Glossary

Alloy:  a mixture of 2 or more base metals combined to create a new metal, usually in order to add strength and durability.

Anodized Aluminum: aluminum that has undergone the process of having a color coating applied to its surface via an electric current.  Vibrant colors can result, but the color can be easily scratched off when using uncovered metal tools.

Base Metal: a more common, less expensive metal such as brass, copper, nickel, tin & aluminum

Beads:  small, decorative objects that are formed in a variety of shapes and sizes of a material such as stone, bone, shell, glass, plastic, wood or pearl and with a small hole for  stringing.

Bronze: an alloy composed of mostly copper and some tin which creates a metal with a dark golden-brown color.

Brass: an alloy of copper and zinc which creates a metal with a bright gold-like color.

Chainmaille:  originally  a type of battle armor composed of small metal rings linked (woven) together in a pattern to form a mesh. Today, we can use the weaving techniques to create beautiful mesh & chain jewelry.

Crimp [Bead & Tube]:  a tiny,  metal, collapsible finding used to secure (block off or clamp) the ends of bead stringing wire so that the beads don’t slip off during the design process. Crimp Beads are rounded & look like tiny metal beads, except they’re hollow. Crimp Tubes are simply tiny metal tubes. Both work by having the stringing wire put through them, then the crimps are flattened either with Crimping Pliers or Chain Nose Pliers.

Crochet:  the process of creating fabric by interlocking loops of a chosen textile (such as yarn & thread), or also leather & wire, using a crochet hook.

Crochet Hook:  (or crochet needle) is an implement used to make loops in thread or yarn and to interlock them into crochet stitches. It is basically a round shaft pointed on one end, with a lateral groove behind it. The point eases the insertion of the hook through the material being crocheted and the groove makes it possible to pull a loop back through the material.

Drape: to hang, fall, lay or become arranged in a specified manner or style.

Fabulousity: the state of being exceedingly fabulous!

Finding: a jewelry-making term for any metal component used to connect and/or assemble jewelry.

Gauge (Wire): the measurement of the thickness of wire or metal sheet: the higher the number, the thinner the metal.

Jump Ring: a piece of wire formed into a loop, usually round, and used to connect together jewelry components. Jump rings are sometimes offered in other shapes besides round, including oval, triangle, square and more. They are the primary components of chainmaille weaving.

Kerf:  the gap (space) between the cut ends of a jump ring that indicate the width of the saw blade used to cut the jump rings.

Macrame:  the art of hand knotting natural, synthetic or leather fiber using specific techniques which results in elaborately patterned, lace-like webbing that is used for decorative, utilitarian or adornment purposes.

Memory Wire: a  steel wire which holds (or “remembers”) its preformed circular shape. Available in multiple sizes to make necklaces, bracelets and rings. Memory wire jewelry does not require a clasp, using wire tension to keep jewelry on.

Memory Wire Cutters:  shears made specifically to easily cut hard wires such as steel memory wire and precious metals. They create a straight, flat cutoff and work just as effectively for headpins as well.

Pliers, Chain Nose: available versions are long-nose, short-nose & curved/bent-nose styles. All are used  to grip components at difficult angles; reach into tight places; open/close jump rings; bend wire & help to stabilize a design while working.  Long-nose allows a further reach into tight spaces, while  short-nose provides more strength & stability.  Curved/bent-nose also provides strength & stability, but does so without obstructing one’s line of vision.

Pliers, Crimping: pliers that are designed with multiple grooved openings that will accommodate crimp beads & crimp tubes.

Pliers, Flat Nose:  available in long-nose & short-nose versions, they are used to bend wire and hold beads &  other components in place without damaging them. The jaws have a flat inside surface that’s useful for stabilizing jump rings, flattening wire & creating sharp corners for wireworking. The long version gives greater reach, and the short version provides stability & strength.

Pliers, Needle Nose:  are quite similar to chain-nose styles, as they have flat inner jaws and curved outer jaws. These pliers have a longer and thinner jaw that tapers to more of a point at the end.  This shape difference makes them useful for gripping items in especially small spaces.

Pliers, Parallel Action: pliers used for compressing or bending when flattening wire and setting stone mountings.  Their smooth jaws will not mar metal. They are also indispensable  when using stainless steel and bronze jump rings for chainmaille creations.

Pliers, Round Nose:  primarily used to make various sized loops in wirework applications. Great for wire-wrapping and making headpins & eyepins.

Sequins:  disk-shaped beads with a center hole that are used for decorative purposes. In earlier centuries, they were made from shiny metals. Today, sequins are most often made from plastic. They are available in a wide variety of colors and geometrical shapes. Sequins are commonly used on clothing, jewelry, handbags, shoes and other accessories.

Soldering is a process in which two or more items (usually metal) are joined together by melting and putting a filler metal (solder) into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal.

Stainless Steel: a steel alloy composed primarily of iron  and  at least 10% – 11% chromium.  Its resistance to staining and corrosion increases with increasing chromium content. The chromium content is also what helps stainless steel maintain its lustre, thereby making it an ideal material for myriad applications – including jewelry making.

Statement Necklace: a necklace that makes a very dramatic impression due to its size (usually large & eye-catching), its color(s), its components, or all of the above. It can be constructed of virtually any type of material(s), and fashioned with multiple layers. (In my opinion you’ll either love it or not; rarely is there much room for ambivalence.)

Textile:  a type of material composed of natural or synthetic fibers suitable for weaving. Types of textiles include animal-based material such as wool or silk, plant-based material such as linen and cotton, and synthetic material such as polyester and rayon. Textiles are often associated with the production of clothing.

Wire, Craft:  an inexpensive, easily manipulated type of wire used to make jewelry. The two most common types are colored plastic coated & colored enamel coated wire. While Craft Wire is generally sold without a defined level of hardness specified on the packaging, it is usually soft & malleable. Care must be exercised when handling Craft Wire because the plastic or enamel coating can be scratched off if the wire is handled carelessly. Also, the color coatings can change if exposed to ultraviolet light.

Wire, Beading:  composed of multiple strands of metal wire woven or twisted together and coated with a thin layer of nylon or plastic. it is soft and flexible.

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