hole waiting for peg 3 with no pressure on the wire. This is
important. Release your grip on the wire to test if the wire has
been pushed far enough. When the wire stays where you want it to,
you have pushed it far enough
One important concept is that the unused wire must remain straight. The technique that seems to work best for us is to position your index finger on your dominant hand to push and guide the wire while you move/twist the jig to cause the wire to be bent against peg 2 with your non-dominant hand. Holding the wire with the finger tip of your index finger as close to peg 2 as possible while pushing the wire will help to keep the wire straight. Please note that the wire is about 1/2 way up the peg on the jig. You don't need to push the wire against the jig and you paid for all of the pegs so you might as well use them. Remember to PUSH THE WIRE with just one finger touching the wire. Pulling the wire by grasping it in two fingers will introduce bends in the wire and won't work as well. If the wire gets bent at the wrong location, remove it from the jig and straighten the bend with your nylon jaw pliers, then replace the wire on the jig.
If you can master the above 5 steps, making wire components on a jewelry making jig will be easy. These steps are appropriate for soft, 1/2 hard or even hard wire. Remember, you are not done pushing the wire until the wire rests immediately adjacent to the empty hole for the next peg with no pressure on the wire.
Please select here to view our free, 6 1/2 minute jewelry making video on the above five steps. This video requires Windows Media Player on your computer and is a very large file (32M) so it will take a while to download. Please have patience, we think you will find that the video is worth it. We also suggest that after you download this video, that you save this video to your computer so that you can view it more than once. This can be done using the "File" drop down menu and the "Save Media As" command in Windows Media Player. You can also view this video on You Tube here. The video should download and start faster from You Tube, but will be slightly lower quality. Finally, for those of you with a slow Internet connect, if you have the latest version of the Real Media player, you can download this video as a Real Media file here. This is a 13M file.
Step 6 and beyond: Making your wire component continues by adding a single peg to your pattern and bending your wire against this new peg, leaving the wire adjacent to the empty hole for the next peg in the pattern with your hands removed from the wire. Continue adding one peg at a time until you have all the pegs in your pattern.
(Continued on page 37)
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