The next key jewellery making tool I'd like to feature is the humble baby wipe. Not exactly a traditional jewellers tool, but for me this is another key one!
Well I realise these are not automatically thought of as jewellers tool, but this is something I am never without when working!
I do primarily use this when working with metal clay, but they come in handy at all sorts of times. Mostly for cleaning up, but cleaning up can be key in an active and busy working space!
Baby wipes when used with metal clay are a great help - being both moist and a fine woven cloth. Used on wet or dry clay, they can be used to smooth and refine edges, as well as to soften forms and even get rid of fine surface cracks and marks.
By gently massaging or stroking the clay surface with the baby wipe, the clay is moistened and can be gradually moved by further stroking - either continuing with the baby wipe, or alternative baby wipe and a damp finger. I love this way of working as it allows a lot of working directly with the hands and fingertips on the clay, to do the same job that filing or sanding would do on sheet metal.
Baby wipes are great for cleaning up - if you've been using messy equipment - polishing, or using paints, chemicals, solvents - they don't disintegrate as quickly as tissues and they are great for wiping down surfaces!
Use them as they are for minor cleaning, or add acetone (or other chemicals relevant to your spills) to clean more severe problems such as cleaning up glues, resin spills, etching resists and conductive paint for electroforming.
The images below show some dry metal clay elements both before and then after working with baby wipes.
Finally no - it doesn't seem to matter about the brand of wipe! For metal clay work, some leave more hairy fibres behind than others, but they all do the same great job. If you use enough wipes - collect them up in a bin bag and send them in with your metal reclaim - the clay wiped into them is all silver, and doesn't need to be thrown away - the wipes can be incinerated and the metal collected up!