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Friday, January 8, 2010

Teaching Beginning Jewelry Making

Recently a family friend, home from college came over to learn some basic jewelry making. (Isn't she a cutie?) I asked on my Facebook page, what would others suggest that I teach her? (btw, please friend me, if you haven't...Marcy Lamberson). The response was wonderful and although we didn't have time to do enough, it sure gave me an idea of what folks thought is important. And I can't help but agree.

We only had time for tool & supply info, wire wrapping, crimping, jump ring operation and we made some earrings, necklaces and how to make pendants.

But I'm posting some of the responses on my query. Please feel free to comment and add more of your thoughts. I found them all so valuable. My thanks to Lauren, Ilse, Patrick, Moon, Ann, Nell, Andrea, Heidi, Mona, Jessica, Susan, Debra, Cindy and Arlene for posting on that thread.

Here is what my Facebook "Think Tank" said.....

• Basic tools and where to find them...how to find tutorials online...how to measure for necklaces and bracelets so that they fit. :-)

•Don't forget about the nylon pliers, for no mar work.

•Definitely nylon pliers. After wire work I would start with cold connections, if the student wants to go to metalsmithing, or maybe chain maille. What about teaching Viking knit, now that you know how?

•I'd go copper over sterling or fine silver then...maybe working with found objects? Or upscale/recycle materials?

•Hammering and riviting and soldering fine silver would be cool! :)

•I think besides these fine suggestions, i'ed add doming and how to use the flex shaft to make a hole and polish and how to ball up the end of wire..oh and the ever important how to properly open and close a jumpring!!

•OK, saving money tips- use silver plate for headpins (you don't see most of the pin anyway) from FMG (OMG are they cheap) and join an online bulk buying group like Beads and More on Yahoo or Bulk Bead Buys (BAM is more active...). those groups allow you to buy a lot of things through wholesalers in smaller quantities.

Back the the headpins- I do recommend sterling earwires, but use the SP for earrings..... FP crystals are a lot less than Swarovskis. College girls will go wild for all the earring possibilities!!!
Creating patinas on metals.

•How to finish of necklaces with crimps and stuff so it looks professional I always feel like my necklaces are cheap looking due to the 'finishing" touches..

FP is probably Fire Polished and usually refers to crystals.

•Oh the other thing I have a a hard time with is multi strands and how to do them so they hang right and are of course finished right.. LOL
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I'm sure more of you have ideas that weren't mentioned. Please feel free to chime in and add to the list. We'd all benefit from it.

I'll see you on Sunday right here. Taking tomorrow off for a little catch up time. Bye!