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Tree and High Tech Pliers

About this design:

I was inspired by the beautiful trees made by JC Hamm and since I hadn't made a tree pendant in ages I decided it was time to do it again.

I've also included some photos of my high tech .99 store pliers. If I didn't have them my wire work wouldn't work. I use them on all of the tight curves and curls when I'm working with heavy wire.


red brass, aventurine, serpentine, peridot, red agate and mookite chips, cheap-o Chinese pliers

Additional Images:

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. SquirrelGirl aka Angela
    SquirrelGirl aka Angela says:

    WOW!!! Your tree of life is amazing! Thanks for the picks of your beautiful and battered pliers wrapped in tape. I have some as well. You’ve done such gorgeous work with them too.

  2. No Photo
    Beadaholic1 says:

    I so admire your ability with wire…this tree of life is fab! Your pliers look like mine! LOL I have 3 pairs of discount pliers I have been using for years… long as they do the job, who cares? LOL

  3. Deb Harding
    Deb Harding says:

    Gorgeous tree!! Your wire work is fantastic. Your pliers look like some of my cheapo ones I’ve gotten from Lowe’s. The store brand ones. Tape….darn why haven’t I thought of that??

  4. Gramnan
    Gramnan says:

    Goodo on the tree,,it’s lovely.. tape,what a good idea. The goop is dip, drip, and peel. Thanks for the tip.

  5. Gail Layne
    Gail Layne says:

    Hehe! I have a pair of those too although not with tape. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that! Love the tree, especially the Fall leaves.

  6. Little Round Chick
    Little Round Chick says:

    It’s good to know that the secret is out about the pliers. Gramnan, I’ve tried the goop, too, and had the same dip and peel problem. Another reason I use the bigger padded pliers is the dainty little ones just can’t handle the heavier wire. Wonder how many other unconventional tool the wild haired jewelry artists use? I use crochet hooks and pill bottles quite often…….

    Hey, thanks for all of the compliments and the fun comments. One of the things I like about this site is the exchange of ideas. Lima Beads is the greatest!

  7. Asia
    Asia says:

    Gorgeous work, yes tape is the answer to some pliers I would think that Deb for sure will think of that :D

  8. puppychick  labratbecky
    puppychick labratbecky says:

    Love your tree of life!! But even more, I LOVE your pliers! :-D !! I have done the goop thing with the exact same problems–you get one use before they tear and peel. I am definitely going to be taping up a few of my tools! And medicine bottles are the best mandrels! :) I have also found that my teeth are a great tool, although I am losing enamel. :) j/k

  9. Granny Nancy
    Granny Nancy says:

    I just read your profile about only being involved in beading for 4 years. You are certainly a naturally talented beader.

    This piece is gorgeous!

    Do you sell your pieces? Its always ineresting to know “if” people try to sell and how. Some save up and sell at shows, etc. Others go to Etsy and still others find a boutique or salon that will allow you to display your jewelry.

  10. KatsAllThat
    KatsAllThat says:

    Nicely done and liking those quality tools! :-)

  11. Little Round Chick
    Little Round Chick says:

    Thanks for the compliments ladies. :)

    Granny Chick Nancy, I too am a Nancy. There seem to be goodly number of us. I was named for my great grandmother, Nancy Tennessee. Thankfully I got a different middle name. :)

    As for your question about selling my jewelry, Yes I do. I sell at street fairs, a farmers market, home parties and have pieces on consignment in the gift shop of the Oceanside Museum of Art. I don’t make much from the gift shop but it looks good on my resume. Of course I’ve been retired for 10 years… when am I ever gong to need a resume?

    Ask a question… get a book :D

  12. Beadzilla aka Wanda
    Beadzilla aka Wanda says:

    Love the colors in your tree, gorgeous!

  13. Granny Nancy
    Granny Nancy says:

    I’m 73 – almost 74 – Frank Sinatra’s wife was a Nancy and his daughter was named Nancy and I think there’s a song referencing Nancy from back then. There were 4 or 5 Nancys in my grade school classes all that way thru high school. It was very popular then. But I was named after my grandmother who was born in what was the Ukraine.

    I did not know that until her death when we were putting flowers on her casket as it was lowered. Her name was on the top of the casket. I felt so honored. She was a beautiful lady. Died much too young. Only 67. I inherited her distaste for wearing shoes.

    Anyway, I don’t think I could do crocheting. I have so much ahead of me to do to get prepared for a move into a much smaller house. I barely have time to do any beading that I am capable of. But I surely do enjoy what everyone here can do.

  14. Little Round Chick
    Little Round Chick says:

    Granny Chick I am almost as old as you are. I’ll be 73 in November. I grew up in a little bitty town of about 500 and there was another Nancy Ann in my tiny little elementary school. She and I were in the same grade and I think I was just a bit older.

    As for shoes… hey I grew up in the Ozark Mountains of Southern Missouri… I understand the shoe thing. I remember I was always anxious for the weather to get warm enough to go barefoot outside.

    And I don’t crochet really. I can make a single chain and that is the end of it. In a fit of madness I decided to learn to crochet wire. I did it and was modestly successful. The hooks are primarily used to make jump rings.

    I don’t envy you trying to scale down to move into a smaller place. I’ve been in this house 40 years and if I had to move I think I’d just call the thrift store and tell them, “Come and get it!”

    The song is “Nancy With the Laughing Face”

  15. daisymae
    daisymae says:

    AWESOME! This is just beautiful! Love your colors and wirework! Thanks for the idea about the pliers…I was sorely tempted to throw mine across the room yesterday because they kept slipping off my 16 gauge jumprings and I kept cracking my hand on the table! Definitely gonna get some new pliers and try the masking tape! Fabulous work! :)

  16. Lois D
    Lois D says:

    Love, love, love your pieces! Love the tip about the cheap-o pliers, too!

    I use band-aids on my pliers, which works for me :) I have to keep my fingers bandaged up during the day, so, I have a huge supply. (oops, digression)

  17. Gail Layne
    Gail Layne says:

    I just bought some tool magic and am not all that fond of it. This stuff seems to last ok but it made my pliers tacky. Every time I let go of something there is a two second delay before it actually releases. Very annoying. Thankfully I didn’t put it on my favorite pair!

    Lois D, Why do you have to keep your fingers bandaged? Or am I being too nosy?

  18. Lois D
    Lois D says:

    Hi Gail,
    No, you’re not nosey at all, but, I ask forgiveness for ‘hi-jacking’ the thread with my woe-is-me-isms. My hands (and feet, probably TMI right!) are plagued with something similar to severe excema, but, that’s not what it is. Doctors are puzzled. Think it is perhaps the result of psoriatic arthritis, or??? Need to have further testing, may be auto-immune. Results in my hands and feet having very deep fissures, thickening skin and arthritic condition.
    Has morphed me into my favorite fictional character, “Quasimodo” :)
    But, I’ll be dang-busted if this is gonna stop me. So, I use lots of Liquid Bandage (essentially, super glue) and regular bandages to keep me going :)

  19. Gail Layne
    Gail Layne says:

    Lois, Ouch! That sounds horrible!! Glad the bandages allow you to continue doing the things you want to do. I hope your condition improves and in the meantime, at least gets you out of doing dishes. :-)

  20. puppychick  labratbecky
    puppychick labratbecky says:

    Just a thought, Lois, if you have blistering and itching with it, ask your doctors to look into a disease caused dermatitis herpetiformis. It can be a side effect of celiac disease. My daughter who has celiac disease had this on her scalp, misdiagnosed as psoriasis, until they discovered the gluten caused enteropathy (gut damage) and put the whole picture together. It is autoimmune.

  21. No Photo
    JC Hamm says:

    Wow how I have enjoyed reading this post, all the great stories and wisdom. Thanks Nancy for the mention of my trees,they are a joy to make.Your tree is beautiful as is all of the wire work. You have been such an inspiration to me, and all the wire pieces I try. So a big thank-you goes out to you. :D I only hope to get better at it!!!!!!
    Oh and I LOVE THIS GROUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. No Photo
    JC Hamm says:

    That should say ” of all your wire work” O.o

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