Supplies Info

supplies info graphic june 15 © cinnamon jewellery

I'm not too proud to admit that sometimes I will contact fellow jewellery makers to ask for advice on new techniques I might be struggling with.
I'm also really happy to share any knowledge I have with people who contact me too asking for help or wanting to know where they can get a certain supply I've used.
I thought it would be useful to list some of the websites and shops I buy a lot of my supplies from......

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Sterling silver wire and sheet
I buy most of my sterling wire and sheet from Cookson Gold. They have a great selection and are probably the best jewellery making supplies site in the UK.
It's worth comparing prices though as they aren't always the cheapest. Fast delivery and regular offers.
I also use Palmer Metals for silver wire occasionally. They offer free postage and are sometimes cheaper than Cookson Gold.

Metalsmith and jewellery tools
Cookson Gold and Palmer Metals have a good choice but for a bigger selection and more specialist tools I normally go to
Sutton Tools or Cousins UK. Lots of lovely tools to choose from!

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Copper wire
A great place for copper wire is wires.co.uk. A huge selection of different metal wires. Remember to buy the bare copper wire if you want to oxidize.
Their other copper wires have a coating that will prevent the liver of sulphur solution from working.

Copper sheet
I buy my copper sheet from ABS Metals Ltd on ebay. They sell a selection of gauges plus brass, stainless steel and aluminium sheet. Quick delivery.

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Enamelling supplies
I have bought enamel from various UK sites including Cookson Gold but I do prefer Thompson Enamels. They are based in the US but postage is reasonable.
They sell the three legged trivets needed for torch enamelling which I haven't managed to find in the UK yet plus a huge selection of coloured enamels.
Make sure you buy the enamel meant for using on copper and silver!

Alternatively there is a Thompson supplier in Denmark - Enamel Supply . The owner is very helpful and postage is reasonable and pretty fast plus no customs duty to worry about!

Etching supplies
Ferric chloride for etching copper and brass - I buy on ebay from Pegasus Enterprises 
Ferric nitrate for etching sterling silver - MegaUK
StayzOn ink from The Range

Stamps from The Range and ESK - a discount store which I think is just local to the Eastbourne and Hastings area
Stamps are available from lots of craft supply websites too.
I sometimes use stickers as the resist when I etch. You can find them in The Range. I use the vinyl stickers that are normally used for card making.

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Cabochons
I love buying cabochons and have researched extensively! Some of the best sites I've bought from are below -

International Craft
Manchester Minerals
Selectagem
Kernowcraft
Joopy Gems - Based in Hong Kong and run by a lovely English lady. A great source of rose cut cabs with reasonable postage and very quick delivery. I haven't had to pay any customs VAT on any of the packages from them {yet}.

Liver of Sulphur
Available in chunks, liquid and gel form. I've tried them all and much prefer the XL gel. It is a bit more expensive but lasts a long time and doesn't "go off" like the chunks can. You can get it from Metal Clay Ltd.

Steel Wool
I use steel/wire wool to clean up copper and silver after I've oxidized it and also to clean metals before etching. It lasts a long time and can be found in
DIY stores like B&Q and Homebase or on ebay.
Buy the finest grade.
 

Lortone Tumbler Spare Parts
Anyone who owns a Lortone tumbler probably knows that the boot gasket {the rubber seal} tends to stretch after a while and doesn't seal as well as it should. I needed a replacement recently and spent quite a bit of time {for that read a lot of time!} trying to find somewhere in the UK that carries these boot gaskets. I came to the conclusion that no one does so started looking in the US. Great! Lots of places sell them in the States......the only problem is a lot of the US websites don't post overseas. I emailed four US sites to ask about posting to the UK and just one bothered to reply - The Rock Shed. They do post to the UK and their postage cost is reasonable. I paid about $10 for two boot gaskets and they arrived in about two weeks. Notice I ordered two!

Pickle
When I started getting more serious with metalwork I originally used a homemade pickle of white vinegar and salt in a crockpot/slow cooker to remove the oxidation from copper and silver formed after soldering and annealing.  This works fine but be aware it doesn't smell too good! To quote the lovely bloke who put our bathroom in, it smells like sweaty socks! Oh yes it really does and it pervades the whole house for hours. For that reason I changed to safety pickle available from Kernow Craft and ebay. It doesn't smell.

YouTube
YouTube is a fantastic resource for how-to videos on all aspects of jewellery making. When you need to see someone actually do the thing you've read about for it to suddenly make sense.
I've watched lots of jewellery videos on YouTube and let's be honest quite a few of them are downright rubbish -  you know the one's where it's either complete silence or some random music track being played, shaky, blurred images or people's hands in the way so you can't see what they're doing!
However there are some gems out there and here's two of them:

Nancy LT Hamilton and Soham Harrison

Nancy LT Hamilton currently has 52+ videos uploaded and is very entertaining to watch. She covers a large range of techniques, tips and projects including finishing your jewellery, how to rivet and making a ring. Her videos are clear and easy to watch and funny at times. She very kindly contacted me a while ago to thank me for writing a blog post about her!
Soham Harrison is a recent discovery and I was immediately struck by his calm nature and how he explains everything he does and what to do if something goes wrong (very useful!) He has 143 and counting videos uploaded and covers a huge variety of techniques and projects such as bezel setting, using a rolling mill and making a silver bead. Both are really worth a watch
.

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