What information/instructions do newcomers to making jewelry with jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies need?
Throughout our web site, we provide a lot of information on how to make jewelry with jewelry wire and beads. In some people's opinion, we provide too much information and it becomes difficult to find a place to start. In this web page, we will simply try to provide information on where and how to get started making jewelry with wire and beads.
There are a lot of things to learn when you are beginning a new hobby. Getting started making jewelry with wire and beads, you will need to know what tools are required, what supplies are required, what skills do you need to know and where can you find training. We obviously can't provide answers to every possible question in one web page. What we can provide is links to web pages with information on each necessary topic. In the following paragraphs we will try to point the beginner to the right place to find the answers necessary to get started making jewelry with wire and beads.
Getting Started with a Jewelry Making Video
First, you can get an overview of how to make jewelry with wire and beads by watching the "WigJig Basics" jewelry making video here. This video is our best information on how to make jewelry using our WigJig jewelry tools. It shows the tools used, and how those jewelry tools are used. We strongly recommend that anyone who wants to make jewelry with wire and beads, watch this video at least once. If you want to find this video on You Tube, search for the "WigJig Basics" video.
Getting Started -- What Jewelry Making Tools are Required?
Second, most people need to know what tools they require. Here are five links that have very good information on what jewelry tools you will need:
After viewing the information on the above web pages links, you can view our selection of tools with links to these tools in our WigJig Store in the following three web pages:
Getting Started -- What Jewelry Supplies are Required?
Third, everyone will need to understand the jewelry making supplies required to make jewelry. Jewelry supplies will include all the raw materials necessary to make jewelry, including wire, beads and jewelry making findings. For most beginners, we recommend that you start with 20 gauge jewelry wire. 20 gauge wire is not perfect for every application, but it is the easiest wire to use while learning the techniques required. The following are some links with great information on the necessary jewelry supplies.
Getting Started -- What Jewelry Making Skills and Techniques Must be learned?
Fourth, everyone will need to find where to learn how to perform the skills required to make jewelry with jewelry wire and beads. Most of the skills can be found on one of the following web pages:
6 Common Errors made by beginners to making jewelry with jewelry wire, beads and our WigJig jewelry tools:
Many people see a jewelry design and that design is what motivates them to begin making jewelry. Unfortunately, if that design is not suitable for a beginner, it may be a bad choice as a first jewelry project. The biggest single error that people make is in picking a first or second project that is too difficult. We recommend making the Queen of Clubs Earrings as a good first jewelry project. It is suitable for beginners and allows you to make something that looks hand made and can be used as gifts.
A second error that people make is not accepting that everyone should use practice wire and make about 3 pieces out of practice wire before cutting your good wire. Sterling Silver and Gold Filled wire are almost at record high prices. Don't cut a segment of this expensive wire until you know exactly how much is required because you made the component in practice wire and measured both before and after so that you know exactly how much wire to use. For the Celtic Triangle Earrings above, we made this component out of practice wire about 7-8 times before we were satisfied with the technique. Any time you are making a new component, you should assume that you will need to make that component out of practice wire a few times until you are satisfied that you can make it properly. Just as it is when you learn any new skill, everyone needs to practice, including us.
A third error that many novices make is in not following the basic steps. The basic steps are easy. First you measure and cut the wire to length, second you make a loop in one end of the wire, and third you straighten the wire. Many people forget to fully straighten the wire using nylon jaw pliers. This results in some irregularities in your finished jewelry item.
A fourth error that many people make is in placing all their pegs in the pattern at the beginning. Unfortunately, this is something that we learned relatively recently. You should always begin every pattern with only two pegs and add pegs as you go. Many of our patterns on our web site don't show this, because when we documented that pattern, we weren't smart enough to know it at that time. Now we know that if you have a pattern with 6 pegs and you start with 6 pegs, 4 of those pegs are going to be in your way and making life difficult.
A fifth error that people make is in not pushing the wire with just one finger while you hold and move the jig with your non-dominant hand. Intuitively people want to grab the wire and hold the wire by the end of the wire and keep the jig stationary. The important thing in making wire components is to keep the wire straight until you are ready to bend it against or around a peg. Keeping the wire straight isn't easy to do when you grab the wire. You will tend to add kinks and bends to your wire using that approach. If you essentially hold the wire stationary, by pushing it with only the index finger on your dominant hand touching the wire, while you rotate the jig with your non-dominant hand you will find that it is easy to keep your wire straight. Once you understand and can accomplish this technique you will be much more successful in making jewelry items with our jigs.
A final error that is relatively common is not releasing your grip on the wire after bending it against a peg. Releasing your grip allows the wire to relax back to its normal position. By releasing your grip after you bend the wire against a peg you ensure that your wire component won't spring out of shape when you remove it from your jig.
Getting Started -- What We Don't Address.
We try to address many jewelry making topics on our web site. All of the topics we address do not employ either heat or soldering. Another topic that we don't address is making hand stamped jewelry. There are many jewelry tools now available for stamping of sheet metal and making jewelry, but at present our web site does not have any free instructions in this craft.
Getting Started Making Jewelry -- Summary and Next Steps.
In the above links we have listed a tremendous amount of free information on getting started making jewelry with wire and beads. For most people the above information will be sufficient. For some people, they will want more information. The following links will include links to online books or videos that are for sale and an additional link to hardcopy books on making jewelry with wire and beads.
If you have reviewed all of the above information, you should be ready to make some jewelry. Now all you have to do is select your jewelry making project and follow our free instructions to make that project. Our WigJig web site has over 1,000 free web pages of information on making jewelry. This can sometimes make it difficult to select a jewelry making project. The following links will provide easy ways to find a suitable jewelry making project.
We have provided a lot of information above. When you are ready to begin your first jewelry making project, please select here.