I love it because you can take it with you, room to room, place to place, wherever you go.
If you're just working on wire, no beads, it gets REALLY simple. A good pair of flush cutters, a pair of nylon jaw pliers, a mandrel (ack, you could use a dowel or a sharpie marker for that!) a roll or two of your favorite wire....and you can entertain yourself for hours!
I decided to do that just last night:
I'll be the first one to tell you, that I just do what I do. I hardly remember how I did it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I am satisfied enough with the items in the photo to share them! For the most part, I like the little squigglies et al as random elements in compositions.
People must like it, our You Tubes on wire have the most hits of all the videos I've made, even the Steampunk ones!
But I've got a lot to learn, yet.
The wire is 18ga copper. Copper wire is rather soft and will mark easily so unless you're going to pound it out and flatten it, then if you use standard round nose pliers, etc, it may mark unless you are super careful. I am seeing where a better flush cutters than I have and more nylon jaw pliers will be a great thing to have...
And, as I'm going over the tools section at B'sue Boutiques I'm thinking hard about all of that.
My pal, Barbe St. John, recommended Lindstrom 8158-80 Series Ultra Flush Cutters. They cost over 80.00, so my guess is, given the price but also! Barbe's astute recommendation, they must be the mother of all cutters, LOL My guess, though, would be that if you are REALLY going to get into wrapping, it might be something you'll want to consider saving up for.
Niki Sargent Meiners recommended one by Cousin Corp. with ergo handles. The ones I have were not dirt cheap and they have ergo's, too, but I didn't think the cuts were sharp and even as they should have been, though they cut well. I will look into those, too. Perhaps I will get several and do a comparison before commiting to any new stock at our website.
ON THE SUBJECT OF TOOLS: you know, at our website I always sort of steered clear of expensive tools. Why?
1. They are a huge investment, not only for me as a seller, but for you as an artist.
2. So many who come to B'sue Boutiques are new to intermediate jewelry makers who have a limited budget to get started. While I carry a bunch of jewelry wire at B'sue's, we're a mixed media/metal/brass stampings site. I don't know....perhaps I should carry more wire! BUT:
With a limited budget to get started, wire itself is inexpensive. *Great* tools are not. NEVER.
SO......I settled for stocking tools don't break the bank, and good for beginner to intermediate.
In the long run, when you think of any trade there is, however, besides the talent in the artisan's hands, it goes to having the right tools and knowing how to use them. My husband's friend is a contractor, and I hear him talking about upgrading tools all the time; I also have friends who are electricians, and I hear them speaking about upgrades, too. I know how important great tools are to those in the building trades.....well! We're building jewelry.
So why wouldn't great tools be important to an artist, as well?
Later today Rob and I hope to shoot a couple of short videos, and in one I'll share how I made the squigglies and little ornaments, and I'll also share with you a rather big-opus necklace I made for my fall advertising. It's got a bunch of them in it.
I'll also share with you a quick tip for oxidizing the bright copper, with Swellegant Darkening Patina
You can also do it with a quick dip in warm LOS solution: http://www.bsueboutiques.com/item/Patina-Gel-Liver-of-Sulfur-9746 I may see if my Swellegant tip will work using it out of the bottle....but! If they work equally well, I'll go w Swell anytime. ACK, LOS *stinks*...literally. That's the down side of using Liver of Sulfur! (LOS)
Will post the links when the videos are up. ;-)
Meantime, will mention to you that Jacqueline Marchant of Fiddledeedee Jewelry Blog has a great book that's up for grabs:
And the book is about wire wrapping, by Janice Berkebile & Tracy Stanley, called MAKING WIRE AND BEAD JEWELRY. Janice Berkebile is one of my fave wire wrappers, I wanted so bad to take a class with her at Art and Soul but I couldn't make it that year.
There are something like 500 pix in this book and drat! *I* don't even own it yet! So you better believe it, I signed up for Jacqueline's book giveaway, and you should, too!