Supplies Info

 

Supplies info

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......

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.

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 {now owned by Betts Metal Sales} or Cousins UK.

Copper wire and sheet
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.

I buy my copper sheet on ebay. It's worth spending some time shopping around as prices can vary a lot.

Bronze wire
A small selection is available from wires.co.uk. You can sometimes find the thicker gauges at metalclays4u.co.uk


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 and sell 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 - enamelsupply.com. The owner is very helpful and postage is reasonable and pretty fast plus no customs fee to worry about...at least for the moment!

WG Ball and Vitrum Signum also stock a wide range of enamelling supplies and tools and are both UK based.

Etching supplies
Ferric chloride for etching copper, bronze and brass is available on ebay . I buy it ready mixed in liquid form. 

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 metalclay.co.uk.

Steel Wool
I use steel/wire wool to clean up copper,bronze and silver after I've oxidized it and also to clean metals before etching. It lasts a long time and can be found on ebay. Buy the finest 0000 grade.

Pickle
When I started getting more serious with metalwork I originally used a homemade pickle of white vinegar and salt in a slow cooker to remove the oxidation from copper, bronze 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.

Super pickle
A 50:50 mix of clean pickle and hydrogen peroxide. I use it to clean the copper tinge that appears on bronze when you solder and pickle it.
Super pickle can also be used to remove accidental copper plating on sterling silver. The mix doesn't stay active for long so buy plenty of hydrogen peroxide...from ebay.