Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bead Table Wednesday--Working with Metal

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Bead Table Wednesday is designed by Heather Powers to help share what is on our table today.   Today,  I am sharing some loops and connectors that I made.   I have been working with different metals and Cindy Wimmer's  book The Missing Link.     I would like to share some of my observations with you.

The Missing Link by Cindy Wimmer
I am moving slowly through  the book.  I have been experimenting making the same links with different metals and gauges.  I have also been purchasing more tools.  I am finding without adding to my tools, I am limited in the types of links. 
Blue Necklace by Bay Moon Design is available for purchase HERE
My first efforts at working my way through the book involved making links and a connector using silver. I used 22 gauge half hard sterling silver.   I found silver easy to work with and I love the look of it on my blue necklace.  I thought that I would replicate the same connector and links using brass for another necklace.
Brass clasp and metal links
I discovered that brass is much harder to bend than silver and copper.  Yes, Cindy did mention that in her book.  I probably will think twice before using brass again.  I have several cuts on my hands and after the first day of working with it, my hand was really sore.  I decided that I needed to limit the time each day that I worked with the brass.  As with lots of repetitive motions, I find limiting daily time doing them is smart. My hand tolerated a few links each day with little pain.   I am considering wearing gloves or at least being more careful to reduce the cuts!

22 gauge copper and 22 gauge brass

Next I moved on to copper.  I purchased some solid copper wire,  22 gauge half hard to use in making a bracelet. I found it really easy to use.  It bent easily.  I love the look of copper.

Sharpie pen
One really useful tool that I already had is a Sharpie pen.  Cindy refers to it in her book.  I used it to form the shape of the links and connectors that I made.   I have recently purchased a file and stepped pliers so I plan to attempt creating some new loops.  So stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I had to laugh reading about "adding tools". Right now I have a window open from a shop offering more tools for working with metal... still not clicking the buy button but knowing myself, probably will in the next days/weeks ;)

    In general I have to admit that I prefer using dead soft wire and just try to work harden it later.