Saturday, May 22, 2010

Basic Jewelry Tools: Beading Pliers

Specialist Crafts stores often carry a wide range of jewelry beading tools. Such tools can help beginners and Pros create impressive and elegant jewelry pieces. Some of these tools can also be found at hardware stores. But a craft store is your best bet in finding the right size tool for your beading projects. I would suggest investing in a reasonably price stainless steel set of tools whether it be a plier or a cutter. Cheap ones don't last long and rust easily in storage.

To begin with, any one trying to get their groove into jewelry making or beading should have a reliable plier in the toolbox. You don't need to purchase all the pliers just specific ones tailored to the kind of material you'll be working on.

A good pair of Pliers equal a good grip on the material you are handling.

Here are the types of Pliers used in Jewelry-Making or Beadwork:

Crimping Pliers

Primarily use for fastening strings, wires and creating an end loop as a lock. This is usually done by using crimps, french crimps, bead crimps and folding clasps.

Crimps are cylindrical tubes you can insert wire ends of a necklace.

Folding clasps once crimped provides a hole that any lock or clasp can latch unto.

The crimping plier will secure necklaces and bracelets strung on flexible beading wire by folding the metal tube of the crimp, once the beading wire or thread is in inside. Available here. 

Chain-nosed Pliers
An essential tool in the any crafter's toolbox. This is the most traditional and reliable plier used in beadwork- it does most of the crafting action.

Mainly, use for making loops, bends, opening and closing and twisting metals, locks, rings. I would recommend this Ergonomic Chain Nose Pliers from Bead Smith. 

There is also a variant known as Blunt Chain-nosed Pliers for getting into those tight miniscule spaces. The nose ends angle at a certain direction. Find this beading plier here.

Snipe-nosed PliersThese pliers taper toward the flat end, oftentimes group with or similar to chain-nosed pliers. Basically, they are use the same way. You can find a jeweler's snipe-nosed plier here.

Flat-nosed Pliers
Use for straightening bent wire and for making sharp angles in wires. The insides of the noses can be smooth or serrated. You can buy one here online

Round-nosed Pliers
Handy to ascertain wrapping space, positioning wire and enlarging loops when needed. The round noses helps you maintain good control of the loop and creating diameter. This is not a plier for gripping or flattening metals, this is meant for wrapping and twisting wires the way you want them. Check out Round nosed pliers at

Blunt-nosed Pliers
Blunt-nosed pliers help put on the squeeze, its the plier to use to bring on a tight tough grip without causing damage. They do not taper (become smaller or thinner) towards their flat ends.

Split-Ring Pliers
Designed for opening split rings and making attachments fast and easy. Hardened steel nose separates rings and keeps them separated while you secure findings. Spring hinge increases comfort by reducing fatigue.

Get yourself a handy split-ring plier here

Nylon Jaw Pliers
Nylon Jaw pliers are designed to treat wire and metal surface delicately particularly sculpting craft wire, wrapping wires and soft wires. The soft nylon jaws will not leave a mark, dent or a texture on the surface of the material you are working on.

In fact, it protects the surface finish of wire, so no need to polish it off later. Nylon Jaw Pliers can easily undo angles, bent wires or simply straighten the wires. Keeping the design or wire scuplture in place while giving you that flexibility to edit your wire angles. Go steady with this Nylon Plier

Using the right plier for your project can help you move or bend the metal around with ease and smooth precision. So its a good idea to invest and collect on reliable beading pliers.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Authentic Human Hair Jewelry by Larissa de Souza

Human Hair jewelry has been around for centuries since the dawn of time as tribal adornment and as mementos for deceased loved ones. Today, it may border on the uncanny valley of creepiness as a macabre memento- almost like a serial killer trophy.

But the art of Hair Jewelry is grounded on sentiment, maybe even grief or love. It may also prove to be quite fashionable and elegant once braided and weaved with precious metals.

Larissa de Souza is a NYC jewelry designer who views hair as a great medium for scupltural design. She does custom jewelry work using your hair or a loved one's. 

For more info on her hairy craft visit or at her Etsy shop


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