Hi everyone I am here today to talk to you about tools and basics needed to get you started on creating jewelry!!!
The Most used tools in jewelry making are:
1.) Round Nose Pliers- round nose pliers are called round nose pliers because well they are round, you can use them for making loops in wire work, you can use them to create jump rings, cones, shapes of all kinds, use them when stringing beads etc
2.) Flat Nose Pliers- Flat nose pliers are flat on the ends, great for closing crimp beads, feeding your string thru beads when your at the end and have to feed the string back thru a few beads, they are also handy in wire work, for holding things, making shapes, closing ends
3.) Bent Nose Pliers- they are bent at the end . These are my go to pliers for just about everything, they come in handy for tucking in the ends of wire after looping, they get into hard to reach areas as well
4.) Jewelry tweezers- just like tweezers for your eyebrows only a bit longer and smoother at the ends, these are great for picking up beads and small findings or even pushing things together I have 2 pair on hand at all times one pair has a scoop at the end great for scooping out beads and such
5.) Flush Cutters- Flush cutters cut stringing wire as well as metal wire, you will always use these. They give you a clean straight end, great for wire working.
6.) A Bur Cup-aka a Wire Rounder- this is one of my favorite tools I use it constantly, this tool you use to create a rounded end to your wire so that it doesn't snag on skin or clothing. I also use it as a mandrel to shape my ear wire or to make large bail loops or loops in general
7.) A Bead Board- this is a lightweight board that already has your measurements marked. usually has some small compartments to hold your beads, findings, or any supplies you need to create the piece you are working on.
8.) A Steel Bench Block (my personal preference or an anvil)- to hammer or flatten wire designs, create paddle pins etc
9.) A Chasing Hammer (commonly known as a ball pien hammer) - It is flat and rounded off to the sides , great for striking metals and wire, the other side is rounded like a ball and has a texture to give your pieces some texture
10.) Nail Clippers- not a must have but a good to have on hand I use these a lot especially when stringing and you have small tails left that the flush cutters may not reach, I got mine in a small manicure kit at the dollar store
11.) A File- mostly used when working with wire to smooth out ends so they aren't sharp, there is no particular file to get I often use a cutical nail file, also purchased at the dollar store, you can get the heavy duty ones at any hardware supply store
Stringing is the material you will use to bead your jewelry onto. Always make sure your beads have a hole big enough to fit onto the string.
Now each designer has a personal preference for stringing materials , you will also find your favorite so I will only list what I use:
Beadalon 49 strand- I use this for both necklaces and bracelets as it is durable, and flexible!!!
I also use Beadalon 7 for lighter weight bracelets
they come in different lengths, and colors I use satin silver most of the time or copper color
Findings are what clasps, jumprings, headpins, earwires, etc are called. There are so many styles of findings, my advice to you is to google findings to familiarize yourself with the various different ones
there are many varieties of clasps
My preference are lobster claw and toggle clasp. however there are many more styles such as spring clasp, hook and eye clasp, S clasp, magnetic clasp, barrel clasp, and quite a few more each comes in various shapes and styles
Crimp beads are what hold your strings together to secure them so your beads don't fall off, they come in a variety of sizes, and colors.
A lot of designers use what is called a CRIMPING TOOL to make them pretty and round. And also use a crimp cover. I don't personally do this but it is a nice clean look. The preference is totally up to you.
Ear wires also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Again what you use is your preference!!!
Chains for use in jewelry making come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, metals etc, play and experiment, always be sure if you are using chain to secure a pendant that the chain is well made and can hold the pendant. They can be used in many ways in your designs. get creative!!!
Jumprings also come is various sizes, and gauges. Jumprings secure your clasp, charms, etc onto your design.
Memory wire is thicker than normal wire, its important that you use cutters specifically for memory wire it will break your regular jewelry flush cutters, they do sell memory wire cutters specially made for this. Memory wire is great for making stack-able bracelets, it holds it shape very well.You can add beads, charms etc, always loop your ends to secure it. Memory wire basically wraps around your wrist and its great for those who don't like using clasps.
I hope I covered most of the basics to get you started, you don't need all of these at one time. But these are whats on my tool bench and my most used tools and items. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
Thanks and have a great day!!
As always Happy CREATING!!!