Jewelry Making Techniques
Gauge is a measurement of the thickness of something, be it beads, wire, thread, or needles. Generally, smaller numbers indicate thicker sizes. Wire gauges ranges from 10 (very thick) to 28 (very thin). Seed bead gauges are written as fractions, like 6/0 (~3.7mm) to 15/0 (~1.5mm). Size 11/0 seed beads are the most common. Thread does not have a standard gauging system, leaving each manufacturer to invent their own.
The half hitch is a simple knot and is useful in a variety of situations. It it is a component in more complicated knots, but when done alone it’s usually done twice (as in tying off the ends of a knot you don’t want to come undone). To tie a half hitch knot, loop your cord or thread around whatever you want to attach it to, and then loop the end of the string around itself and back through the loop created with the previous step.
A technique used when making jewelry to distress metal, or create a bent, wavy, or flattened effect. Hammering hardens wire and can shape and add texture to it. Hammering is performed with a ball pein hammer on a small jeweler’s anvil. It is a good idea to wear protective eyewear while you work. Hammering is an effective way to harden handmade earwires so they do not bend when used.