Jewelry drilling safety tips and techniques

Important jewelry drilling safety tips and techniques that every jewelry designer should know are explained by guest blogger Joe Smith from The Bead Traders.

Jewelry has long been a highlight of the culture and structure of ancient civilizations.

Jewelry-making dates back 3,000-4,000 years, and the resulting pieces have been used by historians to connect civilizations to their culture’s fashion style and period.

These pieces of art and history tell historians about the ways and lives of the people who wore them, almost as much as fossilized bones and other artifacts provide the same information.

The jewelry trends today are ever-changing, yet still they represent the same things as jewelry from other cultures of the past. Jewelry is still a form of art, a form of expression by the creator and the person who wears it.

A variety of beads for jewelry

Jewelry can tell a story, just like it did in the past, except the stories are current to the people and society of today. You can find innovative and exotic forms of jewelry with beads, gemstones and crystals for almost every pallet in many different stores and online shops. It’s literally everywhere!

Important safety tips and techniques for jewelry drilling

by Joe Smith

Many people give and receive jewelry as a gift, whether it’s for a holiday or for no specific reason at all. With jewelry being as prominent in today’s culture and business as it is, many people have taken to creating their own jewelry.

Jewelry drilling is commonly used in jewelry-making to add decoration by inserting small holes for decoration or to situate another part of the jewelry, such as wiring, into the piece.

Whether it’s for a small jewelry business or a jewelry-making hobby, there are 8 important safety tips and techniques that every jewelry maker should know and use.

Wear the right protection

As with any craft or trade, wearing the right protection is always the first step in ensuring a safe and successful job.

  • Goggles: Jewelry drilling is often done with a rotating drilling machine. Its fast rotations lead to flying bits of jewelry and debris, so it’s important to wear goggles for eye protection while drilling.
  • Gloves: Jewelry makers wear latex gloves or leather finger guards during the drilling process. Alternatively, you can use finger tape for a more flexible feel.
  • Proper Lighting: Make sure to drill in a well-lit area to allow for optimum vision and control on the piece and the drill.

Gather the right supplies

Usually, the drilling process for beads and jewelry pieces is the same and use these common items:

  • Some kind of drill
  • Something to keep your piece stable
  • A shallow container of water, under which the actual drilling happens. Water keeps the drill tip from overheating, and also cleans off any stone debris while working on the piece.
  • A buffer between your piece and the bottom of the water container, so you don’t accidentally drill a hole into it.

Start with a dent

A good technique to use before jewelry drilling is to make a dent or mark in the area of the piece where the hole will be made. This dent serves as a guide for when you’re ready to make the actual hole. When you make the dent, use a much smaller bit to test out where the hole should go. Dents can be made with a variety of tools, including an automatic center punch or prick punch and an engraver.

The key to making a good dent or mark is to use a very small and precise tip. This is beneficial because you can easily move the position of the hole once it’s made, as long as it’s small. Moving the hole a few millimeters is all it takes to get it into a perfect position, if done correctly.

Jewelry Drilling Tools

Choose the right drill for the job

If you’re drilling a wooden bead, any drill will do to go straight through the piece. But drilling gemstone beads is more about grinding the stone away to make a hole, rather than just going straight through it. Make sure to use the appropriate drill to avoid scarring the piece. Afterward, a variety of different tools can be used to buff and polish the finished piece.

Keep your piece stable

Keeping your piece stable is important to making a clean-cut and accurate design. There are lots of different ways to keep your piece stable.

  • Use putty to hold it in place and reduce the chance of the stone breaking off or chipping in the back when the drill pushes through the end.
  • Use a block of wood slightly larger than your piece that’s lined with foam, this also serves the same purpose as the putty.
  • Invest in a drill that come with a stand and includes a piece that holds your stone in place during the process.

Use a small tip

It takes more than a steady hand to move your drill through your piece in an efficient and stable manner. But this is also another key to getting that perfect hole. The first thing to do is to use a smaller tip at the beginning of the drilling process. The small tip slowly opens up the hole and reduces the chance of the drill getting caught or scratching the material. Once the hole is made go back a second time with a bigger bit to enlarge the size.

Let the drill do the work

It may be tempting to push the drill into the stone and help along the process, but that does more harm than good. Working slowly and patiently allows the drill to gently shed away the stone, instead of leaving a jagged mess. You only need to guide the drill to let it do its job; no extra force is required.

Exotic Jewelry Necklaces

Increase your control

Maintaining control over your drill is the make-or-break point in every jewelry maker’s career. If you can’t control your drill, the jewelry will suffer. Improving your skills on practice objects is the best way to increase control and efficiency with your drill.

You can buy accessories for your drill to increase stability. Add-ons like a foot control lever help to keep the drilling process hands-free, as well as give you control over the speed and intensity of the drill.

Create what you love

All of the above jewelry drilling tips combine to bring you closer to creating the jewelry you love to make in an efficient and safe way.

Leave a comment with any other important tips!

Pearl earrings that won’t break the bank

Pearl earrings that won’t break the bank are a great investment for the future because they never go out of style. They also won’t drain you piggy bank!

Pearl Earrings
Sterling silver and freshwater pearl earrings $30

 

Timeless pearl earrings

Several years ago I had the opportunity through The Artisan Group® to submit these delicate sterling silver freshwater pearl earrings to the wardrobe stylist of the ABC TV series “Scandal” for consideration of use in the upcoming season.

Freshwater-Pearl Earrings

To be honest I had never seen this TV show, so I watched several episodes that were on Netflix.

The clothing and jewelry were very conservative, so I made these dainty earrings to submit. I never heard if they were ever used on the show, but I continue to sell them because of their timeless beauty.

Perfect for all occasions including weddings, business attire, church, etc. These can be purchased on my website ($30.00)

They can also be found for purchase in my Etsy Shop.

Valentine hearts earrings are easy to make

These Valentine Hearts earrings are so easy to make! Whether you want to wear them at the office for Valentine’s Day or give them as a gift, handmade earrings are at the top of the list.

Valentine hearts earrings

Easy to make Valentine Hearts earrings

It will literally take you longer to pick out the beads you want to use, than to make theses gorgeous earrings! Just three simple steps and you are done!

  1. Slip the beads onto a headpin
  2. Make a loop at the top
  3. Attach to an ear wire

So easy and so beautiful, and they will be cherished for years to come.

Click here for a materials list from Fire Mountain Gems

Don’t want to make anything?

If you don’t have time to make anything then below is a lovely pair of Gold filled Valentine Heart Earrings that are already made and ready to ship!

Gold Heart Earrings
Gold Filled Heart Earrings by Bead Lovers Korner

Just click on the photo or here and you can purchase them from my Etsy Shop. But these are one of a kind so hurry before they are gone!

These Valentine’s Day earrings are made with all Gold filled parts and unique Rosaline Gold Swarovski crystal beads. Shipping is FREE on these earrings also!

Whether you make them yourself or buy them already made, earrings with hearts are always great gift ideas for women at this time of year.

Displaying jewelry at celebrity events in Los Angeles

I started the new year with a bang by displaying jewelry at one of the celebrity events in Los Angeles! Several of my handcrafted jewelry items were showcased, in association with The Artisan Group®, in a by-invitation-only luxury celebrity gift lounge hosted by GBK, honoring the nominees and presenters of the 2018 Golden Globes.

Beadloverskorner displaying jewelry
Bead Lovers Korner displaying jewelry at celebrity event

I have been a member of The Artisan Group for several years and have participated in many events, but never as a part of the display team.

This was a great experience! I highly suggest pushing yourself to try something you’ve never done. Not only is it exhilarating, but it teaches you new things about yourself and your business.

Asia-Ray wearing Bead Lovers Korner necklace
Asia Monet Ray (Dance Moms, American Crime Story) wearing quartz crystal necklace by Bead Lovers Korner

My top 4 benefits from displaying jewelry at celebrity events

Today it seems like EVERYONE has decided to go into business for themselves. The gig economy is trending and it’s easy to start your own website or sell on many social platforms, etc.  How do you compete with all that? Somehow you have to stand out from the crowd.

Displaying at a celebrity event gives you a way to stand out. Below are what I feel were the top 4 benefits from participating in this event:

  1. Great PR for a small business! I live in Central Florida and no one cares, but this consequently gives my small business credibility. View my Press Release here
  2. Awesome photos of a two celebrities wearing my jewelry. I couldn’t have gotten any better “model shots”!
  3. A new cool display for my jewelry should I ever decide to go back to setting up at local craft or art fairs.
  4. Most of all this was a great morale boost because I did have to apply and be accepted onto the display team 🙂
Jill Martin at The Artisan Group
Jill Martin (Emmy Award-winning TV personality & sportscaster, Today Show correspondent) trying on wire wrapped Lapis Lazuli sphere pendant by Bead Lovers Korner.

Will I do this again?

Absolutely!! Not only did I display my handmade products, but I also gifted attending celebrities a sample of my jewelry.

Bead Lovers Korner necklace in The Artisan Group gift bag
Scarab Green wire wrapped pendant gifted to attending celebrities.

The result of this puts one of my products, and also one of my business cards, into the hands of people I would never see at a craft fair or art show here in Central Florida!

You just never know where it might end up!

Hematite jewelry handmade gifts for members of the press

I signed up to send Hematite Jewelry as my handmade jewelry gifts for members of the Press who attend GBK’s Celebrity Gift Lounge honoring the MTV Movie Awards Nominees and Presenters. This great opportunity is one of the benefits of being a member of The Artisan Group!

The Artisan Group Badge

I just love crystals and stones, so I decided to make pendant necklaces with Hematite Spheres. I ordered all of my jewelry making supplies and when I received the spheres I had to laugh because by themselves they were like little cannon balls!

Wire-Wrapping-spheres
Wire wrapping Hematite Spheres to make pendants

It took me several days, but once I added some wire and swirls the little “cannon balls” transformed into beautiful Hematite Jewelry.

MTV-Hematitie
Wire Wrapped Hematite Sphere pendants for members of the press

Hematite stones have beneficial metaphysical and spiritual properties and are a popular stone for crystal healing. When I made my necklace cards I also included a few of these properties on the back (a benefit of making your own jewelry cards, click here to see this FREE tutorial)

These are all packaged in organza bags and on their way to the event. It will be exciting to see who will receive them! These are also available for special order on the website 🙂

Leave a comment and let me know what do you think?

MTV-Awards-Gift
Packaged in light purple organza bags with information on the back of necklace card