Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210I hope you’re all having as much fun with our March Bead Challenge as I am! One of my favorite things about the Challenge is getting motivated to use techniques I normally avoid. Wire and I don’t get along very well, so I decided to use tomorrow’s prompt to make wire wrapped rings as an opportunity to practice my wire work. Try out some of today’s tips as you work on your own rings!

Ring mandrels are heavy and can be awkward to work with, but they’re ideal for making correctly sized rings. When I made my rings I held the mandrel between my knees to keep it upright and steady. You can also get a friend to help stabilize your mandrel or use a bench vise.

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Keeping tension on your wire as you wrap will make for a smoother finished ring. Don’t be afraid to pull against the mandrel – that’s what it’s there for! Move your wire decisively and watch to make sure it doesn’t kink.

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On my first ring I faced my cutters the wrong way when I trimmed my wire tails. As a result I had a very sharp and pointed wire end poking my finger. Face your flush cutters so that the wire attached to your ring is flush and tuck it in with tip of your chain nose pliers to keep from being scratched. I also like ending my wire just to the outside of the ring, instead of inside the band where the ends would rest next to my finger.

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Have fun with the challenge and don’t forget to post photos of your wire wrapped rings on our Facebook Timeline!

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen

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