Friday, April 3, 2015

Experimenting With Hole Punch Pliers

Hello everyone!

Recently while playing and experimenting with my wire, I was suddenly struck by an idea. If I could somehow punch holes in wire flattened with my hammer, it would add a whole new set of possibilities in my wire work. But how to go about punching holes in metal? A pair of hole punch pliers!

It's time to replace my background paper!
I picked up a pair of Beadsmith 1.5mm hole punch pliers from Amazon for less than $10. These have a little screw near the joint of the pliers that's adjustable and prevents the pliers from leaving marks on your metal.

It takes a little bit of squeezing, but it punches pretty easily. I did find that the screw on my pair is very difficult to screw, even with a screwdriver.

After a few moments spent hammering, I tested out my idea.

Forgive all the cat hair.

It worked great! My only quibble would be that it says it's a 1.5mm hole punch, but it makes 2mm holes. I wish I had bought the 1.25mm pair (that are more expensive for some reason).

Soon I realized that these pliers would allow me to incorporate metal stamping blanks into my wirework. I ordered a curvy bronze Vintaj blank, two teardrop shaped copper blanks, and a pretty color mix of Swarovski bicones and waited for them to arrive.

I was most excited to play with the Vintaj blank, so I started sketching and designing right away. I knew I wanted to punch holes in it to act as anchor points for wire shapes.

Figuring out the order in which to do things took a try or two, but eventually I worked it out.

At the end I added a wire coil as a frame but also a loop at the bottom for some crystal dangles and at the top, a woven bail.

At the end I added a chain, a handmade clasp using my free hook clasp tutorial, and a little chain cascade dangle of crystals for that special finishing touch :) I named the necklace 'Spice Road', and it is available in my shop!

Next in line for the hole punch pliers were the copper teardrops. I specifically bought two for earrings, and since they're smaller, I decided against doing a wire design in the middle. Instead I added a two-wire border...

...coiling around the inside wire and bending the outside wire as I went...

...attaching both to the teardrop each time I came to one of the holes. Then to finish them off, I added bicones from the mix I bought around the outside in a gradient of colors.

They've been named 'Persephone' and I think they may be my most favorite earrings to date! It was a little difficult to list these, but they are available in my shop.

I may still eventually go back and get the 1.25mm hole punch pliers at some point for hammered wire and for metal blanks like these- but I definitely will be doing more work like this in the future!

Today I'll leave you with Trinity, perched atop my apple box.

'Til next time!

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