I’d like to share some of the tools I love for making jewelry. The tools you use the most depend on the types of jewelry you are generally making. I love small tools – you can do so many things with them.
Pliers are essentials for anyone who makes jewelry. You need a variety of pliers for different uses – some for wire working and some to bend and shape metal. I frequently cut background shapes from sheets of metal. The metal shear is perfect for cutting larger sheets into smaller shapes that I can use for the backplates of pendants, for instance. I use my Joyce Chen scissors for a lot a things, but a saw provides a smooth even cut edge that you can’t beat.
I love incorporating textures in my designs – texture that suggests plants or rocks or even geometric patterns. I use a lot of stippling patterns to fill areas in my pieces. A variety of hammers and chasing tools are needed to create all these textures. I also have a couple of special hammers that each have a textured surface – patterning with those goes a little faster than the chasing tools for a larger area.
Some textured jewelry examples are shown below:
I love the black onyx with the druzy center. The silver is cut away behind the druzy area so you can see the crystals clearly. The setting for the tear drop shape druzy pendant has a different pattern that was done with a chasing hammer and tools. The silver cuff was created with one of those patterning hammers. You can find these pieces and more on my website.