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Tips for Chainmaille: Lauren Andersen

I would like to share with you a few of the tips that I teach my students. Shh.... don't tell anybody. It will be our secret!

1.    "Choke up on those pliers." Don't be afraid of your pliers! Put your hands as close the tips of the pliers as is comfortable. The closer you are to your ring, the more leverage you have over the ring.

2.    Use shorter-tipped pliers. The shorter the tip, the more leverage you will have to control the jump ring instead of the jump ring controlling you!

3.    If you are going to pre-open and pre-close your jump rings, use either two pair of flat nose pliers or one pair flat nose pliers and one pair bent nose pliers. The flat nose and bent nose pliers allow you to grasp more of the jump ring and therefore easily open and close the jump rings.

4.    If you want to make smaller tighter weaves, you will want at least one pair of chain nose pliers. You will find when working with tighter weaves you will run out of room to place your flat nose pliers. If you have a pair of bent nose pliers you can turn them so that you are using the pointy part of the bent nose to get in and close the rings.

5.    If you find yourself using what I call the "death grip" on your pliers, try holding out your pinkies. Just like you would if you were to have tea with the Queen. I know it sounds funny, but it works. For some reason, when your pinkies are extended away from the pliers, your grip loosens. If your jump rings tend to "fly across the room," chances are you are gripping your pliers to tightly. Loosen Up!

Lauren Andersen
Beadalon Design Team Member