Take Your Jewelry Skills to New Heights with More Techniques

Denise Peck
is the editor of
Step by Step Wire
and the
senior editor of
Lapidary Journal
Jewelry Artist

Looking To Learn Even More?

Jeanette Blix Ryan's Linked Spirals bracelet.

Don't be surprised if you start yearning to know more and more about jewelry making. It happens to the best of us. Most of us start out stringing our favorite beads and learning to crimp to attach clasps. But it's not long before slightly more advanced projects we see in magazines start calling to us. You've learned how to make wrapped loops so you can make yourself some earrings. But, hey, connect enough beaded wrapped-loop links, and you can make a complete chain and bead necklace.

Same Tools, New Technique
As you get more experience in working with wire, a whole new world opens up. Different gauges of wire can give you entirely different looks, from fine delicate work to big, bold designs. And all with the tools you already have. A ball peen or chasing hammer each have a flattening side and a ball side. Jeanette Blix Ryan used thick 14-gauge wire to make the spiral bracelet pictured at left. Jeannette turned over her hammer and used the balled end to give this piece its dramatic texture.

More Tools, Please!
As you become more comfortable with your tools and materials, I know you'll start experimenting on your own. That's exactly what Linda Larsen did when she made her Forged Hearts riveted necklace. Did you know that rivets are just pieces of wire? And that wire can be flattened and used like sheet metal? Start with your round wire, and hammer away at it until it's flattened. Linda used this flattened wire to form the connectors for her heart necklace. She added a drill to her list of tools, and drilled holes to insert small pieces of wire, as rivets, and hammered them flat on both sides, to secure the links together!

Linda Larsen's Forged Hearts necklace

I Can Make Jewelry Out Of That!
Before you know it, you'll be eyeing everything you see as potential jewelry! Brenda Morris Jarrett decided there must be something she could do with the thin sheets of metal and pretty eyelets they sell in the scrapbooking aisle. She made

Brenda Morris Jarrett's copper and aluminum connector and clasp.

beautiful clasps out of copper and aluminum.

Let us know what cool materials or tools you've added to your workspace lately, and what wonderful new directions they steered you in!

Let Step By Step Wire Jewelry Be Your Tutor
Whatever skill level you are currently, why not let Step by Step Wire Jewelry guide you on your development as a jewelry maker? Every issue offers over a dozen new designs featuring lots of different techniques to whet your appetite. And our Wire Works gallery tempts you with inspiration directly from our readers. You are not alone! We're right there with you, champing at the bit to explore and learn more, better, faster ways to make gorgeous jewelry!

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