Yes, indeed! It is that time of year, once again, my friends! Christmas is coming...it's practically here. So, I compiled a list of things for those of you who have been nice...the better to leave a bug in Santa's ear!
Ok...so, I hope this doesn't seem self-serving but, I'm going to suggest my brand new book for your wish list. I've finally received my advance copy and it's a pretty, pretty thing! Plus, it's loaded with how-to's as well as tons of teaching on design and info on using found objects.
Care for a little peek? These were some of the photos that didn't make the book but show the flavor of it all...
A fun fact about the book: I did almost all of the photography. Yeah!
You can pre-order the book from me, here, if you'd like an autographed copy. Or, you can pre-order from Amazon (not autographed.)
The Winged Sentry Benchtop Fume Extractor, Model 200, from Sentry Air Systems. Yes, this item is a little more expensive but it's worth every single penny. I have one and it's saving my lungs from all of those nasty fumes and particles produced by soldering. If you do any soldering, at all, you really should have one of these. Not only does it draw the fumes away from your face but it filters out all the bad stuff. Most lesser brands simply draw the fumes away and spit them out the back, back into the air you're breathing...that's not enough!
If you do contact Sentry, please mention that I sent you. I don't get anything from them but I've come to know the nice folks who work there and it's fun for me to see how many of you are contacting them, through me. :)
Fretz hammers...any of them! These jewelry maker's hammers are a pleasure to touch and a joy to use. This one is my chasing hammer...the HMR-17, from Otto Frei...
...however, I have a whole boat-load of these hammers and I love and adore every single one of them.
Revere pliers...oh, yes. Years ago, I switched to these lovely pliers and never looked back. Quality tools really do make a difference in your work and if you're going to be making a lot of jewelry, these are a great investment. I have the set of four but I rarely use the forming plier. I would suggest the threesome.
Tooltron Diagonal Cutter...so inexpensive and yet so fine! There's no reason to spend $40 or $50 or more on a flush cutter when this $8.99 job will do the trick. I absolutely love this cutter for it's nice, flush cut...as well as the price. It will cut through even 16 gauge steel wire and when it gets dull, I throw it out and get another.
Fun fact: Hobby Lobby has 40% off coupons and if you forget to clip it, you can go to their site, on your smart phone, and show it to the check out gal. LOVE Hobby Lobby!
Bench pillows from The Antique Palette, on Etsy, are my absolute favorite. You must have one, if you want to hammer...it will save your ears. Suzie offers sand filled, shot filled, large, small and in between. She'll even do a custom pillow for you, if you like. One of my custom orders from her involved a large, shot filled pillow, flat on the bottom and rounded on the top, so I can prop my mandrels up. Love it.
A Foredom flex shaft tool is a must have for jewelry makers. Yes, you can use a Dremel but, the Foredom gives you so much more control...and a bazillion accessory options with endless burs, brushes, bristles, wheels and what-nots. I have the hot pink handset which is just downright fun.
If you make your own ear wires (and you should be!) get yourself some cup burs to go with that Foredom flex shaft. Or, at the very least, ask Santa for a wire rounder. If you know me at all, you know that sharp, pointy ear wires are my biggest pet peeve (well, maybe after spitting in public and talking with a full mouth.) These little darlings are basically a tiny cup, filled with ittsy, bittsy, knife-like edges that file down those nasty ear wire ends into smooth goodness. Try here for info on what size to order.
For hardening and shaping metal, without marring it, I love and adore my rubber deadblow hammer. There are other options like a rawhide mallet or nylon hammer, but I like my deadblow the best. Although I believe mine is an 8 oz., the 10 oz. should work like a charm.
Ice Resin...I use it, I love it, I can't say enough good about it. Period.
If you work with resin, you'll love the crystal clear, jewelry grade finish of Ice. Also, big plus...it doesn't smell. You'll be inspired to make all kinds of groovy pieces with it...I promise!
Well, there you have it..my top ten christmas wish list items. If it's looking empty under your tree, give Santa a nudge!