1. Always wear safety glasses.
2. Start off using a plate you aren't super crazy about.
3. If it breaks in a place you aren't happy about remember these are mosaics and there really are no bad cuts.
Breaking Plates to Save the Focal
I personally find this easier than saving the rim. You will need a pair of wheeled nippers. I bought mine on Ebay. By far the best brand is Leponnit. They are a little more expensive but worth it. I once cheaped out and bought well a cheap pair. They literally broke while cutting my third plate. I'm all for cheap, in fact my kids call me "The Cheap Mom" but there are times where you need to shell out the extra $ and this is one of them. OK back to plate breaking.
|Leponnit Wheeled Nippers|
|Hold your nippers parallel to the inside of the rim and squeeze|
|Continue holding the nippers parallel to the inside rim but not under the dreaded foot of the plate. We'll get to that little sucker in a minute.|
|Continue nipping all the way around.|
Now you have a nice round focal but underneath is the foot of the plate which needs to be removed otherwise when you lay out your design the focal will be sitting too high. Remember the foot is not your friend!
|In order to get rid of the foot you need to place the nippers over the foot. If the foot is really high well good luck because sometimes the nippers won't open wide enough to get over it. Oh how I hate when this happens!|
|Here it is although a little blurry.|
Hope you find this helpful. I will do another tutorial on saving the rim a little later.