Today's guest Connie Fox has been making jewelry for over 10 years. She teaches at major jewelry events including Bead Fest Wire and is a frequent contributor to Jewelry Artist and Step by Step Beads. Connie writes the "Wire Workshop" column in every issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry. The following is an excerpt from her Spring 2005 column.
by Connie Fox
If you're going to rate pesky problems in wire work, this one rates pretty high. Yes, wire warts are just what you think: those nasty little marks on the wire made with your pliers. After putting your best creative and technical skills into your design, it is so frustrating to see those unwanted and unintended marks! What can you do about it? Here are three suggestions:
1. Take a close look at your pliers. Are the inner surfaces of your pliers smooth? Serrated jaws are not what you want for wire work unless you want texture! Do the jaws have any rough edges, marks, or rust? If they do, you can use an old file, abrasive paper, and steel wool to restore the finish.
2. The quality of your pliers can make a difference. My first set of four pliers barely cost $20, and it showed–literally! It's very difficult to get good results from cheapo pliers. Buy good ones, the investment will pay off.
3. When you've made those deeper marks in your wire, it's time to bring out the heavy weapons! A set of flat needle files in coarse, medium, and fine cuts should do the job. Start with the coarse file and work down to the fine file until the mark is invisible. Finish with #000 or #0000 steel wool. If you have a flexible shaft tool, you can accomplish the same job lickety-split with silicone polishers.
Be sure to check out Connie Fox's latest Wire Workshop column in the Spring 2009 issue of Step by Step Wire Jewerly. Connie discusses how she overcame her fear of using a torch and offers suggestions on how you can move past other obstacles that get in the way of achieving your jewelry dreams. In the upcoming Summer Preview issue (on newsstands May 12), she's writing about the "7 sins and virtues" of selling your jewelry at craft fairs. If you sell your jewelry–or are just thinking about it–you won't want to miss this article! You can learn more about Connie on her website, www.conniefox.com.
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