Posted on | April 11, 2013 | Comments Off
Ribbon and cords are great necklace options for many types of pendants, including wire wrapped pendants. They are available in many colors and can easily be cut to the desired length. One need only finish the ends and add a clasp to achieve the romantic look of a ribbon necklace, or the sleek effect of a cord necklace. The star of these necklaces is the pendant. In many cases, whether due to the weight or style of the pendant, a much cleaner look can be achieved by hanging the pendant from a bail rather than directly from the ribbon or cord. The bail design shown here is extremely quick, simple, and unobtrusive.
You will need:
- two mandrels of a size appropriate to your ribbon or cord. Here I used size 5 double pointed knitting needles and they worked very well.
- 6 inches of 18 gauge dead soft wire
- flush cutters
- a wire file or cup burr
- hammer and bench block (optional but recommended)
Posted on | April 5, 2013 | Comments Off
I love jewelry that combines luxury fiber with metal. Today I came across a material that is new to me, but has great potential for jewelry making: handspun wire core yarn. This yarn was made by Patricia Briceno of Beesybee Fibers. She used 20 or 22 gauge wire as the core; the result is a sock to fingering weight yarn that can hold its shape a bit more than other yarns, presumably making it more orderly to work with.
Here is another example of Patricia’s wire core yarn, although at the risk of breaking your heart I must tell you that it has already sold!
There are a few other sellers of wire core yarn on Etsy, although surprisingly little seems to be available. I love Patricia’s in particular though, because of her use of color. For jewelry making purposes, I think these mixed colors would add a lot of interest.
Posted on | April 5, 2013 | Comments Off
Collections of pretty things I’ve found on Etsy these days.
Posted on | March 30, 2013 | Comments Off
I see no reason to ever stop making spirals. They are so pleasing in appearance and have so many uses in jewelry making. Why not just string a bunch of them together, and make some wonderful everyday bracelets?
Posted on | March 21, 2013 | Comments Off
The hook clasp is very common in handmade jewelry making. Its proportions can be played with, it can be decorated with coils or tiny beads, or it can be bare bones as shown here. If you put this on one end of a bracelet or necklace, all you need on the other end is a loop large enough for it to pass through. It could be a plain loop, or any manner of more decorative designs, such as the sun clasp.
For this example I’ve used 18 gauge wire. Sixteen gauge wire is also commonly used. Twenty gauge could be used for very lightweight piece only. You will also need round nose pliers, flat nose pliers, flush cutters, a chasing hammer and bench block, and maybe a file.
To begin, make a simple loop with your round nose pliers, as tiny as possible, on one end of your wire.
The loop you have just made will be the tip of the hook.
Posted on | March 20, 2013 | Comments Off
I am a big admirer of the skillful use of color in jewelry, and Tracey Pettingill of Bella Jewels has demonstrated a true mastery of the art of color combination in her joyful rainbow-jeweled collection. I came across these on a dreary February day and they were a cheerful reminder that spring was right around the corner. Now that it has arrived, I thought I’d celebrate by sharing her work with you. Don’t these pieces call to mind the blossoms that will soon be appearing all around us?
I’d like to mention to those of you who are skilled with this type of color work that pieces like this make things easy for those of us who don’t share your talent. Rather than figuring out which colors will coordinate with one of these pieces, we can just match it up; it’s like the piece itself contains a much-appreciated list of all the colors we can wear it with!
I highly recommend taking a browse through Tracey’s shop. It is truly inspirational.
Posted on | March 18, 2013 | Comments Off
A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to this Sun Clasp tutorial from Art Bead Scene. I’ve finally gotten around to make one myself, and I thought I’d post the step-by-step photos. The clasp is almost the same as the original, though I used 18 gauge wire instead of 16 gauge and left the clasp flat after hammering rather than bulging it out to give it the domed shape. I felt that the 18 gauge wire was not sturdy enough to maintain the bulge.
To begin, cut a 10 inch length of 18 gauge wire and curl the end into a loop, as tiny as you can manage.
Posted on | March 15, 2013 | Comments Off
Now that I’ve decided to start selling jewelry again, I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction I’d like to go with my business. While my Etsy shop is set up mostly for retail, I’ve decided to poke my toes into the waters of wholesale as well.
While wholesaling would not work for my more time-consuming designs, I think these simple spiral earrings are a great item to sell wholesale. They can be produced much more quickly in an assembly line fashion than one by one, and doing so will allow me to offer the excellent quantity discounts that business owners need in order to be able to sell the product at a sufficient markup.
I think wholesaling is the direction in which I would ultimately like to go. It seems to be a more efficient use of my time, and avoids the problem of unsold one off items that I’ve had in the past. Plus, I am the type of person who is very satisfied to see a big pile of finished product at the end of the day, rather than one masterpiece. Though I do enjoy admiring masterpieces!
For now, I’m just feeling the jitters that everyone must feel when opening (or re-opening) a shop: I just hope someone buys something!
Posted on | March 12, 2013 | Comments Off
There is something about lampwork, isn’t there? Tiny glass baubles gleaming with color, lampwork beads justly demand to be the stars of the show. I love them best in simple settings where there is little to distract from their always-interesting splotches and swirls. Aimee Milan of Polychrome Beads has a lovely collection of lampwork beads, including focals, bead sets, and slider beads.
The stacked bead pendant shown below was the first to catch my eye, but I soon found it difficult to choose just a few to feature in this post.
I think my favorites are her focal beads. There is quite a range of colors and styles in this shop, including this lovely specimen. Aren’t the organic shapes wonderful?
Posted on | March 9, 2013 | Comments Off
is remarkably simple. All you need is this.
To make the clasp hardware, first bend a piece of 18 gauge wire into a U shape. To make the clasps for this 5/8 inch ribbon I used about 4 inches of wire and wrapped it around a size 7 ring mandrel. After forming the U, turn its two legs inward at right angles to make a D shape. The two legs will overlap one another. Trim off the excess wire that protrudes outside of the D shape. Hammer the whole thing into a nice, sturdy D, then coil around the straight part to hold the two overlapping pieces together. I used 26 gauge wire for the coiling.
Next, Make a second D. However, before coiling the overlapping legs together, slip a swan clasp into place. Coiling will now lock the overlapping pieces together as well as locking the clasp into the D.
To make the bracelets, Simply cut a length of ribbon a couple of inches longer than you would like the ribbon portion of your bracelet to be. Insert one end into the first D, and fold the ribbon over the straight portion of the D. Fold the end of the ribbon under itself again to make a neat edge. Sew the ribbon into place. I recommend using a sewing machine, as it would be difficult to push a needle through three thicknesses of some types of ribbon, but if you are using a thinner ribbon needle and thread should be fine. Repeat on the second end, measuring the bracelet before sewing so that you can be sure the bracelet will end up being the right length.
You’re limited only by your collection of ribbon!keep looking »