When I first started making jewelry I started with beading and very quickly made my way to working with wire. There were certain things that seemed to be second nature to me and opening a jump ring was one of them...even though, I had no idea what they were called at the time.
A jump ring is a circular ring of metal that is used as a connection in various jewelry designs. I use jump rings quite often. These little rings can be purchased or you can make them on your own. I prefer to make my own because they're cheaper and easy to make. I can also make them in any size I need, any time I need them.
These little rings must be opened correctly in order to maintain to strength and integrity of the ring. If the ring is opened incorrectly, it will become misshapen and pull apart very easily causing your piece to break with the slightest tug...that would be bad.
The key to opening a jump ring: A set of pliers in each hand holding the ends of the jump ring and twist enough to open then close.
The most important thing to remember is to NEVER PULL the ring ends apart.
I have found that Fire Mountain Gems and Jewelry Making Daily are some really good resources for learning the basics of jewelry making. If you're looking to start out making your own jewelry for yourself or even to sell, these are good places to start.
Even though there is a lot I still have to learn about making jewelry, I love what I do and I love sharing my passion with others.