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I’ve got some news for you. There is something imperative you should have in your arsenal at home if you’re a jewelry owner.
We make our jewelry to last and to stand the test of time, but life happens. We hastily drop earrings in the bottom of our purses, babies grab onto necklaces, earwires get caught on scarves or masks…. but one quick moment shouldn’t be the devastating end of that favorite piece!
I want to teach you today how to make an easy repair using a simple tool you should have at home in your jewelry kit.
Here are my two favorite pliers. One is a needle nose plier, also called a chain nose plier, and the other is a flat nose. I’ve owned these pliers since day one of metalsmithing school. They are like family now and like any mother I have a favorite. Shhhhhh don’t tell them, but that needle nose plier is THE BEST!
You might be heading to the garage to look for a pair of pliers in your tool box, but pump the breaks, friend. Most of the standard pliers in your tool box have ridges on the inside and those will mar your jewelry somthin’ fierce. Be sure to check and make sure that they are flat and smooth on the inside.
The important part is that the pliers be smooth on the inside and able to handle small objects with out marring the metal.
Now that you’ve got your pliers we need to talk about technique. Most of the time you’ll be using these pliers on little things called JUMPRINGS. These are the little round bits of wire that connect elements and link chain. The most important thing is that they STAY ROUND.
The one rule is that you will never open the circle up like a mouth. You’ll never be able to get the wire to close back on it’s self if you open it wide. The point of these little guys is to keep things together. If there's a gap where the wire should meet, you're only going to be back to square one. Broken jewelry, missing parts.
Using both pliers, each gripping opposite sides of the jump ring, with the opening facing up, you want to open the jump ring by twisting the wire ends away from each other. Moving one end toward your body from your body and the other away from your body. This is easier shown than described.
Now you can slip your part back on or the broken chain back onto the jump ring and then simply do everything in reverse to close it! Easy-peasy! Your local bead stores will carry jump rings in many metal colors and sizes, and will have the pliers too. Shop small and check them out! Happy repairs!