Tuesday, January 15, 2013

FREE Tutorial: Plain Jump Rings

Jump rings are every metal artist's essential jewelry component, whether you specialize in chain mail, delicate linked wire jewelry, heavy-gauge sheet metal art jewelry, or found-object adornments. No matter how complicated your designs, sometimes a plain jump ring is the best solution for linking individual jewelry components together.
In this free tutorial, I'm demonstrating the very most basic jump ring you could make, using 18ga sterling silver wire. Naturally, you can make your rings using different colors and types of wire, in various gauges, and in a wide variety of different sizes. Making your own jump rings is a bit time-consuming but you will save money by doing so, and you also maintain creative control over your finished jewelry when every single component has been made by hand.
To make jump rings, start with either a long scrap wire piece or measure out about six inches to one foot of wire. Clean the wire, and then place it in the back of either short or long round-nose pliers.
Bend the tool around, taking the wire with it. As you meet the cut end of the wire, be sure to bring the long wire to the right of the cut end. This will ensure that your coil is always made in the same place on the tool, so that you end up with a coil of equally sized rings:
Flush-cut the end of the coil, and then turn the tool over and cut off a ring. Examine it carefully to ensure that both ends of the jump ring are flush-cut. If one or both wire ends are not, but end in a wedge-shaped cut, the wire will not meet securely:
Once you’ve cut all of your jump rings, grasp them with flat-nose and bent chain-nose pliers and open/close them sideways. Doing this a few times will work-harden the metal and ensure that the jump ring closes securely:
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Many more wire jewelry techniques and projects are found in my instructional DVDs and eBooks, including Arty JewelryArty Jewelry II,Arty Jewelry III, and Arty Jewelry IV. I also offer day classes in jewelry stores in the Southern California area, and I teach my techniques during Wild Wire Women retreatsheld in my mountain home in Idyllwild, California.
Happy wrapping,

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