Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jewlery Making Mojo Challenge Week 4

I have been trying this week to get caught up on the Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge.  There won't be a new challenge until the 31st and I am happy about that because I was two weeks behind.  

This week was all about handmade findings.  Findings are the things that make jewelry come together.  They are the ear wires, links, or those little rings you see on your pieces.  I have always purchased my findings from several jewelry supply houses or had special ones made for me.  Originally, I thought about skipping this week in the challenge because I don't have the tools (or the wire) to make my own.  But, after watching a tutorial in this month's BeadMe magazine, I decided to give it a try!

I decided to give making my own jump rings a try.  What is a jump ring you ask?  These are :)

Jump rings are used for all kinds of things in jewelry design.  I use them mainly as a method to connect one part of a piece to another.  Usually a pendant to the main part of the necklace or connecting a clasp.  Some people create entire pieces of jewelry out of jump rings.  If you get the chance, Goggle chainmaille jewelry, it is beautiful!

The first step in making my own jumps was the easy part.  I cut a length of wire about a foot long. The nice part of this process is that you can cut as much wire as you need.  If when you are done making the rings you find out you need more, just cut more wire and begin again. 

Next,  I wrapped the copper wire around the body of a pen.  Again, you can use anything you would like to coil your wire around.  Obviously, the smaller the diameter, the smaller the rings.  Since I was attempting this for the first time,  I thought a pen was a good size to work with.

Because I used a softer wire, the coils kind of fell into each other, but that won't happen with a thicker gauge wire.  I was able to straighten them out easily.  Next,  grab your wire cutters and start snipping each loop.  It is important that you snip each loop individually so you get a properly shaped loop.  I snipped each one at the top of the loop, and it took less than 5 minutes to snip all the way through my coil.

Ta Da!!!!  Cute little jump rings!!!  I am very proud of myself for actually trying to make these.  I had really thought I would never make my own findings, so it was fun to take a challenge and be successful.   Just as a side note, because the wire on these is thin, I won't be able to actually use these in a design.  From what I read, a minimum of 20 gauge wire is recommended.  Go ahead and give it a try!  It really is easy and lots of fun!
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