Sunday 4 November 2018

Tools List for My November 2018 Classes at The Gem Expo!!!

I don't know why, but Facebook doesn't like me at all today and none of these posts are... well, posting.

Here are pictures of the tools -- IF you have them and/or IF you're planning on buying them -- that will be used in my classes. I only have a few tools to share because yes, they can be expensive.

The Totally Addicting Stretch Bracelets for Beginners course on Saturday morning, November 10th, is easy in terms of supplies -- if you have one, bring a bead board (available at Michael's) which will make your life so much easier choosing and placing beads, and a pair of sharp, pointed thread scissors or sharp, pointed wire cutters, see picture below. The point being -- okay, yeah, bad joke -- you need to get in and do fine, close cutting, and big scissors will just make your life harder.

These are my go-to wire cutters now, and they're perfect for getting in close to the knot on the bracelets.

If you'll be adding dangles to your bracelets, you'll need pliers to open and close jump rings. This is my go-to minimum set of pliers which are what you'll need for most jewellery-making anyway. I only have a few extra tools, so please bring tools if you have them. If you're going to buy tools anyway, spend as much as you can afford on jewellery-making tools. Your hands will thank you. Those red-handled "sparkle" tools in the middle are 10 years old, and are still doing okaaaay, although I am slowly upgrading to more ergonomic tools, such as on the left.

The above tools are the minimum required for wire work, in particular, and if you are taking the Nifty Tips & Tricks class on Sunday afternoon, please bring these tools if you have them as I only have a couple of each to share. L to R: Bent nose, chain nose (opening/closing jump rings, holding wire), round nose (for making loops) and pointed wire cutters.

Also for the Nifty Tips & Tricks class, we will be hammering wire, and these also are the minimum tools if you decide to carry on at home. If you can bring at least a chasing hammer (with the flat head) and a rawhide or plastic mallet that would be great. I will be showing you what these are for. Also necessary is either a square, 4" by 4" bench block, or a anvil. A planishing hammer, with a slightly convex head, is also very useful.

Top to bottom: planishing hammer, rawhide mallet (or with a plastic head is fine, about 1" diameter head), chasing (flat head) hammer (7/8" to 1" head is fine), anvil and bench block. A 4" square bench block is probably more useful for this class (and I have several to share), but I like my anvil. It's extremely useful.

There are any number of different, useful tools, gadgets and gizmos on the market, many very specific to one technique or another, but these are generally what I've found essential and use all the time.

Where do I buy tools? These are just a few of the retail outlets that I know and buy from in the Toronto and southern Ontario area. in St. George, Ontario, between Cambridge and Brantford. You'll often see them at gem and mineral shows with a huge selection of tools, findings and beads. You can also buy dead soft copper wire by the ounce and pound from Robert Hall. Dead soft copper wire is what we'll be using in the class. out of Ottawa. They do a lot of bead and gem&mineral shows in the Toronto and southern Ontario area, as well as by mail. Located in the basement of 55 Queen St. East, Toronto, across from St. Mikes. Retail and wholesale professional jewellery supplies.

Michael's is everywhere, and in Toronto, just two stores off the top of my head -- the list is endless. Most bead stores do sell at least some tools.


If you have any other questions, PLEASE EMAIL ME at